What to do if you’re embarrassing yourself at work’s Christmas party?

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas, which can only mean one thing for employees across the country: the company Christmas party is just around the corner.

And 2022 is also shaping up to be a record year for work-related celebrations, after two years of disruption caused by the pandemic.

According to a survey by executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 42 percent of companies are planning an in-person party to celebrate the holidays. This is a significant increase from the 13 per cent who held similar celebrations in 2021 and suggests a gradual return to normal for workers everywhere.

However, a little caution is required when it comes to celebrating Christmas with work colleagues. If there’s one celebratory tradition that could be left in the past, it’s that of making a fool of yourself at work’s Christmas party.

Work Christmas party stories on social media

In earlier times, these often alcohol-related leaks might have stayed indoors, but in the age of the internet, these offenses are often shared on social media.

The popular online forum Mumsnet is known for serving as a modern day confessional for stories of this nature. “Had my work Christmas party over the weekend and drank way too much,” said a user writing under the name Goosie Lucy. “I probably did the worst thing and ended up making it up with my boss … I’m considering handing in my resignation and leaving the country.”

But while admissions of this sort do emerge, it’s more common for someone to tell a story about someone else’s hilariously horrific behavior. Reddit is full of these woe stories.

“I remember going to my dad’s company Christmas party a year where his boss thought he was funny and took a bar from one of the trays they used to bring in food,” said Redditor jojewels92. “They turned the food well until they encountered a small bump. 50 pounds of mashed potatoes flew everywhere and then he [his dad] slipped in face first and knocked out his tooth. Emergency dentists are very hard to find.”

But while these stories serve as a warning to stay calm during Christmas party shenanigans, news week has sought out a selection of HR and etiquette experts to help deal with the possible fallout from an embarrassing party incident.

A woman sleeping at her desk
Stock image of a woman sleeping at her desk at Christmas – Social media is full of stories of Christmas party regrets.
baramee2554/Getty

Your company Christmas party is still a work event

Jesse Meschuk is a career and HR professional who serves as a Senior Advisor at Exequity and is the Founder and Managing Partner of Peak Paragon Consulting.

Meschuk has more than 20 years of consulting and personnel experience and is perfectly positioned to draw attention to the dangers of misconduct at the company Christmas party. “The first thing to remember is that your company holiday celebration is still a work event,” he said news week. “The same expectations about how you behave and how you behave in the office apply when you are on vacation.

“It’s a great opportunity to celebrate with your colleagues, get to know them even better and have a good time – but if you feel like you’re saying something or behaving in a certain way that would be questionable behavior in the office – the best advice is not to do it.”

Meshuk notes that while these gatherings provide an opportunity to bond with co-workers through non-work-related conversation and engagement, it’s important to remember that negative behavior can also have the reverse effect, causing co-workers to question your judgment Future.

In conclusion, he stressed the importance of some key facts that should be considered in any type of work-related social gathering. “Inappropriate behavior at a holiday event can still be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination,” said Meschuk.

“If you decide to drink alcohol at a corporate event, be mindful of your consumption and be careful not to overdo it. Also, think about your travel to and from your destination – best to take a cab, ride-sharing service, or don’t drink at all.”

Take responsibility and own up to your mistake

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and owner of the Protocol School of Texas. she said news week that while there can be embarrassing incidents at workplace Christmas parties, the key to remedying this is to take responsibility “as soon as possible”.

“Reach out to the person or people you have offended and offer a sincere apology,” Gottsman said. “Don’t wait to decide what to do. Go to your boss the next morning and let him know that you have sincere remorse.”

She said it’s crucial not to make excuses and take responsibility. “As hard as it will be, if you’ve done something embarrassingly specific, bring up the behavior,” she added.

A hungover man at Christmas.
Archive image of a hungover man at Christmas
Liubomyr Vorona/Getty

An unexpected opportunity to work on yourself

While life coach and author at Marni Goldman Gottsman agrees that “aggressive action” is required in the event of an incident at a workplace Christmas party, it’s important to try to see the positive side of any consequences.

“Understand that if your actions were that repulsive, you’re likely to be demoted or fired,” she said news week. “Use this as an unexpected opportunity to work on yourself and contact a psychologist immediately to begin this process.”

Goldman believes even minor incidents should be seen as an opportunity for reorganization.

“If you still see a future at the company, ask HR to take some time off,” she said. “Time can heal, and hopefully another upcoming workplace distraction can lessen people’s memory of your holiday fundraising shenanigans.”

https://www.newsweek.com/embarrass-yourself-work-christmas-party-1767406 What to do if you’re embarrassing yourself at work’s Christmas party?

Rick Schindler

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