Office Party Etiquette: Drinking Like a Fish

Today we continue advising you poor souls still walking the corporate halls on how to nail office party etiquette. Sad, but true, you must get along with your co-workers and you must wear more than a bathrobe to work. I feel for you, I really do….

So . . . you’re known to enjoy a beverage or two from time-to-time. Okay….

You’re known to enjoy a beverage or ten . . .


What you do at your holiday office party is strangely treated as “typical” behavior. And unfortunately for many careers, much of this behavior is somehow caught on film. It used to be that people used cameras. Now everyone and their monkey thinks it’s clever to video . . . everything.

You can’t stop the YouTube monkeys.

The consequence of all that footage is a surprising glut of material. The unintended consequence is that a future employer can google you, which he/she WILL DO, and he/she will find the ONE time you were a total jack-a** at your company’s holiday party. You will be forever labeled as a drunk/idiot/out-of-control wreck, etc.

Don’t believe me? Read the Financial Times Career column, this question comes up all the time from potential employers. It goes something like this:

I googled our best candidate for the new position and found a picture of her in a leather outfit. Everyone in the office saw her photo and they now call her the S&M girl. Now everyone is talking about her. I’m afraid if I do hire her that she won’t be taken seriously. What do you recommend….

No kidding, that was a real one from 2008, maybe 2007. The responses form other employers made it so memorable to me that I share it here. The reality is, that candidate just got the smack down because of a Halloween photo. THAT IS TOTALLY UNFAIR, but that’s the way it goes. Everyone recommended that she not be hired. Even though she was the top candidate prior to the photo discovery.

We are human beings, not logical creatures. If we were based on logic, we wouldn’t watch sports and we wouldn’t buy 99% of the junk that gets sold to us. Men and Women alike.

So, acknowledge that you share this planet with other human beings and all of our glorious frailties. When you are tempted to have another drink at your holiday party . . .


Stop at 2 for the ladies, 3 for the gentlemen. You’re being watched by your bosses and your bosses spouses. Remember, the losers have nothing better to do than to talk about your transgressions later and if one of them is feeling left behind (usually a corporate wifey), watch your back.

See the ridiculous tattoos that your mother warned you against….

Office Party Etiquette Gem from the Past

Put on those party shoes, but leave the drinking liver at home. Remember you’ll be judged not just by your behavior at the party, but by your behavior leaving the party. If you are wobbly, call a friend or CALL A CAB. Seriously. Please. To save your precious tush and your career.

-Miss Mentor

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