The same characters turn up to the office Christmas party every year - here's how to get off with the one you fancy and lose the work bore. By Alice White
The Christmas office party is a warzone, to get to the end of the night and complete your mission in safety, you'll have to meet many characters on the way.
The Loud Mouth
Let's start with the most annoying. All year round you're bombarded with loud and obnoxious stories about different aspects of this person's life. When they had thumb surgery or something funny they said at to their mother-in-law. Don't let that cut into your party time. You can deal with this person again after the holidays - they are NOT the star of your show tonight.
The Quiet Type
Once you've escaped the noise pollution of the gobby demon, you'll probably find yourself briefly hiding behind a plant. You won't be alone. Get to know the quiet type who'll be hiding with you. Everyone knows the strong-but-silent types have the darkest secrets and are really good at doing shots. Find out what they're all about. This isn't a pity friendship, this a friendship which you'll need to work at. You may never fully bond with them, but you'll have made a powerful ally who may or may not be a member of the secret service.
No sucking up. This is the one time of year shouldn't feel like you have to. Don't try and score brownie points. This is to celebrate you working hard all year so you can turn down work mode slightly (slightly, this doesn't mean taking your top off and doing body shots by the way). And sometimes, bosses want to hang around without being a boss.
So you've been enjoying your own night so much and people have started to take notice and will be wanting to join in. When you're getting to know the folk you work with, you'll notice the little tag-along by your side. They might not be as outgoing as you so they need "looking after" in conversations, perhaps they're telling offensive jokes and cramping your style. Either way offload them on our next one...
The Boring One
Oh god, no. You're not a rude person. You're kind and take care of others. But there's something about this person that makes you feel like banging your head off your desk on a wall or pulling out your guts right in front of them. They suck the life out of everything and they don't know they're doing it. Don't let yourself get stuck for too long.
The One You Fancy
If you've managed your time correctly, by the end of the night you'll find yourself face to face with the guy you've been sucking your pen thinking about 9-5. It'll be towards the end of the night when all the networking and mingling has been done. Everyone's had a bit to drink and it's getting late. Mission accomplished. Nearly...
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