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

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES - SUSIE O’BRIEN

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

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