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Oklahoma etiquette: Limit your fun at holiday office parties

Carey Sue Vega, owner of Expeditions in Etiquette, discusses manners at office celebrations.
Oklahoman Modified: November 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm •  Published: November 12, 2013

Q&A with Carey Sue Vega

Always attend an office party, but don't party too much

Q: With Thanksgiving just weeks away, many businesses will begin hosting holiday parties and other celebrations. What are your key etiquette tips?

A: Unless you have the flu or another legitimate excuse, you always should attend the office party, and be sure to RSVP. This is a good time for good old-fashioned “face time,” so steer clear of excessive use of your cellphone or tablet at the table or gathering. Parties provide a great opportunity to meet new people and visit with others you don't get to see very often. Refrain from holding court in the corner with your favorite co-worker or friend.

Q: What's appropriate dress?

A: You shouldn't dress too casually or wear jeans. Women should avoid low-cut blouses and short, tight skirts or dresses.

Q: Should there be a limit on fun?

A: In a way. Limit yourself to one or two drinks, and don't tell inappropriate jokes or bring up controversial topics. You never know who will be there, such as a current or potential client. And don't even think about flirting. Your job could be at stake.

Q: Any closing thoughts?

A: If it's a more intimate function, consider bringing a hostess gift, such as Christmas candy or cookies, or a book for the host's child. Finally, don't forget to write — not email — thank-you notes for gifts and to party hosts. This may seem archaic, but it's the unexpected gesture that makes a huge impact.


by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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