12 days of Christmas
On the first day of Christmas The RiotACT gave to me – a comprehensive guide to dealing with Christmas in the Territory.
Work Christmas parties – No you can’t touch that colleague’s butt!
Finally! Another year is drawing to a close and your place of employment/work social club is paying for a flash and delightful party to celebrate. A seemingly unlimited supply of tasty treats and cold delicious beverages awaits at your employer’s chosen celebration destination. However, ditching all your inhibitions for one day when we need to work with these people for the next 364 at least might not be the best idea.
The RiotACT has some tips to ensure there will be no walk of shame through the office the day after your work Christmas party.
Keep your hands inside the vehicle at all time
No, you absolutely can’t touch her/his butt without permission. The fact that you are celebrating together makes no difference. There is never a time that it is OK to touch anyone, let alone your workmate, without permission. So before grabbing your boss to give them the festive season motor boat treatment, remember; not only do you need to think of moral and ethical consequences to your actions but legal ones. You could face very real legal consequences or disciplinary action from your employer. Unless you’re independently wealthy you probably rely on this job to do some stuff in life like pay the bills and buy food, so it is always best to remember that. Not to mention the fact that you probably have to work with these people for a while. You might not want them to be reminiscing about your nudie run at Christmas when you’re sitting in an interview for a promotion.
Don’t pre-load on cold beverages or anything else
Most work places will provide free drinks at the Christmas party which should make you question why you might decide to make yourself an 1800s Mother’s Ruin gin distillery and bring a flask. You might think that a little Dutch courage will go a ways in decreasing social anxiety and help you with the perfect witty pun. It won’t. Unless everyone else stopped by a gin distillery like you on the way to the party, in which case, you’re the cleverest human to ever live. Chances are you’re probably just going to say something dumb and freak yourself out.
Hunter S. Thompson did make it all seem very glamourous in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but you’re no Johnny Depp. Regardless of how cool and hip you think you or your workplace are, for now, drugs are illegal. Best to stick to the cold beverages. But if you do think consumption is a good option, be aware that people will notice the white powder on your nose and the fact your pupils are now the size of the moon.
If you’re going to have a largish night, pace yourself. Eating is not cheating and twelve energy drinks mixed with concentrated cool beverages in one sitting will not set you up for a good night. The last thing you want is to find yourself in Fyshwick at 3am crying because you can’t find a kebab shop. Make sure that you eat sufficiently for the entire day of the party and stop every now and then for water. Yep, water, that magical elixir of life that is surprisingly supplied at almost every venue for free! No one wants to vomit up carrots and peas in front of the entire office after a few too many. And yes, not matter what you have eaten for last week there is always carrots and peas!
Romeo and Juliet – it started at the work Christmas party … said no one ever!
If it is indeed meant to be with your true office love, then so it will be. The office Christmas party is probably the single worst place you could hook up to begin a blossoming romance. Ask yourself why nothing ever happened with your beloved on the other 364 days of the year? Then, boom, suddenly you’re in a lip lock and planning growing old together in your head on the dance floor at 2am with Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping threatening to knock you down. Chances are you will not get back up again and your poor little heart might never recover. This could even mean contemplation of leaving your workplace when you wake up the next morning and realise that Romeo and Juliet is actually a really sad and tragic love story.
Also if someone has a ring on their left hand, they are taken. Unless polyamory is at play, just walk away. Regardless of whether the ring owner is the one making the moves. It’s complicated. Life is already hard enough as it is. Walk away.
Secret Santa – It is never a secret
You spend more time with these people often than your own family so chances are they can probably guess who bought what. Don’t be that person that regifts the free lip balm you got with your latest magazine purchase. Most work places set a limit for how much you can spend and generally all retailers have price limit options of fabulous pre-packaged gift goodness. After all, it is not the thought that counts, but the quality of the gift.
Don’t make the poor pregnant lady drive home all the drunk folks
Whatever you do, don’t drive drunk. This should be a given, but it is not. You have exactly zero excuses with the convenience of both taxis and Uber to ensure a problem free ride home. Not to mention that here in public service land the chances are a DUI could not only damage your current and future employment, but a conviction could also affect security clearances.
Are you really allergic to gluten?
There is absolutely nothing worse than settling in to enjoy the festivities when that one work colleague declares there is not a single thing they could possibly eat on the menu. Are you really allergic to gluten? Or are you intolerant? Do you have coeliac disease? If not allergic, best not to give the chefs at your chosen destination a heart attack and use the correct terminology ‘intolerant’. This means whilst you may become quite ill from consuming gluten, it is not life-threatening, unlike an allergy that can actually kill you. Take responsibility for your good self and scope out the menu before you attend your special meal, rarely is it a surprise where you’re going to eat. If there is genuinely nothing you can eat, contact the restaurant well ahead of time. Most places are going to accommodate dietary needs with sufficient notice.
A tale of woe
*Willow (name changed to protect seasonal indiscretion) was 18 and had not attended the adult version of a work Christmas party before. Willow and her work mate didn’t realise there would be many types of fancy cold drinks available at the function, not just the type they were used to that came in a box. So unfortunately they pre-loaded and consumed a few drinks before the party. After some beverage consumption and little food despite there being a whole delicious buffet, Willow decided to talk to her direct boss, Blake.
Whilst initially this seemed an excellent idea now is a good time to highlight that Blake was married to the daughter of the owner of the entire business, a lovely family affair. Willow tried to seem together after all her beverages and asked her boss what he was doing on the weekend to which Blake replied that he and his wife were going on lovely bike ride. With zero pause in the conversation Willow replied, “That explains it then!” Blake was confused and asked what she meant and unfortunately Willow replied, “Your nice ass”.
Willow apologised immediately, promptly leaving the function and Blake didn’t pursue the matter. For the next year Willow was lucky enough to receive at a minimum of once a week the sentence, “That explains it then,” from not just Blake but also the rest of the staff team.
We would love to know if you have any office Christmas party tales?
Next up in the RiotACT’s comprehensive guide on dealing with Christmas in the territory is: Day 2 – Christmas with the family and in-laws – a survival guide.