Published December 10, 2012
The holiday season isn’t just about family time. This time of year also brings office parties, decorated work spaces and plenty of holiday cheer at the office.
With just a bit more than 12 days left until Christmas, I wanted to revisit the 12 most popular office mishaps that happen during the holiday season. Let’s face it, the need to spread holiday cheer can sometimes get the better of us and as a result, mishaps will happen.
The Winter Wonder Cube. I’m all for showing your festive side, but there is a point when that non-stop electronic Santa’s “ho-ho-hoing” gets a little unnerving! Be respectful of your peers and keep your personal holiday wonderland in check. Remember: It’s all about moderation.
Spiking The Egg Nog. Yes, egg nog tends to taste better with plenty of rum, but don’t make that decision for everyone without telling them because inevitably, someone always forgets to tip off the intern! Slogging too much nog will definitely get workers some attention from the boss, just not the kind they need.
Sharing Your Calories. When the holiday season rolls in the calorie train is right behind. There is always that one person leaving gifted chocolates and treats on the break room counter for everyone to partake in and it can be hard to turn down. Is this really an act of altruism or is it a plot to pass unwanted calories of guilt on to the rest of us?
Getting a Little Too Gourmet. Fine foods are always fun, but don’t go over the top. Serving gourmet reindeer meat to your vegan boss at your holiday party is probably not the best way to climb the corporate ladder.
Proselytizing Your Cheer. The holidays have become so commercialized that we sometimes forget what they are really about. I believe in spreading cheer and lifting people’s spirits, but don’t get too heavy handed. Always be mindful of the other workers’ holidays and beliefs.
Appointing Yourself as Parson Brown. If I have to explain who Parson Brown is you clearly have never listened to holiday music (look up the song Winter Wonder Land – I like the Annie Lennox version). It’s natural to assume that your coworker’s opposite-sex guest at the holiday party is a significant other or spouse, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes single people will bring a friend as a date, so don’t assume the role of “Parson Brown” and hitch them on the spot!
Dropping the Deadline Ball. There is nothing worse than making people work over the holidays--what’s worse are those disorganized workers who can’t seem to get their act together in time and you get stuck working Christmas morning. Don’t be that disorganized person--plan ahead!
Forgetting The Little People. Remember in high school when you were the last one to hear about the big weekend party? OK, maybe that was just me. Anyway, be a uniter not a divider this season and invite everyone to the party. The holidays are about inclusion, so boo to you if you forgot the little people.
Turning Secret Santa into Freaky Santa. Getting that Rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer themed underwear as a workplace secret Santa gift is just a little too freaky for the office party. Talk about awkward. Try to keep it clean.
Hard-selling Your Charity . This season is an active one for charitable giving, but when charity turns to hard selling, people tend not to feel so good about their gifts. Don’t push your kid’s cheesy charity gift wrap on your pushover coworkers who are afraid to say no.
Being too Sexy for Your Santa. Maybe the one-hit-wonder Right Said Fred was too sexy for his shirt, but I doubt you are too sexy for your adult-themed Santa suit! Save that funky getup for other times.
Being the Office Grinch. Mean people are annoying all year round, but a bad attitude during the holidays is particularly maddening. We all have lapses and take ourselves too seriously, so just keep in mind that it is the holidays… and yes, it’s a time for cheer! So get over yourself, even if it’s just for a week!
Remember, whatever faith you subscribe to the season is about being thankful and showing gratitude. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership.Follow Dr. Woody on Twitter and Facebook