Sunday 18 March 2018

A fear-free guide to surviving the office Christmas party

Below is a list of the people you DO NOT want to emulate at the festive office party

Stock image
Stock image

Sarah-Jane Murphy

With the Christmas party season upon us, it's time for the annual introspective chat with yourself where you unreservedly promise :

a) To drink a glass of water after each alcoholic drink

b) To leave at a reasonable hour

c) To behave in a way that befits an office party

Whether or not you succeed in sticking to these lofty ideals is between you and your conscience.

But there is something else you can do to retain your credibility at the annual office bash.

We've pinpointed the seven stereotypical characters that you will find at every Christmas party, the length and breadth of the country.

Please, please try your hardest not to be any of these people.

You owe it to yourself.

1. The Loud One

This reveller feels its their personal responsibility to entertain people at full volume, by recounting 'hilarious' incidents that happened in the work place over the previous 12 months, sparing nobody's blushes.

They may also indulge in a 'Reeling in the Years' style monologue, listing all office romances and hook ups that have ever taken place for the benefit of new employees.

This party-goer greets new arrivals to the party in an extremely loud voice and pays loud 'compliments' such as "You've defo lost weight since the last Christmas party. You were huge back then."

More a 'non-pliment' really.

Most likely to say: "Will you ever forget the time you brought the boss' ex-wife on a date and bumped into him?"

2. The Jekyll & Hyde One

This guest is someone that's usually a sensible and productive employee, and doesn't cause controversy in the workplace.

But, after more than a few drinks, they evolve into a completely different person.

Unwanted, unsavoury truths tumble from their mouths at speed, as if their mouth-to-brain filter has temporarily malfunctioned.

They often experience moments of inspiration, wherein they realise they don’t actually like any of their colleagues and will delight in telling them so.

To their face. In front of other people. Ouch.

Most likely to say: "Do you think I enjoy listening to how unbelievably amazing your ugly daughter is every single day?"

3. The Maudlin One

You can easily spot this sullen, lip quivering party-goer.

Sobbing in the toilets or in a dimly lit corner of the room, they are usually surrounded by colleagues who are comforting them.

The Maudlin One has a long list of reasons why 2015 was not good to them - relationship woes, got passed up for promotion, couldn't afford botox...

If the 2015 list is exhausted they will eagerly get started on the woes that befell them in 2014.

The only chance you have to get away is if their favourite song comes on (usually Adele or REM) and they stagger off to the dancefloor in a flurry of tears, mascara and fake eyelashes.

Most likely to say: "I'm too nice for my own good."

4. The Uber-Ambitious One

This party goer has a fine tuned agenda and is on a mission to fulfill their list of 'must-do' tasks.

They target the 'important people' that 'deserve' a few minutes of their time that evening.

Once the target is within their sights, a memorised presentation begins, listing their various skills and suggesting ways in which their talents could further be put to use.

The party is viewed purely as a networking event, the concept of fun or socialising do not come into it at all.

Most likely to say "I'm not sure if you're aware that it was my idea and mine alone that lead to the development of that award winning strategy."

5. The Sleazy One

This reveller will engage in wolf-whistling as people walk by, paying loud and graphic compliments to anyone and everyone.

They specialises in half-attempted gropes which are made look accidental, but are in fact performed with skill following years of practice.

If the party takes place at a hotel they will take delight in advertising the fact that they have a room booked upstairs.

In fact the hotel room key may 'happen' to dangle out of their shirt pocket, like a coveted prize.


Most likely to say: "You should wear low cut tops like that more often, you've got the curves for it"

6. The Daredevil One

This party animal loves nothing more than showing their work mates how well they can twerk, plank and generally throw their body around the room.

They assume the role of a super hero for the duration of the party, and genuinely thinks they are immune to injury.

You'll spot the daredevil one sliding down banisters, hanging from a beam of wood attached to the ceiling, or diving into the crowd on the dance floor from a height.

Clearly they runs the risk of ending up in A&E before the night is out.

Most likely to say: "Do you want a piggy back up the stairs? You can blindfold me."

7. The Amateur Philosopher

Two hours into the party, while most people are trying successfully (or unsuccessfully) to attract someone of their preferred gender, this person will be found discussing the 'big topics'.

Subjects include life, death, and that old chestnut -  'how technology has corrupted the youth of today'.

This person may be the easy-going type in the office, but it transpires that when they get a sniff of alcohol, they evolve into Aristotle.

What a bore.

Most likely to say: "Can I tell you how I would go about solving the situation in the Middle East? I'd go back as far as 1957 and......"

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