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Think before you drink at the office Christmas party

By Krystal Sanders - 4 December 2014 13

christmas-party-stock-031214

Welcome to the silly season. And they don’t call it silly for nothing. It’s that time of year where all of our emotions seem to overflow and we dangle dance between the line of aggression and elation at the thought of the end of the year finally approaching and heading off on summer holidays.

But before you quite reach the finish line, there is a tradition that is almost just as important on our minds as the right for seconds on Christmas day. It’s the office Christmas party.

A political cesspit of complaints, it’s always a hot topic of gossip in any place I’ve worked. The watercooler chats of whether or not family or partners are invited, why this year’s basic beer garden function isn’t fair compared to the extravagant ball the year before.  In the end everyone slips on their finest gear and will drink the free alcohol no matter what has been planned.

Whatever the activity, the point of a Christmas party is to reflect on the past year, reward employees for their hard work and socialise with colleagues outside of the traditional work environment. So don’t play it cool, get amongst it and talk to as many people as you can, participate in the activity if there is one. It’s a great opportunity to get to know people and show your boss that you are a human outside of work.

In the next couple of weeks, no doubt you’ll be finding yourself in a festive, jolly situation. But mix your boss, fellow colleagues and one too many tequila slammers could find you getting a little too jovial to face the office on Monday.

In a former life I used to be an events & wedding planner. 10 years in hospitality meant I’ve seen some pretty interesting Christmas parties. Before you go to your Christmas party I found some interesting facts that you might want to have a look at before you hit that open bar and wake up next to regret:

  • Be nice to the staff, they have Christmas parties and dinners every night since November and they really don’t care how much you deserve another wine, if you don’t ask nicely they won’t be coming back to your table. This also counts for hitting on the staff. Just don’t.
  • 9 out of 10 Office Christmas parties result in a HR incident to be followed up. Pace yourself, or just remember you are still representing your company so watch what you say!
  • Cameras are now everywhere, so before you find yourself in the toilets pashing Ron from accounts maybe have a think first before you throw caution to the wind
  • If you do throw up in front of everyone, fall over, or disgrace yourself you will forever be known as ‘that guy/girl’. You might think it was hilarious but there’s plenty of others that don’t and you don’t want to be constantly reminded of the night at the lunch table
  • And finally, my most important piece of advice- keep your shirts and shoes on. No matter after how many drinks, no one wants to see that kind of behaviour.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Think before you drink at the office Christmas party
wildturkeycanoe 5:08 pm 05 Dec 14

I’ve been to some pretty lame Xmas parties, thanks mainly due to previous events that spoiled future plans. One of the worst was an afternoon BBQ at the business premises, family invited, on a Sunday. The next day was a normal work day, so it was pretty lame to say the least. Beer was the only grog on offer and the whole thing only went for about 3 or 4 hours. Great for the kids but dead boring for employees [at least for those who actually turned up].
The last one I went to the boss got legless and taxied home. Thankfully this year’s up and coming Xmas party I have been told is a compulsory event in which one must drink and eat as much as possible with the aim of not being able to remember any of it. I can’t wait.

JessP 1:58 pm 05 Dec 14

Masquara said :

Um where did you get that nine out of ten parties have HR incidents? And where are there cameras in the toilets? Probably the safest place to pash Ron, surveillance-wise.

+1

We live in politically correct times. If it is 9 out of ten I would be very surprised.

Ian 10:21 am 05 Dec 14

ozdownunder said :

Some companies are now playing safe with afternoon lunch parties

What’s safe about that?

Also, OP, where do you get the 9 out of 10 parties result in a HR incident? I’d be surprised if it was really more than about 1 in 100.

Kalliste 9:54 am 05 Dec 14

Not sure what christmas parties everyone else is going to but the ones I’ve been to in the last few years are generally not as tame as you all suggest.

Lots of drinking, lots of stupid things and throwing up and everyone pretends it didn’t happen come Monday.

Personally, it was from a work christmas party that had too much tequila where I had one of the worst hangovers of my life.

Sounds like everyone else is working for the wrong companies (or maybe just the public service).

ozdownunder 11:46 pm 04 Dec 14

Some companies are now playing safe with afternoon lunch parties

ozdownunder 11:45 pm 04 Dec 14

Some companies are now playing safe with afternoon parties!

Pork Hunt 9:59 pm 04 Dec 14

In the RAAF, senior Corporals would get full of p$ss and bad manners, bail up the junior engineering officers (usually 20 yo and straight out of ADFA, never had a real job) and lecture them on how the squadron should be managed. Some of us retired as senior Corporals… 🙂

Vindalu 7:59 pm 04 Dec 14

Geez wowser world – here’s your chance – get drunk, tell the boss off, chat up the ladies, photocopy body parts and distribute widely, and generally get up everybody’s nose – Christmas comes but once a year – make the most of it!

Masquara 7:00 pm 04 Dec 14

Um where did you get that nine out of ten parties have HR incidents? And where are there cameras in the toilets? Probably the safest place to pash Ron, surveillance-wise.

Kerryhemsley 3:53 pm 04 Dec 14

Rollersk8r said :

In my experience work Christmas parties are non-events these days. Sure, 10 years ago things would get silly, people would embarrass and/or injure themselves. Which is exactly why they’ve become so boring and risk managed. People look forward to an early finish more than any celebration.

+1 better off staying at work these days. More exciting than the 2014 version of a Christmas party in my experience.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:17 pm 04 Dec 14

I’ve seen some seriously awesome **** at Christmas parties. It’s a bit of a shame they’re so tame now.

rosscoact 1:53 pm 04 Dec 14

Rollersk8r said :

In my experience work Christmas parties are non-events these days. Sure, 10 years ago things would get silly, people would embarrass and/or injure themselves. Which is exactly why they’ve become so boring and risk managed. People look forward to an early finish more than any celebration.

Agreed, these types of advice on how to behave are trotted out every year but Xmas parties just get duller and duller except in certain private industries where there are a lot of young people around and an open bar.

Rollersk8r 11:58 am 04 Dec 14

In my experience work Christmas parties are non-events these days. Sure, 10 years ago things would get silly, people would embarrass and/or injure themselves. Which is exactly why they’ve become so boring and risk managed. People look forward to an early finish more than any celebration.

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