Don't throw away your name at your company party. Simply follow these basic party etiquette rules by Bruce Jack of Flagstone Winery, veteran of many a great party and connoisseur of good food and great wine.
When you are the guest
When social meets business, remember that office rules still apply.
Drink moderately. Behind every party horror story is too much alcohol.
Don't mix your drinks. If you do decide to have a few drinks, stick to wine or beer.
The legal blood alcohol limit in South Africa is 0.05g per 100ml of blood. As a general guideline, this one unit per hour:
- 285ml beer / 425ml light beer
- 30ml of spirits (straight or mixed with a non-alcoholic drink)
- A small glass (100ml) of white or red wine
- A small glass (60ml) of fortified wine, eg sherry
Pair every drink with a glass of water.
Eat before, and regularly during the party.
Act classy. Don't get so horribly drunk that you are asked to leave.
Unless it's a fancy dress party, dress up a notch. You can always remove your tie or necklace as the night goes on.
Easy on the public affection, whether it is with your date or a colleague. And do not get caught with your pants down in a dark back office or – worse – a toilet cubicle.
If you must bring a present, gift appropriately. This is not the time to buy body paint and blow-up doll, just so you can see the look on the recipient's face…
Be a classy guest:
- Show up
- Enjoy yourself
- Don’t indulge in bathroom gossip
- Don’t overstay your welcome
- And always send a thank-you note afterwards
Get home in one piece, don't drink and drive. Agree on a designated driver (there is usually one person who doesn't drink at all) or club together for a taxi home.
When you are the host
Limit your own alcohol intake. That way you can stay on top of any potential problem.
Organise a taxi service to take guests home or promote the use of designated drivers.
Collect car keys as guests arrive. No, not for a swinger's party later, but to decide later whether Joe from Accounts is able to drive home.
Ensure there is enough to eat for the duration of the party.
Don't force guests to drink.
Have enough alcohol-free drinks available.
Close the bar an hour or two before the party is due to end.