Blessed farewell to that perennial nightmare before Christmas

I don’t think I went to the one pictured but I can’t be sure

It was with some misgivings that I departed the regular workaday world a few years ago. Misgivings that revolved around getting a regular salary and feeling that I had ‘a place’ in the wider universe. That is, I had an identity and how we are perceived depends on what we do, and in what regard our calling is held.

Well, I was a working journalist and in the total scheme-of-occupations journalists place lower than contract killers in public esteem. Well, I mean, not as low as some ambulance-chasing lawyers or internal revenue auditors but getting right down in the direction of barrel-bottom scraping.

I actually didn’t mind that aspect of my life-career – indeed I took a certain perverse pride in being regarded as a societal weasel.

Nevertheless, I moved on to the private ‘Ian’ domain and all-in-all it hasn’t been a bad thing. And this time of the year I am profoundly reminded that there one huge and cherished benefit to being self-semi-sporadically-depending-on-the-whims-of-unappreciative-contractors-employed and that is the sheer knowledge that I will never again have to go to a @#$$%&& CHRISTMAS OFFICE PARTY! Sing Halleluja!

Who thought of those things, anyway? What corporate mind conceived that such a contrived social gathering would be good? I think if the so-called ‘Occupiers’ had wanted to protest anything, it should have been office parties.

Any office of any substance invariably has its ‘social committee’. These are the misguided souls who honestly believe that if you work with somebody, you also want to spend your leisure hours with them; you want to get pissed with them; you want to sing-and-dance with them; you want to harbor unacceptable sexual fantasies about them and maybe even feel compelled to suggestively act upon them; and finally you want to spend the rest of your weekend either retching or apologizing to your better-half and assuring her you didn’t mean anything when you were cavorting lewdly with l’il Suzie Homerekker from reception who, in a poor light looks a bit like a less-healthy Lindsay Lohan.

Social Committees are composed of the same people that exult over the concept of high school reunions and make sure they become part of the planning committee at least four years before the ghastly event is scheduled to take place.

What are the bad things about office parties?

–         false bonhomie amongst people who, while they may have dear friends amongst their colleagues, they also spend 9-5, five days a week, with others who would not have been chosen as friends and they are happy to see the last of come Friday quitting time.

–         Excess alcohol both loosens tongues and liberates libidos. Nuff sed.

–         He/she has no hidden and untapped desire to sleep with you and is merely a friendly colleague. An office party should not be regarded as a potential ‘orifice’ party.

–         It’s never a good time to tell your boss what you really think, despite how friendly he might seem to be on this social occasion. Unless he/she is your friend, he/she is emphatically ‘not’ your friend when it comes to any sort of crunch time.

–         If you do happen to be a boss of either sex don’t, emphatically don’t try to pull any of that “if you want to get ahead here maybe we could form a closer relationship” shit with an opposite sex subordinate.

–         And if you are a subordinate, don’t try to pull the same thing with q superior in the hopes of getting ahead.

–         Karaoke!!!! Gaah!

The good thing about office parties?

–         I don’t have to go to them any more.






23 responses to “Blessed farewell to that perennial nightmare before Christmas

  1. We’ve not had one for a couple years now, and I have to say that I miss them. It was always fun watching people loosen up…


    • I find it depends on the person doing the loosening up. I used to have a subordinate who would get loaded and then let me know quite audibly and with others’ earshot how much she wanted to have sex with me. Flattering at one level, but a tad embarrassing. Then she’d have to skulk in Monday morning filled with remorse. I always forgave, of course, because I liked her, but not in ‘that’ way.

  2. We had a Christmas party…lawyers being what they are (well, were) the level of alcohol consumption, though great, was nothing out of the ordinary so nothing out of the ordinary seemed to happen.

    The bad parties were those held for solicitors who sent business our way…solicitors definitely cannot hold their drink and one member of chambers was always delegated to ride shotgun to protect the secretaries.

  3. I hate office parties. In my previous London job the planning of them fell to me and the hassle I used to get in advance about the table planning/menue/ etc was so irritating. Having said that – where I am now working I have nothing whatsoever to do with the admin of it and I just could not be bothered to go, so we are twin souls with this.

  4. My second husband’s company had fancy dress up Christmas parties and I rather enjoyed them. Engineers are fun and entertaining but never too rowdy.

    • Actually a fancy dress party wouldn’t be bad. It would have a theme, at least. Engineers when they’re students usually have the wildest parties. Found that when I was at university.

  5. Oh and the Playboy cartoon I never forgot (and it was probably 1969 or 70) was a masked bandit sticking up a guy with a gun. The bandit says, “Your money or your life!” The victim says, “My life. I’m saving my money for college.”

    • Actually I remember that cartoon. Reminds me of the old Jack Benny line when he is held up by a mugger who says “Your money or your life.” Benny takes ages to respond and the crook asks him why. “I’m thinking,” Benny replies.

  6. Okay this is the last one. I just realized how poorly worded that was. I should have said: “a masked bandit with a gun sticking up a guy.” The way I worded it sounded like the victim had a gun. My bad.

  7. A Frog at Large

    I actually enjoyed the office parties I’ve been to recently. For one thing. my boss never goes, so it’s just colleagues and we mostly get on so it’s fun – I realise this is rare. And then there are free cocktails and lots of scientists in dire need of a social life, it’s fascinating.

    • Scientists are often in dire need of a social life, I’ve found. Perhaps if it was just colleagues it wouldn’t be so bad. The only good thing about ours was our boss paid for everything as his Christmas gift to the staff.

  8. My office party is with engineers, and is invariably dull as a butter knife. Five minutes after I sit at that table I’m just looking forward to the moment I can get the hell out. Despite the free booze. I like my colleagues well enough, but they’re just not people I want to hang out with.

  9. I hear you! I love a good party but there is something about the office party that seems to drain all life out of me. I go to enough parties and events with colleagues for work, so doing it for pleasure seems like a step too far. I have been able to miss one so far this year. I’m hoping that will be the case next week too…..

  10. Good luck with that. As I indicate I think for me it was that I’d been to enough of them to last me a lifetime.

  11. Pingback: Yep, it’s that time of the year… « Haphazard Life

  12. The last one I went to had a magician for entertainment and then we were forced to play “Pictionary.” Swear to God. Just shoot me…

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