Just for fun · pop culture · top tips

7 Simple Ways To Avoid Having An Accidental Party At The Office

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Boris Johnson has announced we’ll all be going back to normal – and therefore back to the office – very soon. So I’m sure I can’t be the only person who’s concerned about the possibility of accidentally ending up having an enormous office party, at a time when I’m actually supposed to be busy getting the year-end reporting finished off.

Not only are accidental office parties really bad for productivity, but they can also result in negative publicity if they happen in the midst of national coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Not to mention that they create a lot of extra work for housekeeping staff, who really don’t deserve to have to clean vomit off the boardroom ceiling more than once in any working week.

So in my selfless drive to help others, I’ve put together this handy guide, setting out a number of simple ways to avoid having an accidental office party. Whatever your reason for wanting to avoid a party in the workplace – social anxiety, Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, or just an uncontrollable tendency to tell colleagues you love them after half a shandy – this easy guide is the one for you.

7 Simple Ways To Avoid Having An Accidental Office Party

1. Protect Yourself Against Cake Ambush

When entering an office area, make sure to flatten yourself against the wall and, if possible, take cover behind a filing cabinet or large confidential waste bin. This will give you time to scan the immediate area for possible concealed baked goods and beat a hasty retreat if necessary.

This is doubly important if it is your birthday.

2. Buy A Dictionary

Preventing a cake ambush is one thing, but it can be really difficult to avoid having an office party if you don’t actually know what a party is. I myself once thought I was attending a workplace strategy meeting, only to discover afterwards that it had in fact been an illegal psychedelic rave. Once I familiarised myself with the definition of terms like “rave”, “party”, and “working hours”, I found it so much easier to avoid this kind of unfortunate confusion going forward.

3. The ratio of laptops to bottles of wine should be at least 1:1

Self-explanatory, really. It can’t be a party if there’s a laptop nearby.

This guy’s getting it right

4. Don’t Accidentally Bring Your Entire Family To Work

As the old saying goes: if you’ve completed the mandatory recruitment e-training module, you can choose your colleagues, but you can’t choose your family. I discovered recently that traditionally in Western office culture, you don’t bring your family to work with you. Apparently doing this can risk blurring the lines between ‘work time’, ‘family party’ and ‘drunken brawl about what Uncle Pete said about Auntie Suzie’s shoes ten years ago’.

Apparently, this applies even if your Auntie Marie is really good with Excel and wears a pantsuit, so I’ve now taken to checking the boot of my car in the mornings before setting off to work, just in case one of my extended family has squirrelled themselves away in there. Again.

5. Avoid Putting Up Party Decorations

If you’re not supposed to be having a party, try to avoid putting up enormous party decorations outside the front of your office, as this may inadvertently give the wrong impression.

No Christmas parties here

6. Get the Neighbours On Side

Remember that if anyone is likely to report an accidental party to the police – or take incriminating photos of an informal garden-based work meeting with wine and a cheeseboard and then leak the photos to the tabloids – it’s likely to be your neighbors. If you think there is any risk whosoever that your quarterly leadership team briefing might turn into a drunken bunfight, it may be best to invite your neighbours along to the meeting, just in case.

And make sure the cheeseboard is good.

7. Just Believe

Last but not least: if the worst happens and you find yourself caught in the middle of an unexpected party at the office, don’t worry – it’s not too late. Just ignore what your eyes, ears, and possibly nose are telling you, because if you truly believe that you’re at a work meeting, then no amount of prosecco, cheeseboards, feather boas, buffet catering, or drunken fumbling in the stationary cupboard can prove you otherwise.

If for some bizarre reason other people suggest that your work meeting looks a lot like a party, just insist it’s a free-form, deep-dive brainstorming session to pivot the organisational approach to holistically promoting synergy in the customer journey.

As long as no one understands what you’re saying, it’s very difficult for them to prove you wrong.

Your top tips to avoid office parties:

After the embarrassment of Partygate, it’s not just politicians and senior civil servants who are keen to avoid accidental workplace parties. If you have any tips of your own, please add them in the comments! Or alternatively if you love this kind of highly nonsensical political commentary, why not check out my blog post on why Boris Johnson and Joe Exotic from Tiger King are basically the same person?

baby · Just for fun · parenting

Surprising Jobs That Being A Parent Qualifies You For

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It often occurs to me, when undertaking some random baby-related task, that being a parent comes with transferable skills that often go unrecognised. I’ve written before about the events I think that my baby could medal in at the Baby Olympics… But us parents have skills too. The kind of skills that can help you smash the glass ceiling. So my husband and I came up with this list of jobs that we think being a parent qualifies you for… Some of them may surprise you!

Jobs That Being A Parent Qualifies You For

Bomb Disposal Expert

Any parent who has tried to transfer a sleeping baby (a.k.a. potential explosive device) from their lap into a cot has developed an incredibly light touch, along with the ability to make difficult decisions under extreme pressure.

Cat Burglar

The number one skill required of a cat burglar? Sneaking around darkened rooms. This is also a key skill for parents, once they have transferred the aforementioned sleeping baby into its cot.

As being a parent is also very expensive, you can offset the ruinous cost of nursery fees, milk, nappies, and endless new sizes of clothes through your new career as an international jewel thief.

Snake Oil Salesman

Baby’s got teething trouble? Sing him the magic nursery rhyme, you know, the one that always cheers him up! Toddler fell over? Give that bruised knee a magic kiss to stop it hurting! Little one has a sad tummy? Quick, wave Mr Giraffe at him, that’ll cheer him up!

As parents we are constantly trying to trick our children into accepting deeply unscientific cures for what ails them. The logical next step is peddling Dr William’s Pink Pills For Pale People.

Waste Management

I mean, this one is obvious. Once you’re handed that beautiful little baby in hospital, it’s immediately time to become an expert in the clean-up and disposal of hazardous waste.

Octopus

“That’s not a job!”, I hear you cry. Well, maybe not. But if Paul the Octopus managed to make a career out of it, then so can you. Ever found yourself holding the baby, and a cup of tea, and your phone, and mixing up a bottle of formula, and changing a nappy, all at the same time? Me neither. But I’ve had a bloody good try.

What other jobs do you think being a parent qualifies you for (if just being a parent wasn’t enough of a full time job)? Let me know in the comments!