So I’ve done a Christmas post already. I know. Just like the shops, I’m setting out my Christmas stall early and having old ladies walk past me muttering about Christmas being too early this year. What I haven’t mentioned is that the last Christmas post has a sister. This one. We’re a double feature. A conjoined twin. A tandem bike. A Twix.
Anyway, this part of the Christmas double feature concerns your impending work Office Christmas Party. I’m not going to mine this year. Prior engagement, you see. But I fear for those of you who have to endure, so I’ve dug out my Five Christmas Party Rules, in the words of Kylie and Jason, especially for you. Read them, memorise them, and for Gawd’s sake put them into action.
1. Beware of the free bar.
This is a poison chalice of the highest order.
I once saw my old company handyman passed out drunk on a couch in the reception area. As the night went on, people essentially vandalised the poor guy. By the time he came round he had a cock drawn on his cheek leading to his mouth, his shirt was off and he was sporting marker pen boobs. In addition, someone had managed to pull a silver sequined G-string over his trousers. Photos were, of course, taken.
Keep that picture in your mind as you consider your response to “Flaming Sambucas all round, anyone?!!!”
2. Do not get stuck next to management in the seating arrangements
Sometimes this is hard. My managing director for six years running would make sure that in the table layout my name tag was next to his. One year I snuck in and swapped it, but he insisted it was swapped back. He was a perv, though and maybe not all bosses are like that.
Perv or no, and assuming you have a choice, there is one good reason you should avoid them; they are not your friends. No amount of alcohol is enough to switch off the power balance switch that exists between the two of you. Don’t delude yourself it’s even worth trying. Also, they only want to talk about work. And you want to be over with your mates talking utter crap (and working out what to do to the passed-out janny this year), don't you?
3. Do not go onto a club afterwards.
Given that most Christmas parties start at lunchtime, you really need to be home and out of harm’s way by late evening. Anything more is guaranteed messiness. And even if you are not the one being messy, then you will witness sights you cannot erase from your brain.
Worst of all will be being forced to dance with middle aged guys with Santa ties on, who haven’t been near any club recently that doesn’t have the word “golf “in front of it.
4.Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, cop off with anyone you work with.
I cannot stress this enough.
Other than the obvious “don’t-get-your-meat-where-you-get-your-bread” reason, there are three particular extra reasons.
Firstly, EVERYONE will know about it instantly. I was once called over by a work mate to witness a happening of this sort through the board room window. Before table-top coitus was even interuptusused, the whole company knew.
To be honest the couple were bloody lucky that drink perhaps makes things a little quicker, shall we say, as one of the cameramen I worked with was running to get the camera from upstairs. Lucky for them, he was too late to catch the exclusive. Also this was before YouTube, so big luck all round, there. The woman’s husband however, did find out...... and so the luck endeth.
Secondly, even if the affection was genuine at the time, you’ve got at least a week of no-work between the "happening" and going back to work guaranteeing extreme awkwardness that first day back. And you can bet the whole work is beaking-in to watch that situation go down.
Thirdly, you don’t want to ruin your Christmas with horrid flashbacks and ruminations of whether you should hand in your notice along with the drunken janitor.
5. The Special Fifth Survival Rule
Of course, you could just not go to the party, making all of the above redundant, but this requires extreme cunning. You need to be organised for this rule to stick. Think on, and have an excuse ready in September. Oops, too late. Maybe next year.
Don't ever miss a Misssive, subscribe!