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Party Games

Dec 1, 2001

by Marty Chan

MARTY CHAN finds the “ho, ho, ho” in office Christmas parties

Is your Christmas office party a dud? Do your employees slink away from the bash well before the time they’d normally punch out? When asked if they enjoyed the shindig, do people suddenly smell smoke and dash off? Does the phrase “not a creature was stirring” best describe your gala? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then your party needs a Christmas miracle.

Is your Christmas office party a dud? Do your employees slink away from the bash well before the time they’d normally punch out? When asked if they enjoyed the shindig, do people suddenly smell smoke and dash off? Does the phrase “not a creature was stirring” best describe your gala? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then your party needs a Christmas miracle.

Fear not; help is on the way. In the best Yuletide spirit, I took it upon myself to seek advice for you from the queen bee of social events herself, Martha Stewart. Last week, I phoned Martha for tips on hosting office parties. Though she never returned my calls, I did speak with the next best thing: her real estate agent, Yolanda. Here is the transcript of our interview.

Marty : Yolanda, what is the key to any good Christmas office party?

Yolanda : Three things. Location. Location. Location. Ha, ha, ha. Seriously, location is important. Put all the food and booze at the back of the office. This prevents your staff from doing the “dine and dash.” Plus, if they get drunk, you�ll have hours of entertainment watching them stumble to the front door.

Marty : What about food? What would Martha do?

Yolanda : Martha would make me show her 67 Victorian houses and then give me a stupid tart ring for all my work. The bottle-blonde bit.

Marty : Yolanda, I meant what would Martha do about food?

Yolanda : Say, you’ve got a sexy voice. What do you look like?

Marty : That leads me to another subject. I noticed that office parties are breeding grounds for affairs. How would you prevent this?

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Yolanda : You can’t stop human nature. I’d make sure there were plenty of throw cushions in the photocopy room, along with a bottle of Mouton Cadet, and a Barry White CD. (At this point Yolanda started to sing “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.”)

Marty : Yolanda! Please stop! On another topic, office parties sometimes lead to awkward situations. For example, an employee gets drunk and lips off the boss. Would you have any advice on how to avoid this? Yolanda. Yolanda?

Yolanda : It’s me, isn’t it? You don’t find me attractive.

Marty : I’ve never even met
you. Can you answer the question?

Yolanda : Since you’re into mind games, I’d suggest you make a game out of bashing the boss. For one hour, let your staff have their say. No holds barred. It shows that you aren’t just some soulless jerk who uses people and tosses them aside. Which is exactly what you are.

Marty : One final question before I go.

Yolanda : Typical man. When things get tough, you get going.

Marty : Would you allow spouses to attend the party? I have a wife, and she’d like to meet my staff. But I’m worried she’d feel like an outsider, especially when everyone starts telling inside jokes.

Yolanda : Took your own sweet time telling me that you’re married, didn’t you? Played my heart like a cheap fiddle at a hillbilly square dance. You heartless, callous, insensitive, son of a — (I figured it was best to hang up at this point of the interview.)

There you have it. My interview didn’t go exactly as planned, but it did remind me of any typical office party. If you want my advice about your Christmas bash, record everything and save yourself a lawsuit later. And that’s always a good thing.

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