Drink smart, eat smart

Don't consider an open bar an open invitation.  The life of the office party is the person who charms the CEO, not the one dancing on the table and singing into a martini glass. 

Stick to one tipple, alternate with water, and consider ordering a "virgin" vodka and tonic. That way, you can stay sharp. Similarly, keep your glass in your left hand so your right hand is free, warm, and most importantly not clammy when you shake.

Go for the cheese and fruit: Hit the buffet, but be strategic.  Choose things you can eat neatly, with one hand, and while standing up.  Avoid anything messy, and especially salty or greasy foods that only make you more thirsty. Foods high in protein and and carbohydrates are good choices; they'll help slow the absorption of alcohol into your blood stream.

How long to stay: Finally - while you really should attend any company event, you don't have to stay all night.  Arrive soon after the event starts, while everyone is fresh.  After a couple of hours, leave gracefully.  Put down your drink, say your goodbyes, and be sure to write down any commitments you've made to anyone, so you don't forget to follow through.

Then, be sure to thank the boss(es),  step outside, shake out your hair and feel free to go to a party. 

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