Be this guy, and all will be good.

Dear Andy:

“My name is Manwell and I’m a mid-level exploitation engineer with a calgary-based junior E&P company. our president is pretty much forcing all staff to attend the holiday party this weekend but i honestly don’t want to go. i spend far too much time with these people from monday to friday. What should I do? ” –  manwell

Andy Killinger, 2P Staff Counselor

Dear Manwell:
Okay here’s the deal. First of all, your name is Manwell? Are you even allowed to use the term “man” nowadays? That could be your first problem, change your name to Personwell or Folkwell and see if that makes a difference with how you interact with your colleagues. Anyhow, so let me get this right, you’re an engineer, you have a holiday staff party coming up, and you don’t want to go because you don’t like the people you work with. Let’s be honest, Dudewell, they don’t like you either – that goes without saying, you’re an engineer. Let me level with you, I’ve been to many a staff holiday party in my time, and I’ve never had any issues because I’ve devised a few techniques that easily allow me to deal with the various characters and personality types who I work with. I’ve listed a few of the techniques below and I pretty much guarantee if you use them, you’ll not only enjoy your time at the party, but your presence there will likely have your social committee cancel all staff gatherings from that moment onwards, which is a huge win for all.

1)  Personal Boundaries, WHAT?  – Do people need their personal space? Yes. Should you respect that space? Absolutely not. After having a minimum of 7 drinks, I want you to talk to people while keeping your lips within 7.5 cm of their lips, and stare non-stop at their teeth. When people turn around and walk away, I want you to walk behind them in lockstep and stay close, I want you to be on them like Oprah on a baked ham. Do this enough, and before you know it you’ll have all of the personal space YOU could ever want.

2)  Control-Versial Topics  – Proper party etiquette would suggest that you should avoid controversial topics at staff holiday parties. I say nuts to that. I think it’s important to take control of every conversation, and here’s how you do that. If somebody asks you, “Hey, Manwell, did you try the dessert bar downstairs?” You reply with something like, “Desert, did you say desert? Such as what you have in the middle east? Why bring up the war? Are you a Hamas supporter or do you side with Mayor Gonyet? Did I hear you say that you want this conflict to go on forever? is that a menorah in your pocket? Why do you hate people so much?…” It’s likely that the person you’re talking to will walk away within a few seconds of you talking, but guess what? Keep on talking to keep others from approaching you.

3)  Spread Cheer & Colds – This one is short and simple. If possible, try and get a cold, flu, RSV, H1N1, SARS, or some other type of respiratory illness within 24-hours of attending the party. One way to do this is to spend some time in the dumpster around an urgent care facility and basically eat spent tissues. Four hours before the party, load up on some flu medicine and Visine so that you look half decent. Go around the party licking all high-touch surfaces, blowing your nose in napkins before folding them and putting them back on the stack, shake hands and kiss ladies as though you’re running for office. The best thing about this technique is that it’s likely you won’t see your jive-turkey coworkers well into the new year.

4)  Meet my partner, Al Cohol – This one might be a bit harder to implement as your boss might question your mental stability and have you sitting with the EAP people first thing Monday morning. Bring in a 60 ounce bottle of your favourite liquor. Slip a little dress and doll’s wig on it, Hombrewell, and make it look pretty. Give her the name Susan. Carry the bottle around with you all night and introduce it to partygoers as your significant other. Dance with Susan as you would a real girlfriend. Get a drink for Susan, when people aren’t looking, flip her wig back and take a swig. It’ll be good, trust me when I tell you people will leave you alone.

So there you go, Manwell, all the best at the party. If you are successful in even two of the four techniques laid out above, you are going to own the party – you can bank on that, man.


Andy Killinger, Staff Counsellor 2P News


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