It’s that time of year again, time to drink an inordinate amount of alcohol while surrounded by people you spend most of your week with but really don’t know that much about.
To put it simply, coworker relationships are weird. In some cases, you spend more time with your coworkers than you do your own family. But people are called “work” friends for a reason. You grab lunch with your work friends, you talk about your boss with your work friends, and sometimes you drink with your work friends if they’re cool.
The holiday party is a dynamic that should really only happen once a year. You’re mixing your personal life with your work life which for the most part, should not coincide. This isn’t happy hour after work on a Tuesday, this is real, and usually induces a dreadful morning after. As employees, we are often told to leave our personal life “at the door” and then this one instance a year we are told to bring on the baggage. This is a time where it is okay to speak about things other than work and try to piece together who these people are that you spend so much time with every week. This is where you meet your work-husband’s real wife and assess how they live outside of work. You know, you think your work husband is awesome; he knows your coffee order, and that when you skip breakfast you’re grumpy, and that Thursday is your cheat day for lunch. Granted all of these things are based on food, they are important. Then, you meet their significant other, and a certain jealousy comes over you. Not because you want him, but because you think you have a right to him. Like a piece of meat, you own a portion of his soul because people that spend that much time together have to have some sort of connection. A wave of disappointment comes over you when you realize their wife is a bitch and it is suddenly not cute that she packs his lunch anymore, it’s just controlling. There’s also that coworker you thought was a total weirdo and chased trains. But turns out she has a dope husband and is a total Phish-head.
Whether your office party is physically in your office, or at a cool trendy venue, there will always be that coworker that drinks too much and makes a fool of themselves (chances are it will be more than one, and most likely it’s you). Office romances will start and most likely end that night, and you wake up the next day knowing you probably fucked up at some point throughout the evening. Your employers do NOT have a right to be upset that you sang “What’s going on” by 4-Non Blondes because they provided and open bar with minimal appetizers. What do they expect from us? To have just two drinks when they are free? That’s asinine.
There is one message to be heard about the morning after your holiday party; It Gets Better. You think you were out of line because you grabbed your coworkers ass for some money? Guess what? He doesn’t remember and chances are he paid it forward at some point. There are theories as to why everyone gets completely obliterated at this one event a year, but really it’s quite simple. We fucking deserve this. We bust our asses all year round (most likely for sub-par salary), devote at least 40-60 hours a week to this business, and we deserve to let loose for an evening without being judged by our peers. If you haven’t had your holiday party yet because your company is cheap and pushed it to “after the New Year”, you still have time to make an ass of yourself. So please, make it count because YOU CAN.