Valentine day at the office. Some tips

'Valentines Day is a very special day of the year when people can express themselves and their feelings.'

That should set off the alarm bells.

The male and female approaches to Valentines Day are pretty different:


  • Remember that women speak a very different language on this subject. NASA's a bit busy at the moment, so the translation software isn't yet available. Don't say anything you might need to explain to a jury, or an EEO harassment case. Keep it clean, and play nice.
  • Sending a Valentine to your boss may be asking for more than trouble. You may never hear the end of it. Think first. If you're known to be good friends, OK, but the office gossip machine never sleeps, and you may not be the one taking the damage.
  • If you receive a Valentine, and suddenly find yourself under unwanted siege, 'duck and cover'. Don't overreact.
  • 'Pity' Valentines are likely to be a problem. Whatever you do, make sure it's forgivable. Find a nice lady who knows what to do with pumpkins and mice, and send her, instead.
  • Helen of Troy managed to start a war, and so can the local beauty queen. Be aware of any social ramifications, and if you're in a tall building, learn hand gliding.


  • Remember that men are emotional ignoramuses, and romance is a word only a few of us can spell, let alone understand. All you need to do is see a look of terror on the recipient's face to know your Valentine has done its work. Slink closer.
  • Sending a Valentine to your boss may backfire. Office gossip is bad enough, but 'girl talk' is far worse, and infectious. Unless you're sure your insurance covers this sort of thing, think about it.
  • If you receive an unwanted Valentine from the local Loch Ness Monster, and find yourself getting too much attention, produce either a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Or a large, intense, thoughtful-looking Rottweiler.
  • 'Pity' Valentines are tricky. If the guy hasn't committed any known massacres recently, that's a plus, but even ordinary guys have sore points. Might be better just being 'one of the nice ones in the office'.
  • The local Casanova doesn't need his ego fed, and there's not a lot of point in doing it, unless you actually want to do it. Bear in mind that the ones sending him Valentines aren't necessarily doing it for the mental exercise.

Things not to do on Valentines Day

Recent surveys have shown that some forms of greeting are considered a bit over the top:

  • Arriving at the person's place of work riding an elephant with a Happy Valentines Day on a tarpaulin, especially in shopping malls, monasteries, funeral parlors, or large offices.
  • Anything involving animal costumes, standup comedians and orchestras.
  • Wearing straitjackets, prison garb, feathers, or bright neon leotards while delivering the card.
  • Foaming at the mouth, in or out of office hours. (Unless you're getting paid for it.)
  • Digging tunnels to deliver cards to co-workers, except in those cases where you can start an underground car park on the side.
  • Locking yourself in with the card recipient, in a cold storage facility. Someone may notice.
  • Attaching a choir to your card, and not knowing where to put them afterwards, except in the accounts section.

Enjoy your Valentines Day.