Nothing in the working world can be certain except office holiday parties and the horrifying stories they produce.
To be fair, companies hold holiday festivities every year that don’t involve drama, overdrinking, or hand-to-hand combat, parties where guests leave happy to have attended.
Today, we’re talking about the parties that were less successful.
We’re talking about the party with too much grog or the one with a failed gymnastics routine. These mortifying tales from the party attendees who lived to tell them will remind you to approach the caterer’s open bar with caution.
1. A Capella Karaoke (Against Your Will)
“It was an otherwise ordinary party: dinner and dancing at a local hotel ballroom. But between the dinner and dancing, they had karaoke. Not volunteer karaoke, though, and this was before karaoke machines were available. Several small groups of people were coerced into going up and singing, handed the words to the songs printed on paper, and made to sing a capella in front of the entire room.
It was so painful to watch their embarrassment…no, I’d go so far as to say humiliation. I wasn’t one of those people, so I have no bitterness, but you have to really think twice about the kind of company management that will do that to people. It was downright ugly.”
2. The Last Hoorah
“Our boss made a barbecue at work to celebrate the first year of the company. We had live music, good food, and some beers.
That party was on Friday. Next Monday, when we arrived at work, the company was closed, and the warehouse was completely empty.”
3. Medieval Meltdown
“About 20 years ago, during an office Christmas lunch, about 25 of us went to a local medieval-themed restaurant where they served grog (medieval-style booze) out of wooden mugs, fed patrons entire roasted chickens, and encouraged the customers to throw their bones on the floor so the serving wenches could sweep up during the meal.
A food fight broke out among the ‘happier’ members of our group. The happiest of the bunch picked up a half-eaten chicken and hurled it across a long picnic-style table at someone and ended up hitting the senior department manager right in the face.
There was chicken meat, skin, bones, and grease completely smeared all over the boss’ shirt, tie, and slacks.”
4. There Was an Attempt
“At my company’s holiday party last year, one of my coworkers got so drunk that he was doing high kicks in the middle of the bar.
It was pretty funny at first. 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.”
Let these stories serve as a warning to you. If you respect your drinking limit, don’t force people to sing karaoke, and avoid Rockettes-style high kicks, you can both enjoy your office holiday party and remain employed the following Monday.
In the comments, tell us your craziest holiday-party story!
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