Chalk this one up to the tippling. And that one. And that one too. When “Happy Holidays” turns into happy hour with the higher-ups, it’s safe to say that imbibing best be done with care.
We asked: Any office party faux pas, age-old advice, or puke-induced pink slips in your past?
CARRIE SHALTZ student [Manhattan]
My advice: don’t drink more than your boss, and never ask your boss to be your designated driver. Follow this and you’ll still have your job the next day.
BENJAMIN HELLER photographer [Manhattan]
Once I got in trouble for feeding lots of strawberries to everybody. I forgot that I was at an office party, and they were all into it, but then, you know, the trouble began. Luckily my girlfriend worked there too, and she pulled me out. In that case it was good to be sleeping with your co-workers. So, I try to avoid that now. VP: The co-worker sex or the strawberries? Look, it’s better for everyone when the clients aren’t at the Christmas party.
GABRIELLA CASPI, LATESSA CONTILLO, ZARAH KRAVITZ actors [Manhattan]
ZK: We’re at our party now! LC: We have alcohol. GC: I’m underage. ZK: I’m not. GC: My advice: Wear something you’re comfortable in, because if you’re not confident, it shows. LC: The costumes were white leotards and goggles. GC: A couple girls had their time of the month. ZK: Not good at an office party, not good at a cast party. One girl that had her period— LC: The naked girl running across the stage? ZK: —hid it very well. GC: Wait, she did? ZK: Yeah, she had her period. GC: No way! ZK: Yeah, she cut the string. That’s our advice: When you’re going out naked— VP: To a play or a party? ZK: —and you have your period, be brave.
MAX WASTLER news director [Queens]
Turn off the photocopier before the party. Turn off the copier in general. VP: For energy-efficiency purposes? For general embarrassment purposes. We had a party on the first of the year. VP: On New Year’s Day? No, Septemberish. VP: Oh, the Jewish new year? Ha, no. And we had people photocopying bad things. So, for the Christmas party we turned off the copier. We turned off the copier.
HANK SCIORTINO news director [Queens]
KAMALI MARSH architect [Brooklyn]
HS: I worked in a stereotypical office where one boss always hired hot receptionists. But he can’t get with them because he’s old. He makes eyes to the guys that he thinks can get with them. Like, “I can’t do it, so let me know what you think.” KM: He wants to live vicariously through you! HS: So, do you tell him after you get with this girl or not? KM: Does he want to know or is it uncomfortable? HS: Regardless. I got with her on the roof. I didn’t sleep with her; we just kind of, you know, “happy hands,” and all that nonsense. And, at the Christmas party, I told him, ’cause we were bombed. But I shouldn’t have. KM: He asked for it! You were just being honest. Also, stupid. HS: And he was like, “that’s fantastic, thanks for telling me, boy.” KM: In retrospect, did the situation affect you in a negative way? HS: No, after the roof, I slept with her 12 or 15 times. KM: So it was a positive thing. HS: It was. Although, he still brings it up. When he gets new hires he’s like, ‘you’re not allowed to do that.’ And he still hires hot receptionists. KM: That’s bullshit! You did exactly what he wanted, but you were physically capable of it because you’re not a decrepit old man. HS: I guess the moral is: at the party, don’t tell your boss what you did with the receptionist. Keep your shit to yourself, because it will come back to get you.
CHRIS P. pharmacist [Jersey City]
I don’t work in an office environment so I don’t have to deal with that social obligation.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 7, 2004