The Ten Com­mand­ments of Karaoke With Col­leagues

Etch th­ese in stone, put them next to the wa­ter cooler, and re­mind the in­terns. By Sam Gro­bart

Bloomberg Businessweek (Asia) - - ETC. -

① It’s hard to get to­tally sober peo­ple to start singing. Spring your karaoke idea on co­work­ers af­ter they’ve had a cou­ple of drinks at the reg­u­lar af­ter-work lo­cal. They’ll be hog­ging the mic within the hour.

② Karaoke may seem like it’s about the per­son whose song is up, but it’s re­ally just a big sin­ga­long. Get things started right by pick­ing a crowd pleaser like We Built This City by Star­ship, Free­dom! ’90 by Ge­orge Michael, Wa­ter­falls by TLC, or Ig­ni­tion (Remix) by R. Kelly.

③ If you’re the boss, you can come to karaoke, but you have to leave af­ter the first 30 min­utes or if it looks like some­one plans to stum­ble through I Touch My­self by the Divinyls— whichever comes first.

④ I Touch My­self is a bold move.

⑤ Given that of­fice karaoke is, ef­fec­tively, a team-build­ing ex­er­cise (see No. 2), check your es­o­teric per­sonal fa­vorites at the door. No one wants to hear that deep cut from the Smash­ing Pump­kins; ev­ery­one wants to hear We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off by Jer­maine Ste­wart.

⑥ Pick songs that speak to ev­ery gen­er­a­tion, be­cause

an of­fice crowd is usu­ally more di­verse by age than

your group of friends. Young folks, re­mem­ber, the se­nior gang may not share your af­fec­tion for Ciara; old-timers, go easy on the Gor­don Light­foot, OK?

⑦ Ner­vous about belt­ing one out in front of co-work­ers? Don’t worry—cer­tain artists are fail­proof. You can speak your way through any­thing by Lou Reed. The Smiths lead singer Mor­ris­sey slides from note to note so much, you never ac­tu­ally have to land any­where.

⑧ Be­fore you started your job, were you a trained chanteuse? Were you the star of ev­ery high school mu­si­cal? Keep your Equity card (and the cast al­bum of Cats) to your­self. Just like in the of­fice, it’s bet­ter to work well with oth­ers and not take your­self too se­ri­ously.

⑨ Keep that cor­po­rate card close by. Those pitch­ers of Sap­poro add up faster than you think.

⑩ Dis­cre­tion is the bet­ter part of valor on the day af­ter karaoke. No need to re­live the pre­vi­ous night when you get to the of­fice. Just meet eyes with your fel­low singers and ex­change a know­ing nod.

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