The Christmas party. These three little words can cause great anxiety. While I'm sure many people relish the thought of having a night out with their colleagues, there are others who would rather an eve of celebrations with any human beings on earth, rather than the people they already have to endure day in, day out.
Work is work and at least you get paid for it. You do not get paid to go to your Christmas party. In fact, some employees are even expected to pay for their own Christmas parties.
I have heard of companies that organise weekends away where employees can bond over mulled wine, mince pies and organised 'fun'. My idea of hell, if you ask. I can do a couple of hours, no problem. Anybody can be pleasant for a couple of hours, indulging in chit chat, exchanging pleasantries and complimenting colleagues on their gorgeous, sequinned dresses.
It can be done once you know that the end is soon nigh, and you can slip away without notice. But a weekend away with no escape? Heck, no, I would honestly have to resign before the Christmas party happened. I really would. I don't know about the rest of you, but I've never worked in a place where I liked the people enough to spend two whole days and nights with them.
Even one whole night is pushing it.
Of course the best thing about most Christmas parties is the free drink. Free drink is also the worst thing about most Christmas parties. There is always someone who makes a fool of themselves. And it's always a bonus if it isn't you.
If it is you, don't beat yourself up about it all over the holidays. People will have forgotten about you sitting on the boss's knee by the time New Year comes around. And at least you made the party not so boring.
Even if you snog someone you really shouldn't from work, don't dwell on it. It happens all the time and people just go on about their lives. It's not something worth resigning over, even if the following day's 'fear' is all encompassing. At least you didn't injure someone. Or, maybe you did?
Then I understand why you might considering resigning. Injuring others at the Christmas festivities is not at all cool. No, really. I remember a few years ago my boyfriend telling me about his Christmas party. It was a non-partner event. Personally, I think partners should always be invited. They tend to maintain some order - especially if the workplace is male-dominated.
At my boyfriend's Christmas party there were a couple of hundred men and just a handful of women. There was too much booze and too much testosterone.
There was a Santa going around on skates giving out spot prizes. Some lunatic decided it would be a good idea to tackle the mobile Santa to the ground.
Santa was hospitalised because of the incident. He suffered a broken arm and a couple of cracked ribs.
The party was not deemed a success and the year after partners were re-instated. I have no idea whether the employee was disciplined. However, there is a lesson to be learned here. Every work Christmas party always has one idiot. This year, let it not be you.