There’s a lot of talk at this time of year about office holiday parties — and for good reason. These events can sometimes make or break your career.
Make: there are ways to maximize the networking opportunities that are potentially available at these gatherings. Break: one false move, and you could go from the buffet line to the unemployment line.
If all that seems too stressful, don’t fret. Chances are, your office party will fall somewhere in between. In any case, it’s almost certain to seem boring compared to these tales:
1.”I’ll Never Live It Down.”
Fine, I’d had too many eggnogs. And when I left the party the driver of the town car idling outside was friendly. I got in and somehow managed to direct him to my house, on Long Island—over an hour away from the party. He seemed confused but didn’t argue.
The next morning at our 9 a.m. meeting I was called out in front of my entire team by my boss. Turns out, the car service was hers and I’d left her stranded in the freezing cold after the bar closed. When she found out they’d taken me all the way home, she freaked and notified HR—who took the expense out of my paycheck and suggested I get counseling for a drinking problem.
It was mortifying. I’ll never live it down. – via Forbes
2. Too Hot to Handle
Let me preface this by saying that my team and I love hot sauces — the hotter and more exotic the better. We collect them and share them around when we find a good one.
My team went out to a fancy Italian restaurant in the Denver area a few Christmases ago, and one of the guys had gone to a specialty spice store downtown and bought some whole ghost chili peppers to use in some chili. He saved one and produced it that night at dinner; daring anyone to eat it.
Being more on the machismo side of things, one of the other guys accepted the challenge and chomped it down whole. After turning redder than Rudolph’s nose, and having mild hallucinations, he ended up vomiting all over the floor of one of the side server rooms of the restaurant.
Needless to say many laughs were had by all on behalf of his overestimated pain tolerance, and his Christmas dinner was thoroughly ruined because he said ‘things didn’t taste right’ for several days afterwards. – via Business Insider
3. In the Family
I was at an office Christmas party and was probably drinking a bit too much. At the dinner table, I sat near my boss and his wife, who worked at a local furniture store. I didn’t know much about the store.
When his wife started talking about the business and how slow it had been that year, I said that the store would be wise to dump the “annoying old man” who starred in the store’s television commercials.
The table went silent. My boss’s wife said, “That ‘unfunny old man’ is my father.” Needless to say I didn’t say, or drink, much more after that. – via Thought Catalog
4. But the Crowd Loved It
Fell into the band’s loudspeaker during an emotional, yet crowd-pleasing version of “Frosty the Snowman.” – via NPR
5. Does This Qualify for Workers’ Comp?
At my company’s holiday party last year, one of my coworkers got so drunk he was doing high-kicks in the middle of the bar.
It was pretty funny at first, if I’m honest. But then he kicked so high he actually ripped his suit pants and threw himself flat on his back.
He ended up having to miss work the next few days because he had pulled so many muscles in his legs and actually broke his wrist landing. We all just watched, totally cringing. – via Fairygodboss
6. The Barter System
Our official company holiday party was pretty tame–just dinner. But the unofficial after party at a nearby bar is where things got a little messy.
After several rounds of drinks and shots I guess it was deemed that I was too drunk to make it home, so someone put me in a cab.
The next morning I pieced together what happened: I had lost my wallet at some point during the night and when I didn’t have any money or credit cards to pay the taxi driver, I drunkenly gave him my iPhone as payment.
To make matters worse, I had a horrible hangover the next day and when I called my phone, he refused to give it back! – via Fast Company
7. The Invitation Had Some Fine Print
I was working in a sandwich shop with only six employees. The owner invited all of us to a formal holiday party at his house. I didn’t realize until I showed up—in my only fancy party dress—that I was expected to work the event, serving all the owner’s friends and family! – via Thought Catalog
Stories have been lightly edited for style.
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