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View as: GRID LIST

I Miss The Work Christmas ‘Do’

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A 2014 study reported that a quarter of UK office workers said that they were looking forward to their office Christmas party, yet a fifth admitted that they hated the Christmas party. Well, bah humbug to that minority, because I for one, used to love the annual festive bash. Now I work at home, I miss the infectious excitement that came with working in a London office during the silly season. Yet back then, working in HR brought its own post party challenges.

The old days

I can still recall the excitement hurtling around the office on the day of

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the Christmas party. I’m not sure many of us invested in too much work. Instead, the day usually panned out with a long lunch gossiping about the night ahead, a huge discussion about whether there would be any scandal and a culture of constant clock watching. When the day could be officially classified as afternoon, I would spend about a million hours with all the other women from the office crammed into the Ladies’ toilets layering on makeup, donning the obligatory Spanx and sparkly dress and suffocating everyone with a thick fog of hairspray in a
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frantic attempt to keep my homemade ‘up do’ up during the guaranteed bad dancing.

The role of HR

Yet for all the joys of the party and excitement of a free and highly boozy night, as an HR member colleagues were always a little wary of me. They knew I loved a good time, but they were outwardly cautious that I was judging their behaviour because officially they were still ‘at work’. Gross misconduct still applies because a work Christmas do is considered an extension of work.

Some of the stories

I could write a book about some of the

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incidences I encountered at corporate work dos, but for me, there are some memories that have never budged. Once a colleague told me that a co-worker was taking coke in the men’s toilets at our offsite Christmas party, but they couldn’t possibly name him. Quite what I was supposed to do I’m still not sure. Another time, a lady supposedly instigated a game of ‘bottom pitching’ and the next day she brought a grievance against all the men who took part. And then, of course, there was the predictable office party punch-up. Now that was one way to
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sober me up.

And the current reality

Now that I am a work from home writer and mum I don’t get to go to the long, boozy Christmas work lunches I used to attend in the city. I don’t get all glammed up to go out out to the office Christmas party. And although I miss that, I also wonder if I have outgrown it a bit. The thought now of getting smashed at the party, stumbling to some city dive club and staggering home with the Christmas drunks doesn’t appeal. The socialising does, just not the getting home and evading sleep.

So now, to ensure I

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don’t go without a party, I round up all my local, self-employed or full-time mum buddies and we have our own ‘work’ Christmas dos. Admittedly, we get about two minutes to get ready, potentially with a small child attached to our leg, we always make sure we eat, the old adage of ‘eating’s cheating’ no longer applicable. Call me old and dull, but now I like to get home before midnight and get some kip before the boys jump on my head in the morning. It’s that or a gross misconduct case on my desk.

How life has changed….

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Corporate to Kids

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- 10 Dec 18

A 2014 study reported that a quarter of UK office workers said that they were looking forward to their office Christmas party, yet a fifth admitted that they hated the Christmas party. Well, bah humbug to that minority, because I for one, used to love the annual festive bash. Now I work at home, I miss the infectious excitement that came with working in a London office during the silly season. Yet back then, working in HR brought its own post party challenges.

The old days

I can still recall the excitement hurtling around the office on the day of the Christmas party. I’m not sure many of us invested in too much work. Instead, the day usually panned out with a long lunch gossiping about the night ahead, a huge discussion about whether there would be any scandal and a culture of constant clock watching. When the day could be officially classified as afternoon, I would spend about a million hours with all the other women from the office crammed into the Ladies’ toilets layering on makeup, donning the obligatory Spanx and sparkly dress and suffocating everyone with a thick fog of hairspray in a frantic attempt to keep my homemade ‘up do’ up during the guaranteed bad dancing.

The role of HR

Yet for all the joys of the party and excitement of a free and highly boozy night, as an HR member colleagues were always a little wary of me. They knew I loved a good time, but they were outwardly cautious that I was judging their behaviour because officially they were still ‘at work’. Gross misconduct still applies because a work Christmas do is considered an extension of work.

Some of the stories

I could write a book about some of the incidences I encountered at corporate work dos, but for me, there are some memories that have never budged. Once a colleague told me that a co-worker was taking coke in the men’s toilets at our offsite Christmas party, but they couldn’t possibly name him. Quite what I was supposed to do I’m still not sure. Another time, a lady supposedly instigated a game of ‘bottom pitching’ and the next day she brought a grievance against all the men who took part. And then, of course, there was the predictable office party punch-up. Now that was one way to sober me up.

And the current reality

Now that I am a work from home writer and mum I don’t get to go to the long, boozy Christmas work lunches I used to attend in the city. I don’t get all glammed up to go out out to the office Christmas party. And although I miss that, I also wonder if I have outgrown it a bit. The thought now of getting smashed at the party, stumbling to some city dive club and staggering home with the Christmas drunks doesn’t appeal. The socialising does, just not the getting home and evading sleep.

So now, to ensure I don’t go without a party, I round up all my local, self-employed or full-time mum buddies and we have our own ‘work’ Christmas dos. Admittedly, we get about two minutes to get ready, potentially with a small child attached to our leg, we always make sure we eat, the old adage of ‘eating’s cheating’ no longer applicable. Call me old and dull, but now I like to get home before midnight and get some kip before the boys jump on my head in the morning. It’s that or a gross misconduct case on my desk.

How life has changed….

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Corporate to Kids

Who: Sarah - Queen of self-deprecation Job: from corporate HR career to Mum, Writer and Blogger Children: two boys with a 13 month age gap!! Obsessions: writing, Haribos, rainbows, coffee, fizz

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