Some of my work Christmas parties have been absolute doozies, to say the least.
I’ve witnessed broken noses, pumped stomachs and bosses doing things they so shouldn’t be doing in front of their staff. Of course, I’ve also banded together with my wasted colleagues to imitate a car so we can try and get served through the Macca’s drive-through – an act that’s right up there on the drunk scale, in my opinion.
Work Christmas parties are simply fraught with danger, so from one employee filled with regret to another, here is my advice to you.
Don’t get really, really, really drunk
A little drunk is OK. Hey, it’s a work function, I get it! You need a little liquid courage. Maybe a personality shot or two to get the party going.
But there are warning signs: if you start hating on the CEO for your shit bonus, sexy-dancing in front of your colleagues or trying to chat up a chair, things have gone too far. Stop drinking now. SERIOUSLY. STOP. STOP!!!!!!!!
Don’t talk too much shop
If you’re going to spend all night talking about this year’s results and the projected plan for 2017, you may as well have just strung up some tinsel and had another meeting. Don’t be the wet blanket in the room. BE THE ROOM.
Dazzle your colleagues with your extra-curricular activities: maybe you’re a motivational speaker on the weekends, or maybe you’re writing a dishy romance novel, or maybe you like to see how many Cheezels you can fit in your mouth at once. Discuss.
Don’t wear anything you could wear to da club
Dressing for your work Christmas party has got to be one of life’s cruelest traps, right up there with skinny mirrors and reduced-calorie wine.
It’s particularly nasty when your employer expects you to go straight from the office to the party venue. It’s like, no Frank, I won’t wear this lifeless shirt and pencil skirt to the one event where my colleagues can meet the real me. Can I not just have five minutes at home to transform???!!!!??!
Regardless, it’s important to keep in mind any announced dress codes. Remember that any clothing that’s welcome on a podium is not welcome at your work party.
Unless you’re the Meredith from The Office in your team. Then I guess you’re wearing that boob tube anyway and there’s nothing I can do to stop you at this point.
Don’t finally have it out with Pam in Accounts
So Pam has been riding your tail since you messed up that invoice in May, and you’re just about DONE with her BS. But before you go pushing her into the prawn cocktail fountain, try to keep in mind it’s a work function and work rules still apply – maybe even more so.
Instead, wait until Monday, enquire about her fun Christmas break plans and then ask what the f*ck her deal is, but in an appropriate work-y sort of way.
Don’t speak to your boss while you’re drunk
It’s probably best to avoid the boss at all costs, but if you’re the professional type and want to exchange pleasantries, do this first thing. Literally as you walk in the door.
At the very first sign of tipsiness, throw your drink across the room and run away screaming. It will still be less embarrassing than anything you could possibly say when drunk… asking for an obnoxious pay rise or admitting you’ve always loved them, for example.
Don’t take your shoes off under any circumstances
My distaste for race day shoe-abandoners carries right on through December into Christmas party territory.
Did you just get home from a long day and you’re flopping onto the couch? Are you stumbling home from a night out with your best pals, McChicken in hand? Were you just at the beach and you’re very sandy? If you answered no to one or all of these questions, I ask you very nicely to please leave your shoes on.
Colleagues have a certain air of mystery about them that is completely extinguished when we see them dancing to Footloose… barefoot.
Plus, most people are weird about feet (read: they hate them, especially near the canapés).
Don’t kiss anyone
Don’t do it. I repeat, DO NOT KISS ANYONE. It’s a bad idea, even if your pants are telling you it’s not.
I might sound like a wet blanket now, but you’ll be thanking me when the harsh light of day rolls in and you’re not scrolling through nudes you sent to Todd in IT at 3am. Trust me.
Illustration by Twylamae.