HOW TO WORK A PARTY
If you’re looking for a guide on how not to disgrace yourself at the work party, new flick Office Christmas Party is probably not for you
Office Christmas parties often start tame and controlled, with the gals from accounts payable chatting amicably with the guys from the warehouse.
It all goes well until the repressed marrieds start to mingle with the singles, lubricated by mountains of lukewarm free booze. It’s all downhill from there.
You know the tide has turned when you spot your boss with his tie wrapped around his head gyrating on a table top to I’m Too Sexy.
You know trouble is about to happen when that hot guy from Legal Services – Gavin, his name probably is – starts giving you the eye. You drain a glass of bulk-purchased chardonnay and hit the dancefloor.
Gavin joins you for particularly sexy rendition of Nut Bush City Limits before you realise that up close he’s got wombat-shaped BO patches under each arm and a curious body rash. And the red mark on his ring finger shows he’s not separated, as he told you, but straying from his wife, who’s at home with their three young kids who have gastro.
Such festive fun is back in the spotlight this week, thanks to Office Christmas Party, a new movie starring Jennifer Aniston, TJ Miller and Jason Bateman.
The movie showcases one firm’s particularly wild office party – or, as it’s known in the United States, a nondenominational holiday mixer.
Every year at this time equal opportunity officers and human resources managers across the nation begin getting nervous and Googling festive occasion disaster recovery tips.
Of course, the internet is filled with completely useless advice for office Christmas parties no one ever bothers to follow. Dress appropriately. Stay classy. Be respectful.
Experts tell us to remember our “etiquette intelligence”.
“Stay alcohol-free and be the hit of the party,” one says.
“Make polite conversation on on-work topics as you take small sips and small bites,” says another.
“Use open-ended questions to keep the conversation flowing,” says a third.
Oh Lord. That’s not a party, that’s a wake.
I did find one piece of online advice that seemed a little more practical:
“Under no circumstances should you be using your colleagues’ clothing to freshen up after a spew.”
OK, that’s more like it. Take note, folks. Clearly, these fun police wardens have never been to any of my work Christmas parties, which generally start sedate and end up in the courts.
Clearly, though, there are some companies that need a little help. Take, for instance, the infamous Flight Centre slip ’n’ slide, which ended with a trip to the emergency department for one unconscious reveller in 2014.
Another Queensland party ended badly when one gent on a corporate end-of-year cruise fell overboard when trying to relieve himself.
There was also the Melbourne builder who drank a truckload, and then swore at his boss and made lewd passes at all the women in his office. He wasn’t fired, though, as the judge blamed his workplace for providing unlimited grog. Now, that’s my kind of judge.
Most of us can’t remember how to fill out online leave requests, what our computer logon password is or what the guy in the next cubicle’s name is. But we do remember exactly who did what to whom at the Christmas party each year.
Don’t forget, what happens at the work Christmas party rarely stays at the Christmas party, particularly when it ends up on YouTube. Then it’ll be around to haunt you for years.
Someone had better tell Gavin. Office Christmas Party is in cinemas now
Clay Vanstone (played by T.J. Miller) and Josh Parker (Jason Bateman) in a scene from Office Christmas Party