This being holiday party time and all, I think it's important you be up on the dos and don'ts of proper partying, particularly proper office partying.
Tip one: Don't hit on the boss' wife. Chat. But don't linger. Bosses get very nervous when they see males of any sort linger around their significant other. Say hello, then go on.
Tip two: Actually, don't hit on anyone's wife. It gets ugly and besides, it makes you look pathetic.
Tip three: Don't get drunk. You may want to. You may feel you have a right to. But you're going to do something stupid and everyone will comment about it for years to come. All the good you've ever done, all the promotions you've ever gotten, all the sizzling reports you've ever written will be wiped out by those brief hours you were a total ass.
Tip four: Don't even bother having a normal conversation. The music's way too loud. You can't hear them. They can't hear you. Just nod a lot and say "so true" -- it covers a lot of ground and seems an appropriate response to almost any comment. For example, someone says, "The weather's just awful," you say, "So true." Someone else steps up to you and says, "Jeez, most god awful party of my life," and you say, "So true." Even the obnoxious dude who comes up to you and blasts, "Wow, now I know they invited any old loser to this party -- you're here", and you say, "So true." You see, it works perfectly.
Tip five: Don't talk shop. It's boring at shop, it's even more boring at a party with fellow shopper bees. When the music does die down, do ask about kids, maybe even current events, but not work. Even your boss will think you're an annoying maggot if you get into some sales discussion. Better to shut up and sip your gin and tonic.
And tip six: Leave early. The longer you stay, trust me, the weirder things get. I remember one perfectly staid, usually even shy secretary at one party years ago doing a strip tease to Jingle Bells that involved a scarf, tequila and a Santa hat. Trust me, you don't want to know. And neither did she the next day at work.
In summary: Leave everyone's wife alone; leave the bartender alone; leave the lucid conversations at home; leave the shop conversations for shop and just leave, the earlier, the better.
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