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Tis not the season to overdo it at the office party

Office party season has started! But don't be fooled. This is still a work-related gathering and not the place to see who can do the most body shots.

by: Bruce Jack from Flagstone | 15 Nov 2007

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.

    - None


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