11) Never Volunteer To Make The Tea - So you're the newbie at work. Everyone is a stranger and the workplace is a labyrinth. You smile a lot, introduce yourself 20 times a day and desperately try to remember everyone else in turn. You want to fit in, be liked, be welcomed. Innocently you offer to make tea as a friendly gesture and suddenly find yourself forever saddled with the task. "Oh your tea is the best!", "I'm parched!","Oooo biscuits! D'you know what would go well with biscuits... mmmm tea!". No matter your rank or title, you are now the Tea Girl, a status even less glamorous than Office Junior. My advice, either make sure the first cups of tea you make are like gnats water or strong enough to bend the spoon *¹ or don't offer at all. Sure they'll bitch about you behind your back, but they'll do that anyway and you'll gain several hours back in the working week by passing the chore onto some other hapless idiot.
*¹ This is a very risky ploy. Women generally like weak tea, men prefer strong. If you take this option make sure you don't give the wrong mug to the wrong person, otherwise you're right back at the beginning again, this time without an out option. I would recommend feigning ketelophobia - an adverse fear of kettles.
12) Work Christmas Parties Are The Seventh Circle Of Hell -Yay, Christmas! Personally I love it, I start shopping in June and get all caught up in finding the perfect bits and pieces to create a highly personal gift. I'm a giver, it's my curse. But this is specifically about Work Christmas Parties or indeed any social Work function. The key word here surprisingly is Work. Yes it's a party, you have your best pants on, you've waxed/shaved and doused yourself in Eau de Parfum/Cologne. The bar is free, the DJ doesn't suck and there are still hours left before the last train. Ordinarily this would be the signal to get completely wasted, stick your tongue down a random strangers throat and party until you puke. However this is a work do and that random stranger is actually Clive from Accounts. We've all done it, after a few drinks you're chilled enough to let your inhibitions fly and because you are amongst friends you feel safe. But these are not your friends, these are the people you will have to face tomorrow, and next week and next month. These are the people who will remember that you flashed the MD and threw up in your handbag and will remind you of it as you're trying to carry out their annual appraisal. For every pissed person there will be 20 who are as sober as judges and each one with carry a phone capable of filming in high res. Thankfully my epic Christmas party fail occurred back when the most exciting thing you could do with a phone was text so whilst the memory of being carried out comatose from the ladies toilets covered in what I hope was my own vomit and clutching a miniature potted shrub before being deposited to my own bed all before 7.30pm weighs heavily on my mind, I am calm in the knowledge that there is no photographic evidence and all witnesses have been silenced. I now make damn sure that I either avoid alcohol altogether or stop at 3 *² to avoid the inevitable drunken leering I descend into after 4. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting hammered from time to time, but the Office party is not the place to do it.
*² The 3 drink rule at Work functions does not include rounds of shots which should be avoided like the plague at all times. A shot is so called because you slam it down in one and it doesn't touch the sides, mainly because it tastes foul. If it tastes nasty on the way down, it will taste 10 times worse on the inevitable way back up. You have been warned.
13) Rock The Pot (Belly) -To quote Ke$ha, we are who we are. If you're short, give up the dreams of being a model, if you're tall, accept that life will require constantly dipping to avoid door frames. If you are naturally slim, know now that people will either a) become green at the sight of you wolfing down a Big Mac or b) constantly nag you to eat more and gain a few pounds. Carry more than a few extra pounds? Embrace your curves and don't allow yourself to become a slave to diets, lettuce is not a balanced meal and starvation will actually cause your body to go into stealth mode and the weight will remain. Essentially it's a cliche but one I've finally accepted. Sure there are some people who can successfully overhaul their bodies but this requires truckloads of cash and no other priorities on their time. Accept your limitations and find a way to love them. And please, for the love of cake, don't keep talking about your supposed faults. It's annoying and always appears to be an act of attention seeking.
14) Wearing A Onesie Will Result In You Dying Alone - Okay, so possibly this is an overreaction. Studies are still inconclusive on this but I am making headway. I just fail to understand why anyone over the age of 18 months would voluntarily wear a babygro. It's a velour all-in-one you cry, it's warm and snuggly and cute! So is a puppy dears, but I would be remiss to tell you to go out immediately and buy one. Like bodysuits in the early nineties, this is a garment that will add at least 5 minutes to your undressing schedule, something particularly annoying when nature calls. Waking up at 3am needing a wee and shuffling to the bathroom only to have to completely undress seems like madness. And don't get me started on the onesies with the flaps... If you aren't willing to wear it in public, don't wear it at all.
15) Drunk Dialling Is As Harmful As Crystal Meth - Mobile phones are one of the greatest inventions known to man. Before them, we would trudge off in search of a working phone box that didn't reek of urine and then fumble about for ages for a 10p coin. If you had a practical parent, you were sent out with a phonecard in your purse "So we know you're safe" and if that failed the nice lady on the other end would see if the receiver would accept a reverse charge call. Halcyon days indeed. Now we can call, text, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Instagram, Skype, Tweet and Like from anywhere at any time. Nowt wrong with that. Sure it sucks when you send a text and wait 2 hours for a reply, checking the silent gadget every 5 minutes, repeatedly holding it near a window to check you still have a signal. It's not the phone, they are indeed ignoring you. Being ignored can smart, you've gone to all the trouble to type something and they can't even send you a smiley back. Bastards. This pain is nothing, nothing, to the humiliation brought on by the realisation you have been drunkenly left alone with your phone. It's bad enough when you call but the only evidence of this will be reduced minutes and an easily deletable Call Log. It's the messaging that provides the fatal blow, every badly spelt message, every sniveling attention seeking missive sent out by your own hand, all there for your hungover brain to read and reread the next morning. And you can't not read them, it's Car Crash Communication. Usually reserved for exes or potential lovers which lends an overtly sexual tone to everything you sent for added cringe factor. If it's an ex, you will have grovelled, begged, abused and probably threatened over a series of increasingly indecipherable texts as you get a) drunker and b) more irate. If the object of your affections is current or hopefully future you will most likely have sent at least one out of focus picture of your lady parts along with boasts of your flexibility/gag reflex. Neither will let you forget it and once sober you will never be able to look at the damn handset in the same way again, your co conspirator in shame. So either make sure you always have a second phone somewhere in the house to use in such a situation or put your mobile somewhere you won't be able to reach/find once inebriation hits. If you're out, give your phone to a trusted friend or the coat check girl but don't under any circumstances leave it where you can get to it at 3.27am. Word.