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Wednesday 26 October 2016

Louise Duffy: ’Tis the season to be sorry that you got so jolly at Christmas work party

Published 29/11/2013 | 15:26

Louise Duffy
Louise Duffy

It’s here. The glowing Coca-Cola truck is on the telly, Tony Fenton is playing Band Aid on the radio, and a walk down your local high street is like a pyrotechnic display at the Disney World.

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Christmas has arrived.

No matter how you resist, it's a time for bells, baubles and office bashes. ’Tis the season to be jolly.

But probably, to put it more accurately, when it comes to the office bashes, tis also the season to be sorry you got so very jolly.

According to a recent survey, a rather sizeable number of Irish people misbehave at their Christmas parties. That's hardly shocking: they don't call it a merry Christmas for no reason.

But what's quite surprising are reports that two out of three employers have received formal complaints about their staff’s shenanigans at the Christmas work do. Formal complaints no less!

High on the joys of the season, or high on the mulled wine, it seems that the work party is a place to let loose and our festive tomfoolery includes drinking too much, kissing colleagues, and telling the boss a thing or two.

And with the news that there will be 10pc more work parties this Christmas, that means a lot more red faces in January.

Maybe we should take heed of the silly Christmas carols playing in the background while we run amok at the free bar.

There could be some valuable warnings in the warbling of the singing Santa: You better watch out, You better not cry, You better be good, I'm telling you why...

Why? Because the success of your year, or at the very least, your January, could be entirely intertwined with where you end up at your Christmas soiree, whether it's under the table, in the bed, or on the naughty or nice list.

Recently listeners texted my radio show with tales of Christmas past.

For one, Boxing Day came a little early, and after a heated discussion with his CEO, he has a new CEO to spar with this year, and lots of new colleagues to make friends with in his brand new job.

Another female listener decided her office party was the best place to show off the fancy new moves she picked up at her pole dancing class.

Did she drink too much? Possibly. Did she regret hanging upside down in her pretty new skater dress in front of her management team? Definitely.

In theory, the Christmas party is a great place to circulate and socialise, have a drink, a dance and some fun with your friends.

But a year of taking orders, some pent-up resentments and a free bar is a heady mix, and the desire to let off some steam often descends down the route of bitchy brawls with a photocopy of someone's backside thrown in for good measure.

So here are some basic steps to follow so you can ensure that you walk into work on Monday morning with your head held high:

* Don't hit ... the bottle/your boss/on your colleagues;

* Don't dance like no one's watching. Everyone is. And they have camera phones;

* Don't get it off your chest. If you've spent the year harbouring pent-up frustrations about your heavy breathing, noisy eating, jargon-speaking colleague, you can tolerate them for one more night;

* Don't break out your party piece: if up until now, you've reserved your singing skills for the shower, there's a reason for that;

* Don't get amorous... if Phil in sales all of a sudden looks so attractive (and how did you not see this before?) chances are you might not see it Monday morning when you bump into him in the canteen.

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