Back To Career News

These Are the 7 Worst Things Readers Have Seen at an Office Holiday Party

What is it about holiday parties that makes people think they should reenact their college keggers? Perhaps it's dealing with a number of different stressors all at once, from pre-travel work deadlines to holiday shopping to coordinating with teammates who are increasingly checked out. Then, of course, there's the bad-decision potentiating power of alcohol. If there's one thing the following stories have taught us, it's that everyone would be better off starting their January cleanse a few weeks early. Certainly, their careers would thank them.

What is it about holiday parties that makes people think they should reenact their college keggers? Perhaps it’s dealing with a number of different stressors all at once, from pre-travel work deadlines to holiday shopping to coordinating with teammates who are increasingly checked out. Then, of course, there’s the bad-decision potentiating power of alcohol. If there’s one thing the following stories have taught us, it’s that everyone would be better off starting their January cleanse a few weeks early. Certainly, their careers would thank them.

party cleanup

(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)

1. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Rebecca: “A bunch of co-workers decided that the wedding reception in the next ballroom looked fun, so they crashed it. They ended up having so much fun at the open bar that security was called and they were kicked off the premises. Come Monday morning, upper management disciplined the whole company by taking away our ’30 Days Without an Accident’ ice cream party. Just like 1st grade…”

2. Speaking of First Grade, Bring Enough for the Whole Class

Susan: “Then there was the holiday get together at the apartment of the worst, most narcissistic, ugly-facelifted magazine publisher in the world. One by one, she called each staff member’s name, thanked them and handed them a gift. Except me. She ‘forgot.’ I still get weepy when I recall how humiliated I felt.”

3. HR Doesn’t Get a Holiday for Just This Reason

Donna: “The first women’s apparel company that I worked for had each of the managers (99 percent female) go on a stage and sit on their (male) regional manager’s lap (who were dressed as Santa) and tell them how much of an increase in sales they wanted to have the following year. It was gross … and yeah, I think I said … a 65 percent increase! It still makes me shudder.”

4. The Mundane Sins of the Over-served

Jen: “Most often, scandalous hookups = married folks hooking up with folks they aren’t married to. Everyone witnesses it. … Or the year a drunk executive shared confidential information about a VP’s employment status.”

5. When the Embarrassing Party Guest … Is You

Christy: “Me at age 22, drunk on an empty stomach and two bottles of white wine, slurring on the couch, spitting while I was talking to the president of the company (friends recalled her wiping her shirt off after I hit her with a glob of drunk spittle) and talking/slurring about how they overworked and underpaid us. …The president was at my desk at 9:01 a.m. the next morning. Sigh. I didn’t get fired but no bueno. Lesson learned.”

6. Remember: Someone Planned That Terrible Party … and You Might Be Talking to Her Right Now

Meghan: “The Christmas after September 11th, the director of my department (higher ed) felt pressure to majorly slash the budget for the annual party. She tasked me with planning a holiday luncheon for 20-25 people for $250. I guess no one realized that I had been stuck with planning it because everyone talked s— about how chintzy the party was — not enough to eat, no booze, in the conference room — TO ME. I did the best I could for $250 and then had to hear about how s—-y the cold-cut platter was from gossipy co-workers. We were back to an open bar at a restaurant the next year and I can’t remember what happened at *that* party.”

7. Given Everything Else, This One Is Understandable

Bryce: “I avoid every possible holiday party, especially of the office variety. Some people seem to find that to be pretty horrible behavior.”

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen at a holiday party? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Read more from Jen

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "These Are the 7 Worst Things Readers Have Seen at an Office Holiday Party"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Kathryn
Guest

I got fired the day before our Christmas Party for saying no to my boss….stating I was insubordinate. Actually never made the secret Santa!!

Nate S.
Guest
We had a white elephant gift exchange at a work party with mostly male engineers. It was suppose to be fun and since the gifts were cheep it shouldn’t have mattered what was in them. I bought a hammer, screwdriver, tape measure and a couple of other tools at the dollar store and wrapped them in a shoe box and it was heaver than most of the other presents. As part of the gift exchange there were opportunities to trade presents with someone else. Our secretary fought hard to get mine and was visibly disappointed and hurt when she opened… Read more »
wpDiscuz
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.