I don’t like Christmas Parties.
Actually that’s not entirely true. I don’t like OFFICE Christmas Parties. I have my reasons; I’ll share some with you now:
Reason 1 – Colleagues and Alcohol:
When you put multiple people in such close proximity for long periods of time things begin to happen. Friendships blossom, crushes develop, various traits and characteristics of others become annoying (such as the way that Sam, who sits opposite me, snorts like a pig EVERYTIME she laughs!).
Also, over the course of the year, people will inevitably mess up from time to time (for example, in October I accidentally sent a mailshot email to 50,000 people instead of 500 people and crashed our servers!). This may lead to arguments or annoyances on all parts which can cause resentment to fester.
However in order to create a pleasant working environment, most people do not act on these emotions and keep their true feelings bottled up.
We all know that alcohol lowers your inhibitions and can seriously impact on your decision making capabilities. I can guarantee that every single one of you has regretted something that you have said or done when under the influence of alcohol.
At the office Christmas Party all these crushes, petty annoyances and resentments are brought to the surface by alcohol. This always results in yelling, snogs, sex, affairs, fights, rows, tears, misunderstandings and punch ups. All of which have to be addressed come January.
Reason 2 – Drunk People:
Further to the point above I would to point out the majority of drunken people (myself included) are dicks! I am not talking about tipsy people here; I am talking about full on, word-slurring, kebab eating, smashed!
As mentioned, when you’re drunk you lack the self-awareness to properly grasp the repercussions of your actions. This is multiplied by 10 when you are very drunk.
Everyone at our office party gets blind drunk. I therefore find myself in a sea of stupid comments, sleazy behaviour, poor dance moves and regretful actions.
The problem is that once something is out there, you can’t take it back.
Also, because of this, every year I have to listen to Justine in Finance make sleazy remarks in that way that some middle aged divorcees do. I avoid her all the time in the office now.
I also have to listen to Alan’s dissection of every nationality and what is wrong with them (FYI – apparently the problem with Italian’s is that they are greasy and all have the same haircut!). I used to respect him too. Now I think he is a douchebag!
Reason 3 – Vomit:
Staying on the drunken theme, wherever there are drunk people at an Office Party, vomit is never too far away.
For a man my age who has not really worked with children, animals, the sick or the elderly I have seen way too much vomit in my life.
The guiltiest party here are the women in the office who are aged 45 and over. They do not drink regularly anymore but can’t resist glass after glass after glass of the free table wine.
As if by magic, it will always be me who is in the closest proximity to them at the precise moment that their dinner and the table wine will decide to make a comeback.
Last year it was our HR Manager. That’s right, the very same lady who wears expensive power suits and lectures us all on appropriate behaviour was next to me, slumped over the table having just puked all over herself. Oh the irony!
Reason 4 – Drunk J.
J is me. When drunk, I am an idiot. Like most I make bad choices, do stupid things and find myself in weird situations after a few too many.
In my personal life this is no big deal (it gives me blogging material at least!), but when this occurs with work people around, these incidents are always cause for embarrassment upon my return to work.
As you all seem like nice, non-judgemental types, I’ll give you my top 4 drunk J Christmas Party idiotic incidents below by way of an example:
4) Being thrown out of a Marriot Hotel aged 17 after telling the bar manager, who I had just purchased a jug of Xmas punch from, that the thing I was most looking forward to the next year was my 18th birthday.
3) Sneaking back into said party, drinking my Xmas punch and taunting the bar manager as well as his security personnel. This led to me being thrown out (in a literal sense) and banned from the Marriot Hotel in Northarbour, Portsmouth. A ban I believe is still in place today!
2) Getting lost at the hotel that was hosting our party one year. After finally finding the room which our party was being held I ran into Eric the temp and drank some shots. After 10 minutes (and 3 Jager Bombs) I realised that it was not Eric and I was not at my party but at some random wedding.
Turned out, I had been abusing their free bar and had just plied the groom’s 16 year old brother with Jager! I was quickly discovered as a gatecrasher once the boy vomited over the dancefloor and forcibly asked to leave. This happened just as our party was filtering out of the room next door.
1) Drunkenly trying to make my way back to the coach home after one party I had (again) gotten lost. Suddenly I was overcome by the call of nature. And for some reason I decided I need to go there and then. I found a quiet spot and went about my business.
At least I thought it was a quiet spot. It wasn’t. It was up against OUR coach and I had just relieved myself in full view of 40-50 of my colleagues, their partners, a confused coach driver and one furious Managing Director. I left that company later the following year.
So there you have it. The combination of excessive alcohol and the people you work with is often an explosive one and, in my opinion, one that is best avoided.
Nowadays I don’t drink too much and approach every Christmas party with an air of caution.
There is also the little side matter of Tasha in admin which is playing on my mind this year. You can read about that here.
Much like last year I am going to try and stay out of trouble tomorrow and save the real drinking for when I am out with my friends and family. I advise you do the same. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with the fall-out come January!