To paraphrase 30 Rock, ain't no party like an office party, because an office party is mandatory. And there is no office shindig more lit than an office holiday party.
It's a little crazy to me that office holiday parties are even a thing, and that they're often put on by human resources departments. It's a situation ripe for messy situations, what with the free-flowing booze, the late hours, and the tensions that can build among people forced to spend 40 hours a week together.
Here are 15 memes and tweets that truly capture the essence of this ill-advised workplace tradition.
On the one hand, sure, it is a good sign that your coworkers care about your whereabouts and wellbeing. I'm just not so sure whatever led to such universal concern is such a positive sign... especially if you're at all fuzzy on the events of the evening.
The counterargument here is probably something about getting to know your coworkers on a more personal level, outside of work, where everyone has an opportunity to let their hair down. But my counter-counterargument is... who asked for this?
Some offices really go all out for the holiday party, to the extent one might wonder... who is paying for this? The answer is: you are! I mean, basically? Your labor made it so your company could throw this probably very expensive catered event with a theme and a very well-stocked bar. Just some food for thought next time your boss says there's no room in the budget to give you that raise you've been asking after the past two years...
If you're prone to anxiety, the office holiday party is truly a nightmare trifecta. It essentially takes three of the most stress-inducing settings — work, the holidays, and a party — and swirls them all up into one occasion. And then, as is often the case, unlimited alcohol. What could go wrong?
Ah... right, that's what could go wrong. This is an especially big danger if there's not enough food at the party, but even with a full buffet it's hard to stay within an acceptable level of inebriation in the face of an open bar and people you're not super comfortable around.
The trouble is, alcohol is a powerful disinhibitor. You likely felt the need to have one or two to take the edge off and feel more comfortable talking casually with Greg, Senior VP of Sales. But if you and Greg get a little too loosey-goosey, it's only a matter of time before you find out who each other voted for in 2016.
At the very least, you should be able to work from home the day after a holiday party for work if it lands on a work night. The only people who can make it to work on time after such an occasion either don't drink or drink so often that a shindig like that doesn't faze them.
There is one upside to abstaining at the party, or at the very least taking it super easy. There's nothing like the moral superiority you'll feel as you watch all the gray faces filled with nausea and regret file in the next morning (if they even show up).
OK, I can vouch for this being a thing. As much as office parties can be nightmares, they do sometimes provide the perfect recipe for lifelong friendship. I thought my best friend was stuck up and didn't like me until we got drunk at work together.
Even if the evening ends in disaster, there is a sense of camaraderie afterward. You all drank that much Fireball and survived! And how different are Fireball whisky and napalm, really? It's basically like surviving 'Nam.
While we're out here bitching and moaning about our Christmas parties, please remember the teachers who get the short end of the stick... always. If they have to buy their own magic markers you better believe they're paying for their own Christmas parties, too. Honestly, most of the time their party is with your kids. And in this post-allergen, post-gluten age, that means, in addition to being booze-free, the treats probably suck.
This time of year probably also feels like a bummer for employees who work remotely. What they don't realize is they've been spared a hangover and the fuzzy recollection of the boss performing questionable karaoke duets with his direct reports.
...Ah yes. Those who don't make it to the party also get to avoid the cold sweats the morning after as they analyze everything they said under the influence and how it may be used against them in HR later.
The other danger is remembering the night too clearly. Office holiday parties are full of awkward exchanges and painful hints to what your coworkers really think of you. The other big cringe-inducing introduction involves the person clearly having no idea what your name is as they're trying to explain to their spouse who you are to them.
It's good that, in the age of MeToo, we're saying goodbye to consequence-free holiday parties. Bob in Marketing has to answer for his inappropriate comments and gestures while judging the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest! But that also means you're probably going to have to answer for whatever you say about your boss under the influence, too.
So... party responsibly!