When it comes to end of year office parties, there are two types of people: The ‘whoop whoop high five’ people. And the ‘dashing through the NO’ people. If you’re of the latter group, you’re in dread mode. For your own survival, use these strategies:
1. Keep an inner commentary
The most therapeutic way to get through this ordeal is to complain about it. But, unless you’re looking for a new career, you should keep snarky comments to yourself. Go ahead: shout away. In silence. To get you warmed up, practise these:
‘Hey, HR manager. You look like a slutty reindeer.’ ‘Karaoke? I don’t even like hearing you people talk.’ ‘Shutupshutupshutup’ ‘Get off the mirrorball, Miley!’
2. Show up as late as possible
This requires careful planning. You can’t be too late (because it’s rude or something), but arriving early will just prolong your suffering. There are two ways to handle this:
• Use your mom’s car. Pack delicious picnic food. Park outside the office. Watch as guests arrive. Enter when the influx of people starts slowing down.
• Pretend you’re stuck in traffic and call one of your ish-friends at the office. Ask them questions about how the party is progressing. Fake interest in people to find out how many people are there.
3. Practise your fake laugh (also known as flaughing)
Your boss isn’t funny, but he/she thinks they’re Ellen. Before the party, record yourself flaughing. Play it back to your mom/partner/friend/dog and pick the one that scares them the least. Pray you don’t sound like Chucky.
4. Create an exit strategy
Once your coworkers have been klapping the Klippies, they’re likely to stay later than you’d like. But there’s always one sober tannie who will notice if you leave early. What you need is a diversion. Knocking over a Christmas tree is a good one. Knocking Gossip Ouma over the head is not.
5. Try to be positive
It’s hard to puke rainbows and spit candyfloss, but give it a go anyway. You never know, you might actually enjoy yourself. Wouldn’t that be a holiday surprise?