Christmas Work Night Out Survival Guide

So you agreed to it back in September when it didn’t seem like a big deal. And anyway, it was months in advance, right? Almost as though it was never actually going to happen. Now it’s the second Friday in December. It’s actually here, and you’re getting those feelings of “Why did I sign up for this?” “Can I make an excuse?” “Maybe I should drive so that I can leave when I feel like it (the earlier the better)?” Take a deep breath, pull on your Spanx, and follow my Christmas Work Night Out Survival Guide to ensure you don’t dread going back to face the music on Monday morning.

Rule 1: Suss out who else is going.

Chances are you wouldn’t have signed up for it unless at least one good work buddy was going, but there’s a lot more to this than you might think. Is the big boss going, or that one person who likes taking any opportunity to make you feel a little bit incompetent? If so, you need to make the deal with yourself NOW that you simply will not get too drunk and lairy. If you just can’t trust yourself, it might well be worth taking the driving option so you have no choice other than to stay in full control. Plus you’ll score bonus points from any colleagues you can generously offer to drop home. (Tip: keep some carrier bags in the car for them to use as sick bags in case of emergencies.) The driving option also means that you won’t be the person having a Monday morning conversation with the big boss that starts: “Whilst I like a good laugh as much as the next person…” Those never end well.

Rule 2: Choose your outfit carefully.

No one has the right to tell you how to dress or behave, granted. But none of us wants to have to deal with the snide “Did you see what Kelly from accounts was wearing?” comments when we go back to work. Yes, it’s all usually rooted in others’ jealousy and insecurity but make your work life easier on yourself. People can be mean. Let ‘em be mean about someone else and do your bit by defending their chosen victim. Unless of course, you’ve been waiting for this opportunity to bag Steve from HR. In which case, bronzer up that cleavage and go for your life. Assuming Steve’s quite happy about the situation.

Rule 3: Be fun.

Fun…but not the stuff office legends are made of. On no account should you ever be the drunk crier who will be on the end of pitying looks at work for a few weeks afterwards and then avoided at the next “do”. Similarly, we all know a Dave from marketing who simulated sex with the dance floor after one too many flaming Sambucas. Never be That Guy. Know your limits.

Rule 4: Don’t have sex with anyone.

I know Rule #2 talks about Steve from HR and if there’s an unspoken agreement in place that “tonight’s the night” that’s very different from the spur-of-the-moment, “Actually, through these lovely new beer goggles and dry ice, I now realise that Pete from admin is a dead ringer for Jude Law. I must ride him immediately.” You’ll wake up tomorrow and wish you’d read this first.

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Rule 5: Social Media.

Never post anything to any social media without the express permission of anyone involved in the photo/video. If you’ve only ever said “Hi” in the lift on a few occasions to Sue from corporate who’s spent years developing a reputation as a hardass business ballbreaker, she will not appreciate you letting the world see her karaoke rendition of Christina Aguilera’s Dirty as she grinds against Pete from admin. Oh and don’t bE Sue from corporate. Have your wits about you. People less drunk than you will take photos and videos of you. The buggers.

Of course, with all of that said, there is a little addendum. Should you forget the rules and things go slightly awry, hold your head high on Monday morning and be proud to have given them something to talk about. You are now the stuff of legends.

Go enjoy the party! Merry Christmas!

By Jules O’Brian

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