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Top five awkward moments at the Christmas party

Sure, the promise of free booze from your boss is irresistible. But just how awkward a predicament will it land you in?

Written by
Alexi Duggins

When the final month of the year rolls around it can either bring with it the best of times or the most embarrassing of times. We're putting our money on the latter. Because when the boss's bar tab comes out, so do the pained conversations with what's-his-name from the other side of the office or the stragglers' (we're looking at you) undignified dash for the last dregs of booze. Here are the most five awkward moments that can plague the Xmas party.

Awkward Christmas party moments

1. The bar tab runs out

Initially, when you noticed that the invite to the annual Christmas bash featured the words ‘free bar tab’, this was a good thing. Hell, it was a GREAT thing. But after 20 minutes of waiting in a crush while the entire finance department order three cocktails apiece? Not so much. So when you see Clive from your department make it to the bar and he agrees to take your order, you are instantly overwhelmed with a feeling of love for him. Good old Clive! You’d do anything for old Cliveykins! Until that is, the bar person hands over the drinks and says: ‘That’ll be £30 mate. Yeah, sorry: the bar tab’s run out.’ At that point, you’ll beat a hasty retreat and join your colleagues in nail-bitingly awkward conversation where everyone pretends to have been slightly too far away to notice him handing over cash.

2. Inappropriate smooching

It’s a fundamental law of the universe that wherever office Xmas parties happen, so too does inappropriate smooching. You simply cannot fight this awkwardness: at some point during your office party, it will inevitably touch your life for the worse. Think you can have a polite conversation with Tracey from HR? You can’t. The presence of vast quantities of cheap white wine and ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ has turned Tracey from HR into a sexual tractor beam as far as her desk-buddy Simon is concerned. Thus, he will leap into your conversation and attempt to loudly out-banter you, as though you are two rutting stags who have replaced their antlers with the ability to be moderately amusing when drunk. Well, either that or the CEO will get it on with the intern.

3. The boss wants to dance

Deep down, your CEO is just like you. Sure, your annual salary’s what they spend on their monthly botox sesh, but they have a bloody good laugh outside of the office. At the Christmas party, they’re going to prove it to you – whether you like it or not. It will go like this:

a) They decide that they don’t like the music and spend a while making jokes about who is paying the DJs’ wages. These, clearly, are not really jokes.

b) Jean from marketing attempts to earn a promotion by informing the DJ that the boss wants them to play ‘a bit of Madonna’. They will deliver this with the kind of meaningful tone that suggests the boss is Don Corleone and that he has just ordered a fresh batch of horses’ heads.

c) This happens: 


4. You go back to someone’s flat

'All back to mine!' yells Dave after the party has finished. This, obviously, is brilliant news. Dave lives a ten minute walk away, you can all drink his booze and as he keeps loudly telling everyone: 'There’s no closing time at Dave’s flat!' Unfortunately, there is also no mood lighting at Dave’s flat. Nor is there any booze that isn’t out-of-date Limoncello. And, now you come to think of it: why are you hanging out with Dave, anyway? You hate Dave!

5. You have no idea who this person is

It was all going so well. When someone on your team tried to introduce you to a colleague with the dreaded words 'Have you two met?' you aced it (paused slightly to see what they were going to say, then quickly chimed in with: 'Of course we have!'). You managed to spend the next 15 minutes engaged in small talk about their job without giving away the fact that you have literally no idea what they do. And then someone else turns up and says: 'Aren’t you going to introduce us to each other?' At which point your ignorance is out of the bag and you’re left furiously apologising while they complain: 'But we’re in the same meeting every week!' Oopsie.
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