‘Tis the season to be jolly and to attend the yearly corporate shindig — the office Christmas party! The idea of the annual holiday event is rooted in corporate goodwill. A way to show appreciation to its employees for a year of hard work. This is all well and good but the reality is that most working stiffs view the office Christmas party as a corporate-like event that they, being mindful of their career, must attend. And then there’s the inevitable visitation of the drunken lout who takes the celebration a bit too far.

In an independent survey of 1000 office workers reveal that one out of five workers regret their actions at the office Christmas party. Social fears, boring events and open bars often lead to excessive drinking making office parties a social minefield. Over a third of workers admitting dreading ‘the walk of shame’ to work the next morning, to find out whether they had enhanced or limited their career the night before. The survey revealed that a tenth of workers take the opportunity of their bosses ‘high spirits’ to ask for a pay rise, another tenth confessed to being physically sick in front of colleagues due to excessive drinking — not a great move if you’re bucking for a promotion next year.

A third of workers admitted to regretting kissing a colleague during the party or worse – going home with a co-worker or client. One admitted to kissing the bosses daughter who turned out to be much younger then he thought! Eight out of ten respondents say they “danced like an idiot” in front of bosses and upper management. Most all attendees say they hate the fact that photos are taken during the event. These are often posted on the company website, just so you can share your worst embarrassment with those who may have missed it.

Then there’s the photocopier…workers just can’t seem to keep their body parts off the copier during in-office Christmas parties. People obviously let their hair down at Christmas time and the printer/copier tends to get a bit of extra-curricular activity during the festive period. Copier repairs increase as much as 17% during the holiday season due to ‘non-work related’ incidents. Often these calls are to repair broken glass which had been sat on, or to fix paper jams that revealed evidence of embarrassing images. One technician reported that a customer suggested an office identity parade to find the provider of the incriminating evidence! The survey also discovered bizarre items which had been found in a photocopier such as a snake, a kitchen knife, a sausage, a condom, stockings, a vibrator and even a check for $2000.00.

Statistics from an independent survey of 1000 office workers:

– A third of office workers have gone home with or kissed a colleague or client at their office Christmas party.

– A tenth of workers have been sick in front of colleagues due to excessive drinking.

– A tenth of office workers have told a colleague or boss that they fancy them.

– A third of office workers admitted dreading ‘the walk of shame’ to work the next morning.

– A tenth of workers take the opportunity of their bosses ‘high spirits’ to ask for a pay rise.

– Two fifths of office workers admitted that they regrettably bad-mouthed bosses or co-workers while intoxicated at the office Christmas party.

– A third of workers owned up to “dancing like an idiot” in front of the boss.

– A fifth of employees regretted belting out karaoke songs in front of their colleagues.

Some advice to get help you navigate the Christmas party pitfalls:

– Dress Appropriately – If you’re unsure, ask a more experienced co-worker whose opinion you trust.

– Timing is Everything – You don’t want to be the first to arrive or the last.

– Get Out of the Corner – Mingle!

– Pace Thyself – Avoid the temptation to over indulge at the bar!

– Keep your Hands to Yourself – Avoid any temptation even if you and a certain other ‘fancy’ each other. The party is not an appropriate place.

– Be Merry and Bright – Make the best of it and enjoy yourself. Nobody like a sourpuss!

– Exit, Stage Right – Don’t be associated with the last call bunch.

Though the Office Christmas party can be a potential minefield it’s also a chance to enjoy the company of your favorite co-workers and celebrate — with limitations. Keep the celebrating in check lest you blow that future promotion or worse — become the drunken lout! You don’t want to be seen groping, kissing or acting stupid in front of upper management. The next time you’re up for a promotion they’re going to think about your lack of judgment and control. It is important, however, to attend. You’ll be doing your corporate career duty and, who knows, you may actually have fun.

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