Year-end parties: the do’s and don’ts

2012-11-10 00:00

THE year has almost come to an end and many companies are planning year-end parties to celebrate and reflect on the year.

While these social gatherings might be a good way for people to mingle and let their hair down, for others it might be a chance to overindulge in alcohol, which could be a recipe for disaster.

Said Adrian Botha, spokesperson for the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA): “While companies encourage their staff to enjoy themselves at the hard-earned year-end party, individuals need to take personal responsibility for their actions and be cautious not to overindulge.

“Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to a loss of inhibitions, resulting in inappropriate comments and actions as well as risky sexual behaviour, all of which can negatively affect your personal and professional reputation,”

Botha said the consequences of inappropriate behaviour could jeopardise one’s job and career growth.

He believes that understanding your personal limits ensures you enjoy yourself and can take time out to enjoy time with work colleagues in a more informal social setting without taking advantage of your employer’s generosity.

“You also have a clearer head and are better able to avoid the pressure of trying to keep up with colleagues in terms of alcohol consumption or feel pressured to have more than you normally would,” Botha said.

Here are some tips from ARA on how to survive your year-end office party:

• If you are going to be consuming alcohol, ensure that you have eaten; also try to eat between drinks — choose foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates.

• Drink plenty of water before, during and after drinking alcohol.

• Know your limit and stick to it.

• Try sipping a drink rather than downing rounds of shooters, and be aware of the affects of mixing drinks.

Caro Smit, director of South Africans Against Drunk Driving, said that to avoid driving drunk, designate a driver before the party.

“Don’t wait until the last minute. Make a plan before the party. This is the safest way,” Smit advised.

Alternatively, you can use a pick-up service.

Paul Theron, owner of Tequila Driver on Call, said clients need to book in advance to use his service. They should provide details of where they are going and what time they want to be picked up.

“We send two drivers and one of them jumps into the client’s car and drives him home. Our car follows them.”

To book this service, send an e-mail to

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