The 12 Mishaps of Christmas: More Workplace Follies

After my column about holiday party follies posted last week, I received a number of e-mails and comments about those inevitable holiday mishaps we all experience.

Some of the comments were just too funny to pass up on and most of them had more to do with office mishaps than party mishaps.

Here are the 12 most popular office mishaps that happen during the holiday season. It just goes to show: The need to spread holiday cheer can sometimes get the better of us and as a result, mishaps will happen.

Getting a Little Too Gourmet

Fine foods are always fun, but sometimes they can get a little over the top. Serving gourmet reindeer meat to your vegan boss at your holiday party probably isn’t the best way to climb the corporate ladder.

Sharing Your Calories

When the holiday season rolls in, so does the calorie train. Inevitably, there is always that one person leaving their gifted chocolates and treats on the break room counter for everyone to partake in. Is this really an act of altruism or is it a plot to pass unwanted calories of guilt on to the rest of us?

Hard Selling Your Charity

We all have our causes, and yes, the season is about giving. However, when charity turns to hard selling, people tend not to feel so good about their gifting. So, stop pushing your kid’s cheesy charity gift wrap on your push-over coworkers.

Spiking the Egg Nog

I’ll admit it, I’m a firm believer in loading up egg nog with plenty of rum. However, I do give all partakers fair warning: Inevitably, someone always forgets to tip off the intern! Slogging the nog will definitely get them some attention, just not the kind they need.

Proselytizing Your Cheer

Christmas has become so commercialized that we sometimes forget about the other holidays. Be mindful of who you give Christmas cards to, and the manner in which you spread your cheer. There are those who don’t observe the holiday, so be courteous.

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). It’s natural to assume that your coworker’s opposite-sex guest at the holiday party is their significant other, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, single people bring a friend as their date, so don’t assume the role of “Parson Brown” and marry 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 individuals who can’t seem to get their act together in time to make sure you don’t get stuck working Christmas morning.

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 and always 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 Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer themed underwear as a secret Santa gift is just not cool. It’s   awkward. Enough said. 

Being too Sexy for Your Santa

Maybe the short-lived performer Right Said Fred was too sexy for his shirt, but I doubt you are too sexy for your adult-themed Santa costume! Save that funky getup for a more appropriate atmosphere.

Decorating Your 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. You don’t want your coworkers to go po-po-postal.

Being the Office Grinch

Mean people are annoying as it is, but a bad attitude during the holidays is particularly annoying. We all have lapses where we take ourselves way too seriously, so just keep in mind that it is the holidays, and yes, it’s a time for giving! Bottom line: 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.