The Post — like plenty of other companies — is having its holiday party in a couple of weeks.
No, you aren’t invited. But since I am going, I thought it would be wise, given the current social climate, to make a list of the topics that are safe, or not, to discuss over a glass of nog.
I’m even going to laminate my list and wrap it around my wrist, quarterback-style. Feel free to copy this for your party.
- Donald Trump. Nope, you can’t bring up that name, whether you like him or not. You can say that Scrooge was your distant cousin, but don’t dare to mention the president’s name.
- “You are looking well.” This is safe and much better than “you are looking great, hot, tired, sad or drunk,” which might require an explanation that could make your conversation wander into forbidden territory. “You look slim,” is out. It implies the person wasn’t always thin.
- “It sure has been hot, cold, wet, dry” — or any other description of the weather. No good. Unless you have a degree in meteorology or have stood on TV in front of a weather map, you are not qualified to discuss a topic that is fraught with political undercurrents about global warming.
- “How’s things?” This is an icebreaker that’s safe unless you let it lead to a conversation about personal matters that you have no right knowing. Besides, you really don’t want to know how things are. So avoid this opening line.
- “Seen any good movies lately?” If you are lucky, the person you are talking with will mention a couple — “Bohemian Rhapsody” was particularly good, but I slept through “Creed 2” — and change the subject. Never ask: “Who’d you go with?” If the person with whom you are talking is looking for an issue to bring to human resources, he or she will allege that you are snooping into personal life.
- “Nice holiday party, isn’t it?” You are safe here because you said “holiday” party. But this could lead to problems if the other person says, “No, it isn’t a nice party.” Or “the appetizers are pretty cheap,” or “you’d think a company like this could afford better.” How’s that a problem? If the person you are talking with happens to get canned in the next six months, you are likely to be fingered as the person who pegged him or her as a complainer.
Of course, these topics are also off-limits: sex, new marijuana laws, Bill and Hillary, Hillary and Bill, your hip replacement (which violates HIPAA regulations), Judge Kavanaugh, Bill Cosby, the Catholic Church and whether the Knicks will ever win another championship.
So, what’s left? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to use the few remaining inoffensive icebreakers, keep my mouth so full of warm pulled-pork sliders that I can’t talk, head straight to the men’s room and hide in a stall.
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