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Gentleman’s Guide: Office Party


Although the Christmas party is essentially one big knees-up, usually made more enticing by the fact that someone else (ie your boss) is picking up the bill, it’s also minefield of potentially career-ending embarrassments. Take our test to find out if you can negotiate “the festive spirit” with Bond prowess or if you’re likely to finish the evening introducing your bottom, or worse, to the office photocopier

1. After a few eggnogs you feel emboldened to speak more frankly to your colleagues and accidently end up starting an argument between finance and sales. Do you:

a) Ask if you can get anyone a drink and make a beeline for the DJ booth knowing you’ve got just the tune for office reconciliation – Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger.

b) Point out that with Armageddon just round the corner, the world will be needing doctors, farmers and scientists so they’re both doomed anyway.

c) Sling the first punch, after all, attack is the best form of defence.

2. Time for the buffet. Just when you’ve successfully negotiated filling your plate and are about to begin the one-handed-eating trick, a female superior asks you to hold her glass of wine. Do you:

a) Reply, “No, I believe in all sexes being equal so I wouldn’t dream of chauvinistically holding your glass. I know it’s not too heavy for you.”

b) Reply “Yes”, but, as soon as her back is turned, move swiftly to another part of the room leaving the glass precariously balanced on a window ledge.

c) Shrug and mime how overburdened you are. Then theatrically point to the photocopier machine and raise your eyebrow suggestively. That’ll keep her guessing!

3. Just before you are to deliver your “state of the company” address you receive a phone call from the HR office of a rival company offering to double your current salary, triple your expense account and throw in a key to the executive toilet. Do you:

a) Toss the notes for your address over your shoulder and instead take up the mike for an impromptu rendition of Roger Miller’s King of the Road, before bowing and exiting stage left with a self-satisfied grin on your face.

b) As above plus a few home truths about senior management weaved into the lyrics as you croon away; “Brain cell for sale or rent, dumb ideas, fifty cents…”

c) Both the above but with the added bonus of then spotting, out of the corner of your eye, your friend Dave from advertising coyly waving his phone at you with an evil “You’ve so just been had,” smile on his face. Then faint.

4. You’ve been propping the bar up for most of the evening avoiding the hideousness of drunken colleagues on the dance floor when Dancing Queen comes on. You find yourself being caught up in the inevitable stampede of female employees. Do you:

a) Jump straight over the bar and hiss loudly at anyone who tries to talk to you.

b) Do whatever you have to do to avoid been dragged on to the dance floor. “Oh, come on you old humbug you, it’s only a dance,” one of them will probably shriek at you as she tries to drag you into the rip curl current. Punch her in the face and extricate yourself.

c) Go with it. Dance as hideously as a geography teacher at a knitting conference. Wave your arms in the air and wail, “See that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the dancing queen,” get drunk, sweat, say something inappropriate to someone, wear your tie like a bandana, fall over. What the hell, life’s short.

5. It’s the end of the night and the aforementioned female superior swaggers over to you and suggestively wiggles her hips towards to the photocopier. Do you: 

a) Turn and run.

b) Smile, turn and run.

c) Get back to miming. I’m stuck in box. There’s a roof, one side, and another side, a back…

1: a) – 2 points; b) – 5 points; c) 0 points
2: a) – 5 points; b) – 2 points; c) 0 points
3: a) – 2 points; b) – 0 points; c) 5 points
4: a) – 2 points; b) – 5 points; c) 0 points
5: a) – 2 points; b) – 5 points; c) 0 points

18 – 25 points: You are virtually embarrassment proof and can rest easy this festive period in the knowledge that the most embarrassing thing you are likely to do is forget to ask for your martini to be shaken, not stirred.

10 – 17 points: You’re confused and at considerable risk of self-harm. Getting a girlfriend would help but is no guarantee.

0 – 10 points: You are a lost cause and will almost certainly make a fool of yourself this festive period. Chances are, though, you’re too shallow to care. Consider going in drag.