1. The boss
Each year it's the same. First, Clive the MD puts on his elf costume. Then he hands out the secret Santas. Then he works his way from one end of the drinks table to the other. Then, at around 10pm, 'Fairytale of New York' comes on. 'Come on, you bonkers lot!' he screams at his underlings. 'Time to hit the DANCEFLOOR!' This bonkers lot, however, keep to the edges of the function room. They know this maelstrom of flailing limbs is best appreciated from a safe distance.
2. The wreck
In the ladies' toilets, Nicola from PR is on the phone to her sister. 'A Boots voucher,' she sobs, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue. 'Who the hell would get me a sodding Boots voucher? I'm sick of this sodding place, I'm so sodding undervalued here... What? Of course not, I've only had a couple of glasses of fizz... and those cocktails at that Selfridges thingy earlier... Anyway I've made up my mind: I'm handing in my notice... No I don't need to think it over, I've been sodding unhappy at this place for ages now and I'm handing in my sodding notice right this sodding minUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRGH.'
3. The player
Next door in the gents', Ross from sales has a sly dab of mandy and checks his man bun in the mirror. Fackin' hell, he thinks, that Kirsty from marketing, she's looking well tidy tonight. And he's been getting proper cheeky vibes off her lately. All those flirty emails; all that eye sex over the microwave; all that hilarious bant-ar at Brian's leaving do. She fackin' wants it bad. Ross decides to get that shit on lockdown, and in a cloud of aftershave, he heads back into the party.
4. The eyewitness
Carol from finance sips her sparkling elderflower. Ever since that unfortunate away day at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, she's had a strict policy of no drinking at work-related events. It's earned her an office nickname: The Black Box. The following morning, as everyone else pounds the Nurofen and sifts through a mulch of amnesia, Carol will sit back at her desk and remember everything. Arguments recorded, transgressions noted, gossip logged: all filed away in her head for one showstopper of an exit interview.
5. The whatever
Kirsty watches Ross coming over. He's been pestering her for months. All those wink emojis on emails; all that leering over the microwave; all that pathetic negging at Brian's leaving do. Short of dangling her rape alarm in front of him, she doesn't know how to make him get the hint. As the bells start to chime at the end of 'Stay Another Day', Kirsty looks at her watch, downs her snowball and weighs up her options. Whatever, she thinks. It's Christmas. He's paying for the cab, though.
By Matt Breen, who honestly never remembers a thing.
Illustrations: Nathan James Page