Office Politics: The unholy Christmas Party

If I want to start an argument with almost anyone I need ony mention the Holiday Frolic, a.k.a. the office Christmas party.  The annual event is  subject to trends as well as bound by tradition.  This year my informants  report such events will be more lavish than last year as a token of belief that the economy is getting better.  It doesn’t matter because any employee who can think of a credible excuse not to attend will do so.

Not so fast.  There are excellent reasons to attend that have nothing to do with the refreshments — or lack thereof — or the boss’s insistence.  Here are the ones that make sense politically.

1.  It’s a chance to thank co-workers for help they’ve given you and to thank your boss for what you learned.  Did I hear you say you’re too old to have learned anything?  That’s terrible because it means your job is in danger.  Rethink that response.

2.  Thanking the support folk is always too little, too late.  Do you think they suffer from over appreciation?  If so please send me their names so I can interview them.  I’m betting they can’t hear that their work is appreciated enough.  Add to the course.

3.  Staying away from the party translates to, “I’d rather do anything than spend more time with you people.”  This is not a message likely to garner cooperation and support in the new year.  Attend, work the room, speak to everyone, leave.

4.  Thank the organizers individually.  Then send a note (not an email) to the chair and mention three things you liked about the party, not including seeing the boss tipsy was a hoot.

5.  Drink nothing at the party.  I know it’s free.  It’s also lethal.  My favorite holiday disasters start with people who had one too many and told all and sundry just what they thought.  If you dislike the people you work with why are you still there?  That’s the question all who hear you will be asking.

Finally, don’t forget to thank your boss.  This event came from his budget.  Be the one to convince him it was money well spent by appreciating the effort.

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Related Posts:

The 10 Miseries of the Christmas Season

Desultory Huggers and Air Kissers

Enforced Workplace Socializing

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Filed under Millennials and GenX, Office Politics