Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dos and Don’ts of a Staff Party

It’s that time of the year when the crisp winter air is filled with festive joy, store windows are decorated with Christmas scenes, there’s an extra sparkle in children’s eyes and all steadily employed people are filled with varying degrees of dread, apathy, anxiety and yes, even excitement about the annual Christmas party. Socializing with one’s coworkers while not scrub clad can be somewhat daunting because when removed from the hospital setting, there aren’t any psychotic, belligerent, needy, disrespectful, bitchy, douchbagy, moronic and/or idiotic patients/staff to deal with. As such, engaging in small-talk can be awkward, if not outright impossible. Parties are also a social minefield because as unbelievable as it sounds, a vast majority of the staff have lives outside of work. Sometimes, those lives include dating each other, breaking up, working together uncomfortably for a while before a new normal is established.*Lastly, staff parties are an extremely weird combination of coworkers, bosses, alcohol, food and 80s dance music which can make effective and fun socializing all that much more difficult.

Since staff parties are a better dressed, tressed and fed extension of work, it’s important to remember to maintain a certain amount of decorum and reserve. With this in mind, here is my list of dos and don’ts of a staff party loosely based on this year’s party mishaps.

Do try to be civil to each other no matter how much you wish your foe was under a bus.

Don’t tell your foe that you were ardently hoping for them to be under a bus.

Do enjoy the catered food and open bar.

Don’t enjoy the open bar to the point of which you start to loudly vomit in the ladies room and end up being dragged home by another staff member while your boyfriend stays behind to pay the manager off for the damages incurred.

Do compliment your ex on his/her educational/professional achievements.

Don’t berate them for their weight changes, poor sartorial decisions and even poorer choices in mates.

Do make an effort to introduce your partner/date/family member to the rest of the staff so they don’t feel left out.

Don’t let your companion be in a foul mood at one of your past transgressions, especially if their revenge plot is to out how you want to take over someone else’ job and forever taint you as a treacherous corporate climbing snake.

Do show of your fancy footwork when kickass 80s anthems are blasted, especially if you’re the chief of medical staff.

Don’t dirty dance with the nursing manager and end up with your tie lost and your shirt buttons undone, especially if you’re the chief of medical staff.

This is by no means a comprehensive list but merely guidelines that one should try to follow in order to have a successful staff party experience! Please share your dos and don’ts and keep the hilarity going!

*HR neither condones nor endorses this behaviour.


StorytellERdoc said...


I came to your post today after reading your kind comment. This is awesome. There are several people at work that need to read this, since we have our work party this coming Friday.

80s music, how did you know? And the open bar? And dancing? The only thing you didn't cover was a dress code (cover up, all you hussies!). I'll bet your party is fascinating...

Well done. Now you owe me a latte!

Marz said...

This is hilarious! And what do you mean don't berate them on their poor choices of mates? I think you should be honest whenever possible, especially for personal issues, ESPECIALLY at a work party in front of everyone else that can also join in on the laugh fest at your partners expense. Double points if you make fun of their handlebar mustache and tell them how much they remind you of the murderer from Dexter; or yosemadi sam.

AtYourCervix said...

Apparently, you don't also party with your co-workers on a regular basis throughout the year. (grin)

We break all of these rules on a very regular basis, where I work.

RehabNurse said...

I'm actually going to the Xmas party this year...should be interesting to see how smashed everyone gets.

Maha said...

Partying with coworkers while breaking a whole bunch of workplace no-nos is nothing but good times. It just gets awkward when there are bosses around!

Anonymous said...

I was frightened to note how many of these rules I have broken. That's probably why I avoid staff Xmas parties like the plague.

Anonymous said...

Hehe this will be good to observe. My staff Christmas party is this friday!

ERP said...

I remember as a resident one of the attending got really intoxicate and was found fooling around with a nurse in the hallway of the bathroom. Too bad he was married and pretty soon everyone blabbed around the whole dept the next day!