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A Christmas survival guide, Part One, The Office Party…

It’s beginning to look a lot like christmas boys and girls, and you know what that means? It means that we’re all entering the potentially awkward and humiliating (not to mention frustrating and rage inducing) time known as the festive season.  Now my children, gather round, don’t be scared, I have you covered. This is the first part of my christmas survival guide trilogy and today we are going to look at:

“How To Survive Your Office Party, Lawsuit Free And With Your Dignity Intact”

This year Publicist, Kristy Fraser-Kirk, sued David Jones for $37 million accusing the department store’s chief executive, Mark McInnes, of unwanted sexual advances at a work Christmas event. This event has caused many workplaces to consider cancelling their christmas parties this year so as not to risk a similar legal problem.

Indeed office parties worldwide have often been a source of scandal and problems of a litigious nature, let’s take Linda Hunt, an Ontario woman who got drunk at an office party and crashed her car. She successfully sued her employer for allowing her to drive — even though her company offered a cab ride or accommodation if she gave up her keys.

Now these two events may be on the extreme end of things, but we all know that work parties are always fraught with peril. Here are some steps towards making it a safer (and duller) experience:

Step One: Don’t Be “That Guy”

“One of the guys from accounting in a large corporation was very, very drunk at the Christmas party. He decided to relieve himself on the burning logs in the fireplace. Bad choice. Within a short time following that party, there was one less guy in accounting.” – Excerpt from an Office Party Bloopers website

There is always one, one of your co workers will always drink too much, too quickly and make a complete moron of themselves, this might seem like obvious advise but I think: “try to avoid being that guy” needs to be said. Now I’m not saying don’t drink, (because god knows you’re not going to get through this hideously dull evening sober) I’m just saying that you need to know your limits. If you find yourself ranting at your boss about how much you hate your job, it might be time to put down that drink. Remember that you have got to work with these people and even though the christmas party might seem like an amnesty from mockery, it isn’t, if you make a fool of yourself you can expect to be the butt of the joke to your coworkers until at least the end of january. similarly if you aren’t “That guy” but someone else is, don’t encourage them. It may seem extremely amusing at the time to cheer them on while they put that lampshade on their heads but eventually that person is going to sober up. They are probably going to be embarrassed by their behaviour and if they have any memory of your encouraging them towards the dark side, they are probably going to take it out on you.

 

Step Two: Keep It In Your Pants

Research shows that one in four people hook up with someone at the office Christmas party, which is great if your company doesn’t frown on such things, you’re both single – and the person in question isn’t your boss!-  Netdoctor.com.au

Maybe you’ve always fancied them but never had the courage to do anything about it until the alcohol steeled your nerves. Maybe you never actually liked them but hey, you’re drunk and they look nice, either way it’s a seriously bad idea. The television show “The Office” suggests that office romances could lead you to a fairytale wedding, more likely that drunken fumble in the supply closet is going to lead to a very awkward work environment and a potential sexual harassment suit. Always remember what may seem extremely romantic through your champagne eyes may look extremely different in the light of day.  Keep in mind too if you do go for a drunken fumble that the eyes of your coworkers will be on you, keep your bedroom antics in the bedroom, actually that’s just good advice for all occasions, nobody wants to see you practically humping your partner on the train, eeeeew.

Step Three: Avoid The Boss

Ok visual gags aside, this is a very important piece of advice. Stay the hell away from your boss while you are drinking! You may have a good relationship with your boss or you may not, it doesn’t matter every single person has some spleen venting to do about their workplace and I think you’ll find that the office party is the wrong place to do it. Here is a very basic rule to follow should you find yourself stuck talking to your boss: before you speak, think to yourself “Would I say this if I weren’t drunk” now really think about it, give it more than 10 seconds thought, if the answer is no then STFU.

 

 

Step Four: Avoid Being Sucked Into The Office Politics

 

Sarah in accounting is totally mad at Fred from the sales department because he borrowed her DVD and when he returned it, it was scratched. Jane and Nicole haven’t spoken in two weeks because Jane said Nicole’s shirt was “so eighties.”  Michelle and Greg both think the other is trying to make them look bad in front of the boss (they both are.) Did you find these stories interesting? Of course not, they are completely fucking dull and yet this is the banality that we let slip into our work lives on a daily basis, some people even actively seek it out. I understand that it can be hard to stay uninvolved in these fascinating situations but it’s important that you don’t allow them to take over the office party. If you are involved when one of these situations takes a booze fuelled turn for the worse you can expect to be comforting messy drunk crying women  and aggressive dudes for the majority of the evening, beware.

Step Five: Dress For Success (Not For A Brothel, Unless You Work In A Brothel In Which Case I Guess It Would Be Appropriate)

 

This is another very simple step which some people seem to have trouble with.  As amusing as it may seem a mistletoe belt is never appropriate attire (it’s just tacky). Neither is your “Fuck you very much” T-shirt. Basically think about what you’re wearing, this party may be outside of work hours but don’t be under any illusions, rules still do apply. If you’re a woman you won’t be doing yourself any favours if you wear an outfit that would make Lady GaGa blush. Women have enough trouble gaining respect in the workplace without having to deal with the judgement of others, save it for the clubs ladies, save it for when it will be properly appreciated.

 

So now that we’ve reviewed the basic rules to get you safely through your party you may be wondering, “Is it worth it?” could any social event be worth this much stress? Well according to 90% of the work etiquette websites that I read through in my research, the worst thing you can do for a work party is not to attend. Not attending will make you look snobby and will make you appear to not be a team player. So there you have it, it’s going to suck, and you have no choice but to attend. Good luck little munchkins, let me know how it goes!

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Are You A Rageaholic?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think that as technology advances, and things become more and more convenient for us, our patience has become shorter. As patience decreases, frustration increases, and this can lead to anger.

Just what is an acceptable level of anger? What is it ok to get a bit angry about? Here is a list of things that have made me angry today:

1. I missed the train in the morning by like 30 seconds because the traffic lights across the road from the station take forever to change.

2. Whilst on the extremely overcrowded train, a man pushed by me unexpectedly, forcing me to step backwards. I heard a “yelping” sound behind me and realized I had stepped on a woman’s foot. I removed to my head phones and said “Oh, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to do that, I guess the train is just a bit crowded”  The woman glared at me and made a “Humph!” sort of noise. I hated her immediately, and I wished she would develop a gangrenous foot. How dare she not accept my heart-felt apology for something I had done accidentally!

3. A woman made a big show of fake coughing and waving as I lit up a cigarette, even though I was smoking outdoors, in fucking public space.

Keep in mind that it is only nine in the morning now, that’s a lot of anger for one morning.

Was I justified in my anger? If you look at the flip side, that woman on the train was pissed off because some bitch stepped on her foot, and another lady had smoke blown in her face. Were they justified in their anger?

If you google rageaholics you will quickly come across the Rageaholics Anonymous website, on this website there is an “Anger Self Assessment Test.”

I took the test (you should try it) and according to the test, I’m a rageaholic, as Homer Simpson once said “I am addicted to rageahol.”

Now I was a little taken aback to discover my new-found rageaholic status, but before I ran off to find my nearest Rageaholics Anonymous meeting and share my thoughts and bile, I had a close look at the questions in the test.

Who the hell could pass this test? I believe if the Dalai Lama took this test he’d have a hard time passing it. Questions like:

“I hate lines, and I especially hate waiting in line.”

Who the hell likes waiting in line? Who is going to say “I love lines, I sometimes line up in them just for the experience rather than to get to the front.”

What about this gem: “When someone says or does something that upsets me, I don’t usually say anything at the time, but later I spend a lot of time thinking of cutting replies I could and should have made.”

Come on! Everybody does that, and if they say they don’t, they’re lying. Constructing the perfect imaginary quip is a healthy thing to do, it helps you to vent some of that frustration you had at being to cowardly to say anything to the person in the first place.

My question is this? If this test had been taken twenty or thirty years ago, would I have been classified a “Rageaholic,” have the conveniences of modern life really made us lose all of our patience? What if I lived in the country instead of the city? Would I still need that sweet sweet rageahol to survive?

Or is it that we are all angry, anger and rage of course are part of the human condition. Anger is an involuntary feeling, that happens to us when we feel trespassed against in some way, and unless you live on a desert island, you will come across it fairly regularly. the trick to anger is how you respond to it, it’s certainly not healthy if you respond to a rude comment by a stranger by glassing them in the face with a bottle, but I think a sarcastic snort would be appropriate.

Rageaholics of the world unite, I will continue to think of witty quips that I should have said after the fact. I will continue to hate waiting in line and secretly wish that the people ahead of me would collapse so I wouldn’t have to wait so long. I will continue to snarl and snark and patronize and be sarcastic and cause others to fall into awkward silences at dinner parties. For if rageahol truly does make me who I am, then I will wear my rageaholic badge with pride, long live anger and its destructive benefits to us all!

 





10 Of The Worst Costume Ideas Ever

Costume parties can be great fun, a creative way to breathe new life into a party with the same old people. However, no matter what theme you pick, there will always be someone who doesn’t quite get it, who ends up with a costume that seems a little… Off.
Browsing around the interweb I compiled this list of the ten worst costumes I could find.
Consider this a “What Not To Do” list.

The Half Assed Costume

If you’re going to wear a costume, go all out or don’t go at all. There is nothing lamer than someone whacking on a bit of their wife’s make-up and calling it a Joker costume. You’ll have more fun if you put in the effort, or if you really are that lazy, just don’t bother wearing a costume, you’ll get more respect in your ordinary clothes than you would in your lame attempt costume.

The Bad Taste Costume

Now, I’m a fan of the bad taste costumes, for the most part they can be a vaguely offensive way to have a few laughs, however, the above costume, is supposed to be a  Virginia Tech shooting victim, it is being worn by a Penn State student, a nearby college,  and I think we can all agree this dude has gone too far. For those of you who don’t remember the Virginia Tech massacre was a school shooting that took place on Monday, April 16, 2007 on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. This guy and a few of his friends decided it would be funny to dress up like shooting victims, they had thought they were attending a party with a few friends and that the costume wouldn’t be shared with many people, of course, these morons forgot about facebook. Once the photos showed up online they spread like wild-fire, resulting in hate groups being formed on facebook and death threats against the students. Sometimes the mildly funny shock humour gained from a controversial costume is not worth the risk, in these days of social networking, don’t ever forget, nothing stays private for long.

When Pets Get Dragged Into Things

When you dress like an idiot, that’s your choice, when you dress your dog up like an idiot, that’s just cruel. This poor dog has no choice in this situation, did he want to wear a Yoda costume? Maybe,  But there’s no way of telling. Keep your costumes for those who can consent to wearing them. Try to keep this in mind, actually Do or do notthere is no try…

When Babies Get Dragged Into Things

Pretty much the same rules as above, if they can’t consent, don’t shove them in a costume that is going to mortify them for years, having said that, this costume is freaking awesome.

Know Your Own Physical Limitations, Lycra May Not Be Your Friend.

 If you are aware that you’re a fatty, and you just want to wear a costume like this for a laugh, go ahead pal, but be ready for the merciless mocking that comes with it. If you are over 100 kgs, and you think you can pull off a look like this, you are wrong, and anyone who tells you otherwise is not your friend.

 The WTF Costume

 You know what? I have nothing bad to say about this costume. Best costume ever, I advise you to wear it.

The “Clever” Costume

Nothing is more annoying than some smart-ass in a “clever” costume, the above costume is supposed to be static cling by the way. Clever huh? Just makes you want to punch a nerd.

 

The Gross Out Costume

A costume like this is not going to win you any friends, and may come back to haunt you when you’re applying for your dream job in the future, plus, it’s seriously gross. If you come up with a costume idea like this, you may need to consider seeking psychiatric help.

 

The Slutty Costume

Unfortunately, lots of girls use costume parties as a way to dress like a hooker without being judged. Fine, if that’s what you need to do to be happy, do it, however if you and your friends need to take things to this kind of extreme sluttiness, you may have some self-esteem issues to deal with, hooker clothes won’t bring you love sweetheart, and they definitely won’t bring you respect.

 

 

The Sexual Innuendo Costume

 

Nothing screams desperate more than a costume like this. This guy clearly hasn’t been laid in a while, (if ever) and  with a costume like this, let’s face it, he may never get laid again.

 

 

So good luck out there party goers, wear your awesome costume with pride, let your freak flag fly, just try to keep things dignified, if only for your mother’s sake.

How To Schmooze Pretentious Intellectuals Like A Pro.

schmooze or schmoose also shmooze (shmz) Slang
v. schmoozed or schmoosed also shmoozed, schmooz·ing or schmoos·ing also shmooz·ing, schmooz·es or schmoos·es also shmooz·es
v.intr.
To converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.

There are some situations in life where you might find yourself stuck with an intellectual, I’m sorry. I’m going to help you get through this. The following is a guide to schmoozing three different types of intellectuals so that they can later be used  for your own benefit (possibly in some sort of evil scheme)

Please note that I use the word “intellectual” loosely in this context, and that most of the following sub groups consider themselves intellectual rather than others thinking of them that way. Let’s begin:

Elitist Hipster Douchebags

 

The Elitist Hipster Douchebag is unfortunately not a rare animal, it is likely that you will come across one from time to time, they are recognizable from their “ironic” fashion statements, their carefully styled hair and their “I don’t give a fuck attitude.”

Do’s:

– Be apathetic. Enthusiasm is not your friend when dealing with a hipster, any point made with enthusiasm and passion is likely to be ignored or subtly mocked.

– Make up things. The hipsters will likely try to throw you off with their elitism, they get a sexual thrill from being into things that are not mainstream. If they mention a band and you haven’t heard of them, that validates them as “different and cool.” What you’ll need to do to gain the respect of these idiots, is to make up a band, just take any two random words and throw them together (the more random the better) for example: “I’m really into the Bike Feather’s at the moment.” The Hipster will not wish to appear out of the loop and will likely just nod and say something like “I think I’ve heard of them.” Make sure you mention that the band is very underground, and that they nobody has heard of them. As soon as the Hipster has a chance he/she will google your made up band, when he/she is unable to find anything on the band, you will earn their grudging respect. 

– Remember everything you do wrong can be passed off as “ironic.” If you sense that you have made a faux pas, simply laugh and claim that what you were doing was merely a joke, act as if any one who doesn’t find this amusing is an idiot. Think of the old “Emperor has no clothes” fable and you’ll see what I’m getting at.

Don’ts:

– Don’t be too specific. Hipster’s may like to pretend they are heavily involved with things like politics, but when it comes down to it they are lacking in much specific knowledge in the area. Bringing up specific political issues may make them look foolish and put them into an attack stance.

– Don’t introduce any new restaurants, films, countries, cities etc that have not already been mentioned by the hipster. Mentioning things that have not already been touched upon by your hipster pal puts you at risk of mocking. Hipster’s like nothing more than classifying things as “So over, very last year.” It’s safe to mention any of the items above that have already been brought up by others. As these have been accepted as cool.

– Get involved in a conversation about diet habits. You’ll soon be buried underneath so much, gluten-free, lactose intolerant bullshit that you’ll have no choice but to mock them, losing any footing you may have gained.

 Straight Up Geeks

These creatures may seem simple and non threatening, but if you want to infiltrate the system and schmooze like a pro, you may find them to be more complicated than first imagined.

Do:

-Work on your geek humour, a suitable joke to break the ice may be something like “A neutrino walks into a bar.  The neutrino asks ‘how much is a beer?’ The bartender says ‘for you, no charge!'”

– Insinuate that you think that an interest in computers and star trek is very sexy as you prefer brains over brawn.

– Take an interest in their geek hobbies. One question should be enough o get the ball rolling, soon you’ll be bored out of your mind and nodding and smiling along to a conversation about the Stargate series.

Don’t:

-Make fun of them. Even though you may just be joking and not intending to hurt anyone’s feelings, many geeks are super sensitive due to repeated bullying throughout their teenage years.

– Mix up which star show is which, mixing up Star Trek, Star Wars or Stargate may seem like nothing to you, but you’ll be lost forever in the eyes of the geek, do your research.

– Ask the when they’re moving out of their mother house. They’ll leave when they’re ready. Like when they turn 50.

Old School Academic Windbags

The Old School Academic Windbags can be one of the more tedious types of intellectual, well versed in dull topics and well prepared to share their thoughts on them in a long-winded manner. They aren’t necessarily old, they may just act that way. Private schools have been churning out these gems of human beings for decades. 

Do’s:

– Keep it simple, if you don’t know the exact meaning of a word, don’t use it. Nothing will give you away faster than using a word incorrectly or saying something that makes no sense in the context of a conversation. Attempting to give a compliment to someone by saying “My, what a redundant point you make” will not win you ny friends.

– Nod and parrot, Nodding and giving other non verbal cues whilst others are speaking will help the other person to feel engaged in the conversation. There is nothing worse than trying to talk to someone who is staring blankly at you, or worse distracted and glancing around the room or fidgeting. Parroting is a good way to contribute something to the conversation without having to know what you’re talking about for example “Wow, quantum state and quantum observable really are radically different from those used in previous models of physical reality. Do go on”  This should be all the encouragement the intellectual windbag needs to bend your ear on a topic that is neither interesting, nor comprehensible.

– Flatter the ego, chances are Professor Self Involved’s favourite topic is himself. If you feed the massive ego of these old school intellectuals you’ll find they may well grow to enjoy your company, and of course if they respect your opinion of them, how could they choose not to respect your opinion on other things?

Don’ts:

– Never give a direct answer on a topic you know nothing about. If you find yourself out of your intellectual depth in a conversation, start throwing up smoke screens, give non-committal answers and attempt to direct the conversation to a safer area.

– Question the other person’s knowledge on a topic, even if you are pretty sure they are wrong. The other person will shift into defensive mode and protect themselves with all the ammo they’ve got.  “All too often, academic departments defend their territory with the passion of cornered animals, though with far less justification. ” (Bruce Jackson)

So that’s it, good luck out there folks.

Gather Round Children, It’s Time For A Lesson In Facebook Etiquette

In days gone by there were strict rules on how to conduct yourself in day-to-day life. There were rules on telephone etiquette, dinner etiquette, just about anything you could think of had strict social do’s and don’ts. These days we are left to our own devices and the results of this self-governing  are not always good.  Indulge me now, as I have come up with a simple social etiquette guide for Facebook.

Just because you’re in love, doesn’t mean we want to hear about it.

So you’ve met Mr/Miss right? Well congratulations my friend, we are all really happy for you. When you change that relationship status you can expect many well wishers to comment and express how happy they are for you. That’s lovely. If, however, you decide to bombard your friends with syrupy status updates about how much you “wuv” your little “Bubby” you should not be surprised when these well wishers start to disappear along with half of your friends list. Keep your pet names to yourself, and more importantly keep your physical relationship in the bedroom, there is nothing more off-putting than reading about other people’s sex lives on their status updates.

IF U R OVA THA AGE OF 12, DONT TYPE LYKE DIS.

If you choose to write like an illiterate moron you will be treated as such. enough said.

Just because you’re not in love anymore doesn’t mean we want to hear about it.

So Mr/Miss Right turned out wrong, oh well, that sucks. It’s always a little embarrassing changing that relationship status knowing that plastered all over everyone’s news feed is “insert name is now single” well, unfortunately it happens, and the best thing you can do is suck it up, move on and handle the situation gracefully.  The worst thing you can do is trash your Ex in your status updates, no one needs to know that he’s “scum” or that he tried to sleep with your sister. That stuff is private, don’t put it into the public domain. Another common mistake people make is the over changing of the relationship status. If you’re in a relationship and you want to put that as your status, good for you. If you break up and you then want to change that status, ok, do it. What you shouldn’t do is change it hourly while you are in the midst of a fight with your partner, that just makes you look immature and irritates your friends.

Keep your squabbles to yourself.

Your best friend borrowed your favourite shirt and lost it? What a bitch, I’m with you, give that girl a slap. Your bro owes you money and he’s just bought himself a new watch? Show that jerk whose boss! What you shouldn’t do, if you value your dignity is write about it on Facebook. Those horrible status updates where you are writing about someone without mentioning names are the worst. They make you look petty and all they serve to do is get the gossiping girls talking. If you’re pissed off at a friend, call them, talk to them in person and express your annoyance, at the very least, send them an email. Don’t involve everyone else.

Keep it appropriate

If you’ve got your boss on your friends list maybe photos of you chugging beers aren’t the best idea. If your elderly relatives might be offended by some of your antics, either keep them to yourself or make them private from particular people.

Get over high school

There is nothing sadder than someone adding people on Facebook only to start harassing them about high school. Getting bullied in high school sucks, but you know what? That was a long time ago. Move on, chances are everyone else has and you’ll just make yourself look pathetic if you’re still holding on to old grudges.

Keep your clothes on

Does the world really need to see you slutting it up in your underwear? Probably not. Are you actually attractive enough to be exposing yourself in such a way? Honestly? Probably not. Keep your boudoir pics in the boudoir.

Stop poking me.

I’m over the poke people. I never really understood what it’s function was. If you poked me in real life I would find it annoying, if you cyber poke me I respond in the same way.

Be kind when you’re tagging photos

We’ve all done it, tagged people in photos that we would never like ourselves to be tagged in. Horrible drunken half closed eyes photos. Follow the golden rule here and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Be kind with your tagging, or others may not be kind to you.

Don’t be a sad sack, it’s dull.

I know your leg hurts, I know you’re not feeling well. I get that you’re sad and life generally sucks. If that’s all you write about however, if you start everyday by writing a complaining status update, you’re in danger of becoming extremely boring. Talk to a friend, talk to a doctor, call your mum, stop whinging on Facebook.

Follow these simple rules and keep your facebooking a fun and entertaining experience. Be good to each other my friends.

The lesson is finished. Please remain seated until the bell rings.