How to Tone Down Your St. Patrick’s Day Celebration for the Office

St. Patrick’s Day is here and it’s even on a Friday this year to add some extra fun to the holiday! The Irish in you may be dying to get out and get the party going, but you have a professional reputation to protect. You gotta play it cool and tone down your celebration, at least until that 5:00 whistle blows. Here’s a few tips on how you can still celebrate and keep it low key so you can still be proud to be Irish, but not at the expense of your co-workers opinion of you.

  1. Go easy on the green. Wearing of the green is a tradition, but don’t be the one to show up wearing green from head to toe. Keep it subtle. A green shirt, maybe a green tie, green earrings. You want what you wear to say it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but not scream it.
  2. Tone down the Irish music. If people can hear the music you are playing, it’s ok to mix in a few Irish ditties, or even a little U2 for the occasion, but don’t play it on a continuous loop. If someone hears “Danny Boy” for more than three times in a hour, they can legit file a grievance against you with HR. Don’t even think about “The Unicorn Song.”
  3. Don’t kiss anyone just because you’re Irish. Yeah, that’s just a little too aggressive in the workplace. If you have to show some kind of human contact to celebrate your heritage, try a fist bump.
  4. Face paint is usually a no-no in most offices. Sure, a nice Irish flag painted on your cheek says you are proud of your heritage, but it also says you are checked out for the day at work. That may not be the message you want to put out there.
  5. Keep your office decorations to a minimum. If you like to decorate your office or cubicle, good for you. Showing off some personality is never a bad thing. But like everything else, keep it toned down. A few shamrocks on the wall and some green beads is fun, but don’t make it look like the Party Store just exploded in your space. Take it down a notch.
  6. Have corned beef and cabbage for lunch, but go out for it. Don’t eat it at your desk or in the office. Corned beef and cabbage breaks the cardinal rule of smelly lunches in the workplace. In terms of aroma, it’s right up there with fish soup, so not something you need in the air vents. Enjoy the traditional fare at a local restaurant where it can best be enjoyed (and bring some Mentos with you for when you’re done).
  7. Lunch Guinness are especially great on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s true, and depending on your job, it might be cool to have one on this special occasion (assuming you’re not a brain surgeon or heavy machine operator). You should know your company culture enough to know what’s acceptable, but having a cold beer for lunch on St. Patrick’s day is always a treat. Just keep it to one beer though. Save the Irish Car Bombs for Happy Hour.
  8. The Green Beer Curse. If you happen to partake in a beer at lunchtime, don’t be tricked into getting a green beer. To make a green beer, your friendly bartender just adds in food coloring. That could turn your lips and/or teeth green, so give the grill a thorough check before you head back to the office, or better yet, opt for the non-green kind.
  9. Irish Whiskey might be a little much during the day. Just a suggestion, but if you want to keep things cool, stay away from the hard stuff while you are at work. That’s just a general rule, not just for St. Patrick’s Day.
  10. Play your schedule smart. Book yourself for an “out of office” meeting at the end of the day, maybe with a fellow reveler. That allows you to leave the office early and get a start on your real St. Patrick’s celebration. Say you have to meet a client in regards to the O’Brien file. Do what you can to get out early, but cover your tracks to avoid suspicion.

If you’re someone that really likes to celebrate your Irishness on St. Patrick’s Day, your special day is finally here. Just remember that if you have to work that day, you may need to use a little decorum around your office until that five o’clock whistle blows. There’ll be plenty of time for rabble-rousing after the working day is done, and that thought should keep your Irish eyes smiling until it comes. Sláinte!

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