It’s officially holiday party season, which means your annual office gathering is just around the corner. And with it: an open bar. Last year, you heeded the conventional wisdom, had a couple drinks, some non-memorable conversations with your coworkers’ spouses. Briefly ruminated on the inevitability of death. Ate some goddamn cheese cubes on toothpicks.
But last year, you were missing an important bit of knowledge—see, the holidays are a competition. And by pairing your natural ability with a little insider knowhow, we think you’ve got a good shot at winning. Everything. But to start, we’ll tackle the nuanced art of drinking at your office party.
Because let’s face it: you work hard, you like parties. This time of year is your time to get one-drink-less-than-dead drunk while singing a few lusty ballads with a choice group of like-minded coworkers.
Back in the ’80s, interspersed amongst various raised-seal accolades from Ivy League universities, stacks of (TPS?) reports and expensively framed photographs of family vacations to Gstaad and St. Barts (aka “the happier times”) were a series of curious adult toys and trinkets, more often than not mail-ordered from Sharper Image catalogs and the like.
Pictured here is the most ubiquitous of the bunch: Newton’s cradle (aka “Newton’s Balls”), named, of course, for Sir Isaac Newton’s conservation of momentum and energy law. By now, of course, the physics behind the executive ball clicker is no mystery. But in Gordon Gecko’s day, the contraption served as a vehicle to demonstrate intellectual superiority over potential clients or job applicants seated across the desk.
We learned a lot about quitting this month, and from the unlikeliest of duos: Kerry Wood, the beloved 11-year veteran relief pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, and Bobcat Goldthwait, the beloved live-action Muppet from the Police Academy septology and a smattering of 1980s Cusack indies.
Like Velcro and thermal-papered fax machines, Goldthwait served his purpose and then had no purpose. So he quit. “I have been a game-show host, a talking puppet, and a Happy Meal toy,” he writes. “Being the man’s dancing monkey is fucking horrible.” Now, 30 years later, he has written and directed perhaps the best farce since The Naked Gun.
Even at the height of the Great Depression, as the United States braced for unemployment rates to surpass 25%, the milkman’s job was secure. In 1931 there were 70,000 nationwide—a veritable army of affable, white-clad emissaries dispatched from local dairies and creameries, hand-delivering 75% of all milk products consumed in America.
Working with papers and screens all day doesn’t provide much tangible satisfaction, so you’ve got to take good tools where you can find them. This batch of desk gear is the perfect example. It’s old-fashioned, sure, but you can’t underestimate the satisfaction of grinding a pencil into a point. As for where you might find a pencil…
As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off the hobby.
You can’t be amazing at everything.
You tried, sure, but part of moving into the adult world means leaving behind some skills to focus on a single area of expertise—ideally, one related to gainful employment. All the other stuff becomes more personal and less intense, with lower stakes and smaller rewards. In short, a hobby.
A style can mean a lot of different things, so we like to embrace simplicity where we can find it. Which is why we’re big fans of the wedding ring.
Today saw a little healthy debate on the question of married men going ringless in the workplace, but we’re skeptical. In particular, we’d like to call up this bit of timeless wisdom: squirming is not a good look. And if your job is anything other than metalworker or drug snitch, you’re not getting out of this one.
We’re not such big fans of jewelry in general—and we certainly don’t suggest getting hitched just for the accessories—but if that’s where you find yourself, it’s one of the simplest statements you can make: “I’m married.” If that’s too much of a mouthful, we’re not sure what to tell you.
Somewhere along the way, the doodle got a bad rap. Sometime between high school and your first job, the higher-ups tagged it as the sign of a distracted mind, something you do instead of paying attention.
But now you’re old enough to know: a little distraction’s not so bad.
A newly released study just put the doodle in a new light, suggesting that it can tie up floating attention and get you to a higher level of attention than you’d otherwise get…which means those sketch-filled meeting notes aren’t quite the mark of shame you might think. A little extra chaos in an otherwise controlled environment can do wonderful things.
If nothing else, you’ll get a whole lot better at drawing cubes.
This morning’s Style section boasted a remarkably detailed summary of something that’s been going on behind the scenes for years now: the ongoing Japanese love affair with American preppy style. ACL gets a little much-deserved love, Daiki Suzuki gushes about Thom Browne’s Japanese style, and all is right with the world.