Workplace misconduct office parties;
is it your turn this year?
The following article should be viewed tongue in cheek. However, I have investigated so many complaints of Workplace misconduct office parties and especially sexual harassment following work functions that I am beginning to wonder if this sort of advice is out there as a book “How to ruin your career for dummies”
Every year in the time between Melbourne Cup day and Christmas I investigate complaints of misconduct as work events especially sexual harassment. If you would like to be proactive and re-enforce the behavioural expectation of your organisation I have an On Demand course to assist – Click here for details This course is based on the investigations I conduct every year.
Work functions, conferences or Christmas parties are great opportunities to unwind and at times celebrate with a bunch of people you like, are indifferent to or perhaps dislike intensely. One thing that these special events often do is provide you with the maximum opportunity to get noticed and make bad choices. Bad choices that can affect your career, love life, physical well-being and sense of self-worth. There are very few times in life that give you all of these options at once.
As an employer, if you are confronted with complaints in the aftermath of bad choices we recommend that you investigate them in a fair, timely and professional manner. Not sure what to do? contact AWPTI for assistance – www.awpti.com.au
Workplace misconduct office parties – Here’s how to make the most out of the best bad choice opportunities this year. (*****In case you’re not sure this is a joke*****)
The world of Covid 19 has provided all new opportunities to impress. So in case your organisation is having an end of year or Christmas event here are some suggestions.
It’s important to pre-plan. Be sure to keep you colleagues in the loop by sending out emails and messages inviting them to join in the pranks. If you have a Zoom meeting before an event give participants a glimpse of how funny you are and what to expect, coming to a meeting in you PJs or your underwear sets the right tone for the upcoming event.
Forget about it, lean over people, hug, breath and generally get way too up close and personal, remember rule number 1, the boss is the first target.
Wearing a Mask
Obviously wearing a mask is important, but think of all the other uses. A sling shot for food items, how far can you send a partially eaten mini sausage roll. Continually walking up behind people grabbing them and saying ‘I’m Batman’ and all sorts of misbehaviour and running away, after all you can’t really be identified, can you?
Make a statement, less is more. Before the event carefully review your company’s usual dress code and go way, way off centre. After all it’s a party; maybe it’s not fancy dress but really your Spiderman PJ’s are suitable for all occasions.
Alcohol is to bad choices what steroids are to a professional cyclist: arguably essential.
With enough alcohol in your system, your IQ improves, your communication skills are enhanced to the level of superhero and you have the uncanny ability to make better bad choices and plenty of them.
So, start drinking early and mix your drinks. spirits, beer, wine – why not all of them? You will impress everyone especially your bosses by suggesting shots the moment you arrive. Remember, and this is important when drinking excessive amounts of alcohol to be loud, very loud.
It’s also good to provide a constant update to everyone on how much you’ve had to drink. Once again this especially impresses bosses.
You should also call anyone not drinking ‘soft’, even Sarah from reception who is eight months pregnant.
The office event is a prime opportunity for the ‘hook up’. Two things that will assist you immensely when ‘hooking up’; are proximity and intoxication. In the history of time, less then 6% of office relationships have begun sober.
Hooking up with someone from your work is always a good idea. Doing it drunk and in front of the entire organisation is even better.
Good options here include: a Board member, several people from the Diversity Team, your boss’ boss, your boss’ spouse and most importantly, anyone who works at a desk next to yours.
All these options are great bad choices. Don’t do this subtly. Start throwing yourself at the person early on, no matter who is around.
When you do finally hook up, the dance floor is a good place. If you can get everyone else to leave the dance floor because you’ve made them uncomfortable, you get extra points.
Once you’ve got enough alcohol in your system to preserve a dead rhino, it’s time to have some long discussions with senior management. Here are some suggested topics:
- What they are doing wrong
- How you would run things
- Who they should get rid of
- What you think about them
- What you think about your boss
- What you think about your co-workers
- Get their opinion of the ‘hot’ new girl or guy in HR
The less you know about a topic, the more valid your views are. Don’t worry about facts and speak loudly. There’s nothing management enjoys more than a drunken critique of how badly they are running things.
And don’t worry if they don’t say anything, it’s your forum. They are happy to just listen
If you know a secret about someone, now is the best time to share, long and loud especially if you know they don’t want it shared. Clandestine office romances are something everyone should know about.
Tell people what you think of them
Especially people that you don’t like. Bonus points for being loud, sexist, racist or threatening. If your words don’t do the trick, pushing and shoving (especially if you are near a swimming pool) will ensure that your name is mentioned in the telling of tales.
Of course drunkenly telling people how much your love them while draping yourself all over them it a great way to start a new romance. It’s all part of the how to win friends strategy.
Speeches at work functions are usually boring. What everyone really wants is for someone to make frequent interruptions and provide a general running commentary. Interrupting the CEO’s speech is a great way to get noticed.
Always make the obvious joke and laugh at your jokes first and for the longest.
As people are individually thanked during the speech, yell out things like ‘who do you have to sleep with to get a thank you’.
Getting physical with the opposite sex; who doesn’t like a drunken kiss or grope is another AMAZINGLY bad choice, actually the worst you can make and when alcohol is involved this is number 1 with a bullet and can often result in you getting the bullet.
If your office party involves organised games there are rules you must stick to:
- Take it seriously, this is not fun and games. It’s war
- Act like you are at least 25 years younger than you are
- If you haven’t exercised in years, give it 150%. Show up that triathlete in the office (there’s always one), never mind about heat stroke or the potential for a heart attack. Remember, it’s war.
- Bend the rules. Everyone will see the funny side of you crash tackling the runner during the office softball game.
- Memorise this line and yell loudly as needed, “it’s not fair, they cheated” Nothing says. “Here I am” like a good old fashioned tantrum
Form a Clique
Form little cliques or groups at the party that deliberately exclude anyone else except the specific members of said clique or group. Extra points if someone approaches and attempts to initiate a conversation or exchange pleasantries and you make a point of stopping the conversation, eyeing them up and down and generally making them feel uncomfortable and unwanted.
If you have a grudge with any other employee or management (it doesn’t matter how long you have held on to it) the end of year function is the best time to vent your spleen and let people know what you think, actually don’t think just let it rip.
Your exit is key.
- Being escorted from the premises just shows that people care about you
- Being escorted from the premises after being sick will leave a lasting impression
- Losing an item of clothing is a good idea and attempting to take some alcohol with you is a even better. Grab several bottles of spirits from behind the bar.
- Being escorted from the premises by security staff just shows how important you really are
- Arguing and getting physical with security staff just shows how stupid you are
- Don’t worry if the Police arrive, you know your rights
Follow the above tips and you’re well on your way to being remembered at your workplace for a very long time, or perhaps a short time when in January people are asking, “Whatever happened to what’s his name”.
Workplace misconduct office parties – As an employer if you are confronted with complaints in the aftermath of bad choices we recommend that you investigate them in a fair, timely and professional manner. Not sure what to do? contact AWPTI for assistance – www.awpti.com.au
The author Phil O’Brien is a highly experienced and skilled workplace investigator and trainer who can take the stress out of conducting workplace investigations and provide you and your employees with up to date a relevant training in the areas of misconduct, Reasonable Management Action, performance management, bullying & harassment and other issues facing employers and workplaces.
AWPTI – workplace investigation Sydney and through-out NSW, QLD and Victoria. Workplace training national wide
Misconduct investigations, bullying investigations, harassment investigations & sexual harassment investigations, complaint investigations, grievance investigations, discrimination investigations