How Not to Behave at the Office Christmas Party

offThat holly jolly time of year again at the office. As usual, your colleagues and you are welcome to imbibe in a few refreshments together to welcome the holidays and the new year (although hopefully without ending up like the – lovely – lady on the left).Before Holly gets too jolly it is always wise to keep in mind some sage (pun) advice in order to keep your career intact. For an animated example of how to get fired at the party, click here.

I once had a friend who got so drunk at a large company party attended by about 200 or so employees that she could remember very little of the evening the next day. Now you know that cannot be a good sign. Her work friend, Haley, filled her in on a few deets the following day. She’d lifted up her skirt over her waist while dancing. Some of the male employees frantically searched for their cell phones to get that on film. So far it hasn’t gone viral – not that she knows about.

The coup de grace however was slow dancing with a male colleague with whom she had a pleasant, platonic comraderie and telling him apropos of nothing “I want to fuck you.” She then went to work on Monday and sulked, ignoring him as if he had done something wrong. Oopsie. Her bad.

Here’s another gem for you. 

party“My boss told me a story about a former intern who had to leave the company because of her Christmas party antics. She was the niece of a big boss who’d managed to get an internship through her family connections and was invited along to the Christmas party at the end of the year. They’d hired somewhere out for the Christmas party and things got very messy as soon as the booze started to flow. The intern was chucking back the shots and ended up vomiting all down herself during the party, but instead of taking her home for some reason they sat her on the pool table, where she carried on throwing up. She then proceeded to poo herself on the pool table. She didn’t go back to work after Christmas.”

I’ve always dreamed about shitting all over the boss – at least this woman had the chance to live my dream.

When 33-year-old Dana Humphrey arrived at her company’s Christmas party a few years ago, she knew it was going to be a bad night from the get-go. “I got stuck at this awkward three-person table with the receptionist — who was rather outspoken and annoying — and her husband,” says Humphrey, who downed three cocktails before the appetizers even appeared. Afterward, at a music venue down the street, Humphrey ended up dancing “totally drunk” onstage. Even worse, she insulted a superior — telling the company CFO that she didn’t like her brooch.While the CFO never confronted Humphrey about the incident, she was mortified. Her boss took to calling her “party girl” the next day.

Here is an odd, alternative perspective by a CEO on how to behave at an office Christmas party. A parody of The Office and their Christmas cheer. And a 32-second vid of the real Office Christmas party. However you decide to party with your work colleagues, do what works for you and perhaps worry about the consequences in the morning (if you can remember the fun you had the night before).  Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How the Trump Presidency will further Diminish Women in the Workforce

nintchdbpict000279864760Doesn’t it seem like every step forward is a half step backward for American career women? Consider these stats. In 2016, the percentage of women CEOs working in Fortune 500 companies dropped to an all-time low of 4%, that is within 500 corporations. Of the 29 new companies that joined the Fortune 500 this year, only one has a female CEO: Mary Laschinger of paper products and distribution company Veritiv.  Ursula Burns has announced that she will retire as CEO of Xerox XRX when the company splits later this year. As the first black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, Burns’ departure is a serious loss.

Surprisingly, women CEOs are paid more than their male counterparts. This is partly due to the fact that since they are so rare they demand significantly higher pay. The eight female chief executive officers at the 100 largest companies in the U.S. earned $22 million dollars last year, compared with $14.9 million for the male CEOs. Bliss.

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However one reason why women command more money is that corporations are obligated to pay a diversity premium – women still being considered as part of the diversity pool as late as the 21st century. Is that really a step forward? Of course this diversity premium only exists for upper ranking women. Most women in the private sector on average still make significantly less pay than men.Most women are in entry level or clerical jobs. And 96% of executives are still men.

What does this have to do with Trump. Well, considering he is the most powerful and presumably most influential businessman and politician in America at the moment, he is setting precedents all over the country. Consider his public attack on Megyn Kelly, Fox News moderator, wherein he claimed she had blood coming out of her eyes, out of her wherever. Let’s examine that crass statement a little more closely. Kelly is a prominent media figure and executive employee at Fox. Trumps attack had nothing to do with her argument. Instead he chose to attack her female reproductive organs, as if that carried any merit in his crude response. Had he been addressing Roger Ailes do you suppose he would have attacked his sperm count? Highly doubtful.

gettyimages-507340564_wide-14b2bdf99c518c37adb970f7517bf481584e5ca7-s900-c85Trumps refers to women as fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. He insisted a woman who was breastfeeding during one of his rallies to leave the arena, telling her she was disgusting. He stated that Cathy Fiorinas face would discourage people from voting for her (has Trump ever taken a close look at himself)? Perhaps the coup de grace for professional women happened on his reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice, when Trump quipped about a female contestant, “Must be a pretty picture, seeing you drop to your knees.  When the president of the United States has the sick audacity to  publicly stereotype women as sex objects in the work force,  imply we are ruled by our emotions since we have blood coming out of ôur wherever and make countless misogynistic comments throughout his campaign, this simply doesn’t bode well for women in corporate America.

Surely sanity will rule in professional organizations. Its leaders won’t turn to Trump as an example for how to (mis) treat its female employees, will they? Will Trumps harmless locker room talk (all in fun) prevail during corporate meetings while women shift uncomfortably in their seats? We’ve had to tolerate a lot of criticism and outright verbal abuse as we’ve struggled our way up the corporate ladder and in some organizations broken precious few glass ceilings. Will we have to act like good sports and ignore the verbal vomit that might be defended by male colleagues as locker room talk or merely reiterating (with an innocent shrug) the President after watching Fox news (pun)?

Worse, will the percentage of women hires and promotions in corporate America decrease along with women’s status and respect? Companies talk a good line about hiring without prejudice and ensuring that minorities and women are given equal opportunity. Has that been the case in your workplace? Many companies already entertain the beliefs that:

  • men are more qualified for the job (“A woman couldn’t manage our male personnel, they won’t acknowledge her authority!”);
  • They find men easier to work with (“She won’t fit into our corporate culture!”— i.e. “we’ll find it uncomfortable having our project management meetings at Hooters!”)
  • They believe women will be have issues related to pregnancy/childcare/feminine health that will prevent them from being good employees (“If we hire a woman, she’ll be out sick every month,-( bleeding from her wherever) –  and then quit in two years to have a baby!”)

You’re probably thinking that cant happen to you. Human Resources wont allow it. Too many lawsuits will result from that type of misogyny in the workforce. Consider that people said Trump wouldn’t win the election…. but he did.

How did this happen? the media has demanded about Trump’s presidential win.

How indeed.

 

 

Megyn Kelly: the Woman who Maintained her Dignity during the Onslaught by the President Elect

gop-debate-kellyOkay so Trump wasn’t president yet when he railed about Kelly’s questioning during his CNN interview. The fact that he was in the running for the presidency while doing so stuns me. How can an intelligent man be so incredibly stupid. Then again perhaps he’s not stupid so much as insane. Which further begs the question how can American be insane and stupid enough to have elected him President.

What I liked about Kelly during Trump’s idiotic defense of his frat-boy behaviour during their public interview was her reserved, dignified reaction to both Trump’s frat-boy behaviour and the audience around her. They cheered when Trump insisted he only insulted Rosie OèDonnell and not women in general. He sidestepped Kelly’s insistence that this wasn’t true by stating everyone is too politically correct. She quietly allowed for his statement that his comments about women were all in fun In other words she let Trump ramble and bury himself even further, resulting in the media emphasizing Trump’s disregard (perhaps downright misogynistic view) towards women.

Kelly didn’t argue. She had enough sense and insight to let Trump make a jackass out of himself as he so effortlessly achieves. What was disturbing however was the audience support for Trumps statements. Weren’t there any women in the audience? Did they cheer along with their male counterparts or simply stand silently by, too intimidated to react otherwise?.

There’s an example we can take away from Kelly’s interaction with Trump. Regardless of how people attack you, even in the workforce, maintain your dignity. That doesn’t mean tolerate it or allow oneself to be abused. I liked the stoicism Kelly revealed during the Trump debacle. I’ve witnessed people in public being insulted by passersby for God only knows what reason yet respond with dignity. Sting summed it up best: it takes a gentleman to suffer ignorance and smile.

It takes a gentlewoman, too.