The truth is, an office party may not be compulsory, but it might as well be. Like the first word "office" implies, it's practically an extension of work. You may be able to convince yourself that no one would notice, but your superiors and teammates certainly would.
ILLUSTRATION: KENNETH LIM
'TIS the season once again for the great irony known as the annual office party; a time when everyone is encouraged to let their hair down and not talk shop, and yet there is no shortage of reminders everywhere - your boss's face, for example - that it is, after all, a work event.