Monday, December 19, 2005

Party...carefully

Now that we’re right in the middle of office party season, I’m sure we’ve all had ample opportunity to witness the consistent ability of colleagues to leave their sensibilities at the door before they proceed to embarrass themselves and threaten their future careers. To wit:

  • Young man has been employed as a low-level employee for a whole week. He loads up on wine early in the evening, then introduces himself to his new colleagues by draping his arm around their shoulders and lecturing them – with slurred speech and brewery breath – on why he loves being a part of the team.
  • Young lady (oops, now I sound like my father, but I digress) shows up alone, plastered into a dress that wouldn’t be out of place on a Vegas street corner. Spends her time eyeballing co-workers who took the time to come with dates. Said dates don’t look too pleased.
  • Longtime employee takes off his tie, wraps it around his head Bruce Willis style, and proceeds to show us all why he’s such an excellent dancer. Maybe when he’s sober. But right about now, he looks like an idiot.
  • Ex-employee shows up either hammered or stoned – sorry, I’m no expert in these matters. Gives the “I love you” speech to some, and the “you b---h, you got me fired” diatribe to others. Is eventually ordered off the premises, and thankfully hasn’t shown up in those crime summaries in the newspaper.

I like to use the CLM acronym to describe these. It stands for Career Limiting Move, and it amazes me how, year after year, people continue to make the same laughable – or maybe not so laughable – mistakes. It would be easy to say it’s because of excessive alcohol consumption, but someone’s gotta make the boneheaded decision to head down that road in the first place. Stupid is as stupid does.

The Boston Globe ran a great piece on this over the weekend. Entitled, Caution: Employees celebrating, it may save some grief for those who still understand that even office parties have rules that should never be broken.

Your turn: What's your worst office party story?

16 comments:

Uisce said...

Gosh, it's been so long since my company has even thrown a holiday party!

Rachel - Wicked Ink said...

I have discovered the benefits of having a low tolerance for alcohol. I am the driver, decline to drink - or at the most, half a glass of wine with dinner.

And haven't seen too much bad behaviour out of others for several years... must be the industry.

In my restaurant days - there was an abundance of alcohol, and much partying, but no one stuck out too much - we all acted like little piggies.

Plain Jane said...

Mine comes two fold: the worst company party I attended was one where I was continually accosted by lower level staff members asking me why I didn't hire their uncle, cousin, brother, etc. I left very early that time.

The second one was the one where I called the CFO a.. well, you could use the word to crassly indicate a woman's netherparts, or your kitty cat. I called him that because he kept getting me to drink the shots that were being sent around. *groan* He thought it was funny, my boss did not.

Now? Company functions are that - functions that I don't get too indulgent at.

kontan said...

(quick version) not mine but a friends...drive 45 minutes to a nice place, make it for their 8 PM reservation. this is somewhere that you bring your own cocktail makings. never been there, found it odd though. anyway. . . appetizers did not arrive until 9:30. b/w arrival and 930 lots of alcohol was consumed by one memeber of the group. skip to the end . . . on the drive home drunk guy (riding with his boss and family) spews all over the dash and floorboard. bosses wife is driving, having a duck fit. they have to stop 6 times on the way home so dude can spew his guts out. somehow i'm thinking next year will be a no alcohol party...that is if dude is even around after this stupid act.

puremood said...

I don't have any office party stories :)

Merry Christmas, Carmi

Prego said...

Worst office party experience was attending. I have always found it very hard to hang with co-workers. Drunk co-workers only makes it twice as chafing. There was a lot to be said for inebriated consensual "misbehaviour," though.

Plumkrazzee said...

My husband and I went to his office party with another couple that I hardly knew, but he was good friends with the guy...after deciding I didn't like his girlfriend (some strange weirdness factor) I went to the bathroom. She followed me in, and started to comment on very inappropriate things to comment on. She was hitting on me. I literally raced out of the bathroom, after which I had to sit the remainder of the evening pretending nothing was wrong/weird. ( I didn't want to say anything in front of the boyfriend) Afterwards, I told my hubby and he said...."That's Hot", mimicking Paris Hilton. Why does no one take me seriously!!? ARGH!

Sandy said...

Let's put it this way - after our office parties, I start to think we could host our own 12-step program. It's sick. Those of us that don't get stupid and, ahh, involved, take bets on who will emerge from who's room in the morning. If you're paying close enough attention you can win lots of money on the game.

I stopped going to company functions I have a choice on. Seriously. Last one I had to go to, I ended up helping three over people scrape a passed-out drunken coworker off the floor of the hotel hallway.

Deana said...

My best friend at work and I would always make a pact before any kind of office event that had alcohol involved to monitor each other. No matter what we couldn't go over that 2 drink limit so that we wouldn't end up saying something that couldn't be taken back.

K Jones said...

No big revelations here, but at my wife's company party, the company actually reserves rooms for the guests that are too intoxicated to drive home. Well, this leads to awkward co-worker sleeping arrangements. The tension in the office can be cut like a rumcake for weeks thereafter.

kenju said...

I have never been to an office party of the type you describe. Tomorrow, my boss is having a luncheon at his new house for the 4 women who work with him, and while wine will no doubt be served, we will all imbibe carefully.

Dak-Ind said...

the worst one for me wasnt an office party, it was a class reunion. my boyfriend (at the time) and his best friend graduated together. the best friend's girlfriend was below average. i was not. my boyfriend went off and talked former glory with several other ex high school football types, and i sat and drank with the boyfriends best friend. (his girlfriend found someone she knew and wandered away leaving just me and my boyfriends buddy) everyone thought the buddy and i were a couple (something the buddy tried to encourage... the misconception i mean) and my boyfriend blamed me. i got drunk drunk drunk drunk and went home alone in a cab.

CarpeDM said...

I've been to a few office parties but there's never been too much craziness.

This year, the office hired a hypnotist and I faked being hypnotized (didn't want the guy to feel bad that it didn't work).

But I love hearing about holiday parties gone awry!

Busy Mom said...

I must be in the wrong line of work, except for a few episodes of people showcasing their "dance moves", nothing terribly eventful has happened!

Jeff said...

Our current office manager (I'll call her Jane) was hired only after our "first choice" decided to quit and apply for unemployment. At this year's party, Jane's husband (I'll refer to him as Dick) approached me and said "Who was it that hired that other girl over Jane?" "Uhhhhhh. That was me, Dick." "Boy, you must feel like a real......" at which point I exited stage left and glared at him from across the room. Shoulda realized it was the martinis talking, but I'll be keeping my distance in the future - mostly for his sake.

Fraulein N said...

I started at my current job only a couple of months before Christmas, so I didn't know anyone that well. That year we went to a restaurant where they had closed down the place for just us, and people from another department.

It just so happened that none of the higher-ups were in that day, and the restaurant was only too happy to keep the booze flowing. They kept bringing around trays of stuff for us to drink. This one dude in the other department took full advantage. Actually everyone was acting a little like kids do when there's a sub, but this one guy... We were seated at about six tables and he had SEVERAL drinks sitting at EACH table. He was bouncing around from drink to drink, singing and talking loudly and generally making an ass out of himself. I'm sure he's not like that all the time, but I still have not been able to bring myself to look him in the eye.