How to deal with work Christmas party

So,  here we are. It’s December, which means going to a Christmas staff party. Let’s be honest, how many of us here actually really enjoy those? I thought I do, but then I decided that not exactly.

Since I have two part-time jobs, I get to go to more than one Christmas party, as they call it. And you know, it’s so much effort. One of my jobs involves working in retail, a luxury retail to be precise. The place where people are more judgemental than usual, can spot when you didn’t co-ordinate your outfit well, and in general are very good with those bitchy vibes. Doesn’t sound appealing. On the other hand, my office job means talking to those who I would never bother to ask ‘how are you?’ because there’s just no point.The way my office job works is that our company rents rooms from another company, the one that is organising the party. But like I said, the problem is that we don’t really like each other that much. So here we are. It would be rude of them not to invite us, and it would be rude for us not to attend it. That’s the problem, so often Christmas parties are something that you don’t essentially want to participate in, yet you technically should go.

I think what makes this experience a bit better is having a glass (or more) of wine, since it seems to appear in most parties. At least you can just raise your spirits, and show that smile that otherwise wouldn’t show up. But, it can also go wrong. Imagine, at my Christmas party that I’ve attended last Sunday, I had perhaps a bit too much wine. And my comments became more sarcastic and snappy, so I’m having major regrets right now. The co-worker I had a meaningless fling with was there, and I might have made a comment, or two, to him. He said that we can’t date because he likes someone else and wants to ‘be loved again’, so doesn’t want to spoil whatever he has with her. Even though ‘he likes me too’. And this happened after our encounter at work, before the start of the shift. Literally, received such statement from him via whats app as I walked away from him.Thanks to red wine, a long day at work and a bit of bitterness that I have towards him, I had to ask him ‘so, how is it going with the girl?’… A comment to which, as I already knew, the reply was going to be negative. He gave the shortest answer, and ran way.  But it felt good. Without that wine, I would have never said anything. Talk about the tensions present though.

The worst part tends to be those interactions with other women. You know when there is a co worker who you are ‘friends’ with, yet your conversations are on such a basic level, that you can sense the mutual dislike on both parties. That was what happened to me. Maybe I am one in a million, but I definitely go to a work due and hope to look better or at least not worse than other female co-workers. I think it is a thing that I wish I didn’t do, yet it comes naturally. So coming to a party, and running into those who you consider as ‘frenemies’ can be awkward. You kinda tell them that they look lovely, while at the same time you judge them head to toe, and also question who looks better.Then you try to ask how is their life going, how are they finding the night… And then you leave. Consider it as fulfilment of your duty. You are obliged to show politeness, even though there’s so many tensions behind. Work parties for you.

I am not saying that all work parties tend to be overly awkward. But it would be hard to deny that there is ALWAYS some tension between different individuals. At the end of the day, we are all there as part of our annual duty, because it would be rude not to. And most of us either get overly drunk so we don’t remember anything from the night, or we get back home and bitch about our night to the flatmate/mother/husband/boyfriend or a cat/dog. With another glass of wine.

I wish you all to have a wonderful, festive month of December without majorly disappointing staff parties. Lighten it up with a notion of carelessness. So what if you make a comment or two that are awkward? Or if your dress code doesn’t match everyone else’s. Laugh it off. People will not like you more or less after the Christmas do. Have fun, and enjoy it with those that you actually like!

And here is a shot of me from that night, with a half-empty glass in my hand. 20 mins into the night.

Sandra

xo

 

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