Christmas parties can be fun. They can also be fatal for your career. After in-depth field research, we have a few points you may wish to consider…
Obviously, most mishaps will be drink-fuelled.
Increasing numbers of people are choosing not to drink alcohol. Or are cutting right back on how much they do.
All of which makes those who do enjoy a tipple rather more visible.
A slight slur will probably pass un-noticed if everyone has had a couple. It won’t if you are the only person with a drink in each hand.
The important thing about drinking at the office/works night out is that it is a marathon. Not a sprint.
Interspersing alcoholic drinks with water will help slow down the rate at which the drink takes effect. It will certainly help matters the next morning.
Christmas parties: taboo subjects
Drink may loosen inhibitions and tongues but, even if you don’t touch a drop, the relaxed atmosphere of a Christmas night out can also encourage unwise comments.
The office party is not the place to discuss promotions, pay rises, politics with the boss or halitosis with the person you share a cubicle with.
We are also wary of office games at Christmas parties. Passing balloons from knee to knee may be perfectly innocent but it will give the HR department palpitations. Ditto anything involving mistletoe.
Activities which may once have been viewed as harmless fun might now be seen in a different, less flattering light.
Attitudes are changing.
The march of technology has also changed the etiquette of Christmas parties. The slow death of the photocopier has more or less removed the dubious temptation to take a close up of your nether regions and fax it to your line manager.
However, smart phones and their cameras have changed the game completely.
In times gone by, the photocopy of the offending area may have been pinned to the office notice board along with a sign saying ‘Wanted. Do you recognise this behind? Reward for positive ID’.
These days, the cheeky moon you perform behind the boss’ back may just go viral and make you an unwilling internet star from Glasgow to Guadeloupe.
In general, competitive dares are best avoided. This blogger still winces at the memory of a competition to see who knew the most offensive joke.
It is arguable who won but human dignity certainly lost that evening.
Christmas parties – more years, more shame
Of course, the pitfalls of Christmas parties worse with age. If the nineteen-year-old intern has one too many and throws some interesting shapes to ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ then no-one will remember two days later.
However, relive the blockin’ and poppin’ of your B-boy years when you are in your forties and it will be remembered forever.
Most people will wake up after their Christmas parties with nothing but happy memories. For others, the memories may be a little garbled.
For a few, the memories will be something they wish they could forget.
Experience has taught this blogger three strategies to avoid being in the third group.
First, don’t be the last person standing at the Christmas party. Go home.
Secondly, the best bits of your night will probably happen before midnight. Go home.
Finally, nothing good ever happens after 3am. Go home.
Enjoy your Christmas parties!