Christmas parties can be interesting affairs. They’re usually one of the first and only times you’ll see most of your co-workers outside of your office, and it is also the season to be jolly. Not too jolly though, you don’t want to be making a fool of yourself in front of your CEO now, do you? There are also plenty of other situations you can expect to arise throughout the night, here are 15 moments that I think are inevitable for any office Christmas party. How many have you witnessed?
1. Someone has to be the first person to arrive at their office Christmas party
Nobody wants to be the first one to show for their office Christmas party, but unfortunately there always has to be one. Expect some idle chit chat with people you haven’t spoken to before as you wait for the rest of your office to turn up in dribs and drabs, and plenty of A.S.S. (awkward social situations).
2. Everyone hammers the free booze
When alcohol is free people are 100% more likely to drink more, drink faster, and drink anything they can lay their hands on (this is scientific proof, based on nothing but my own opinions). This is why Suzie from Accounts usually ends up praying to the porcelain gods before 9pm, and Darren from Sales thinks it is a good idea to remove this trousers and jump onto the table you’re trying to eat your roast turkey on.
3. Drunken, wildly inappropriate comments will be made
Unfortunately, with alcohol comes lower inhibitions, which almost always leads to someone going a bit too far with their comments about other staff members, be it good or bad. Either that or someone will take passionately and at length about something they feel strongly about, yet is not exactly great conversation for a night where everyone wants to enjoy themselves! No office Christmas party would be the same without it though.
4. Beware the ‘teetotaller’
Just a word of warning about anyone in your office who is teetotal. I’m sure they’re a great person, but just be aware that they may well notice and remember a LOT of things that you and every other drunken member of staff will have forgotten come the next morning.
5. Someone tries to cop off with the boss or someone else in a senior position
Sometimes you can see it coming, other times it comes straight out of leftfield, but one thing you can guarantee when a member of staff tries it on with a senior member in the company is that EVERYONE will somehow stop what they’re doing and watch, transfixed.
6. Someone thinks they’re an amazing dancer and they’re not
I’m guilty of this one, definitely. Once you’ve passed the tipping point you will think that your dancing is second to none, and insist on demonstrating this to everyone. Cue much laughter and ridicule. Ho hum, back to the free bar then…
7. A member of staff creeps everyone out
Yes, there is always one person who takes the season of goodwill too far. Kissing under mistletoe has always seemed like a strange one to me, and seeing someone with some in their pocket that they could whip out at any stage in the night at a previous party was a little too creepy for me.
8. There will be tears
There will always be tears at a staff party, whether they are of joy or despair. If the person crying has sunk more wine than you’ve had hot dinners you can assume the latter, for whatever reason. Bonus tip: its best not to get involved here.
9. There is always someone who gets far too drunk
Almost everyone will be drunk (except the teetotallers), but there always has to be one person who is on another level to everyone else. They could be incapable of walking by 10pm, or if their night goes particularly badly (for them) they could find themselves getting arrested for drunken and disorderly behaviour, after removing their shirt and offering the director of the company outside for a fight.
10. The food becomes a side note to the alcohol
If your Christmas party includes a meal there will be plenty of chatter and talk about it in the build up to the event. Your menu choices are pre-ordered, everyone gets excited about their courses and you can’t wait to get stuck into an early Christmas dinner. Then what happens on the night? Everyone decides to have liquid starters from about 5pm, and by the time dinner is served everyone has forgotten what they’ve ordered (‘did I choose turkey? Or was it salmon? Hang on, I don’t even like salmon…’), leaving the waiting staff to rush around trying to ensure that everyone has something on the table in front of them. As for getting as far as dessert, good luck with that, unless it has alcohol in it.
11. Someone talks about work ALL. NIGHT.
They can’t help it, they live for their job, and any chance to talk about it with other members of staff is approached with the enthusiasm and glee of a dog with a bone. A little bit of a work chatter is fine, just don’t be the person analysing the accounts or suggesting where you think the company can improve after eight G&Ts.
12. One of the most sozzled people will think they have the voice of an angel and begin singing, loudly and badly
You can’t avoid it at any party, especially one where Karaoke is on offer; terrible, drunken singing. I won’t deny there are probably a handful of people in your office who have a decent voice, but for some reason they take a backseat to the tone-deaf karaoke kings and queens. It’s almost like an episode of The X Factor auditions, expect you’re powerless to stop it when you’ve had enough.
13. The ‘after party’ isn’t so much of a party
Be careful with any after party invitations, choose the wrong one and you could end up sitting in silence at someone’s house while everyone else decides to go to a club or someone else’s house (and, if the countless Facebook image uploads are anything to go by, they have the time of their lives while there). Also, because careful about offering your place as the after party venue, everyone might still be going strong at 8am when all you’ll want to do is drink a glass of water, take a couple of aspirin, cry into your pillow, and sleep through as much of your hangover as you can.
14. Someone goes missing (more often than not found asleep face down in the road, or in a hedge)
If you thought trying to keep a couple of kids close by, or even just a group of friends at a festival was hard work, you clearly haven’t tried to get a large group of your work mates to move from A to B without at least one them disappearing on the way. As a general rule of thumb you won’t be able to get through to them on their mobile either. Keep trying though, they’ll eventually turn up. Either that, or they’re already safe and sound at home, tucked up in bed.
15. Everyone will talk about all of the above and more on Monday morning…
Of course, the best part of any office Christmas party is that come Monday morning, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) in the company will be gossiping non-stop about the party. If there are still parts of your evening that you can remember I wouldn’t worry, because before the end of the day someone will have told you everything you’ve forgotten. If you think (or know) you’ve done something particularly bad then I’d suggest keeping your head down for a few days, and know that pulling a sicky is absolutely out of the question!
So, just a few things to keep in mind when it comes to booking your 2014 office Christmas party!