I'm lucky enough to work in an office of people I really like, but it has not always been that way. In previous jobs, I had my share of coworkers I preferred not to mingle with. In the spirit of those Christmases past, I bring you these patented Ask a Manager office holiday party tips. This year I am fortunate enough not to need them, but I know plenty of you do.
1. Try to drink things in small glasses, so that your beverage runs dry every few minutes and you have a constant excuse to leave an awkward conversation.
2. If you bring a date, you may not leave them to fend for themselves.
3. Many coworkers will violate rule #2. This can be fascinating. I vividly recall being devastated one year when I discovered that my office nemesis had a fantastically funny and smart wife. (He really was my office nemesis. He introduced me to his wife by saying ominously to her, "You've heard ALL ABOUT HER.") I spent the rest of the evening talking to her, and weeks wondering if her general awesomeness meant my judgment about him was mistaken.
4. Hang out by the bar or food. In addition to the obvious advantages of easy access to the free fare, everyone circulates by you with no effort on your part, and you have something to lean against.