1. The HR plant
HR themselves should’ve already waged a lengthy campaign of terror in the lead-up to the Xmas party. All there is left to do is to send in a loyal snitch-operative to be their eyes & ears on the ground.
You should be able to identify the operative quickly – light beers, darting eyes and a body language that may as well have a pen & pad in hand taking notes. Avoid at all costs.
2. The cougar
Other than NYE, the work Xmas party is the cougar’s night of nights. She’ll come in real hot after pre-drinking two bottles of Yellowglen Pink. She’s there to party and that should be observed from a safe distance.
Simply put, you can’t handle her salacious energy. Watch in awe as she crudely flirts with bar staff, incriminates senior management on the d-floor, and eventually ditches the heels waiting for an Uber to the cas to party on.
3. The CEO of beers
A Buswellian figure with hints of Alan Jones and pretty much every other bloke from that era who figured their position of power meant they could slop around in the pig pen of corporate socialising.
If you catch the CEO of beers at the right moment he might even promise you some grand promotion (provided you keep what you just saw to yourself). Don’t stress too much about this operator as they’ll sure be passed out in a chair by the 8 pm mark.
4. The undisputed worst in show
Now any pest on this list could be this entry. Although sometimes it’s a colleague who truly transcends the normal concept of shame. It could be “your mate”. It could be you. Typically, the worst in show has failed to show any restraint at the open bar.
Wrath, lust, and gluttony, are all shades in their grand disasterpiece. However, most of the time they just choose to cover that canvas in a thick slurry of regret and canapes. Whatever you do, don’t be this entry to the list.
5. The dance floor trainwreck
Some say magic doesn’t exist. Others take the time to marvel at a work Xmas party dancefloor. Especially if middle-aged caucasian coworkers have got their dancing shoes on. See, when confronted with the harsh reality of having no rhythm the DFT will always veer towards overcompensation rather than understating it.
A two-left foot-fuck could easily get away with a boppy little two-step. Instead, they pull out the sprinkler. They butcher Grease Lightning. They thrust their crotch like they were at The Clink in the 90s. They might even wind themselves attempting the worm. Enjoy the show!
6. Coworker who is about to blow
In the white-collar world, this is often a coworker who has harboured a deep simmering resentment against another colleague. It’s only a matter of beers before this mild undertow becomes a raging riptide of regrettable accusations and profanity.
In the blue collar world, this may very well blossom into a full punch up. Where senior management battle the instinct to bet on the two men like rabid dogs in a ring and “do the right thing” and unhook one guy’s jaw from the other guy’s face.
7. The excruciating +1
A far calmer entry but a menace all the same. The excruciating +1 knows they aren’t loaded up with “rizz” so they’ll latch onto any show of kindness and reward you with 2 hours of chit-chat about ice baths, their next marathon, or the digestive effects they are experiencing from their latest Syberian caveman paleo diet.
It’s always important to let the +1 down gently. It might even behove you to have a colleague look out for you and make an emergency call if you are getting dangerously close to a deep chat about what Joe Rogan recently said.
8. The coworker who only goes to a bar once a year
Bless their cotton socks but the Xmas party is no time for dilly-dallying, humpty dumptying or, pole position piss-farting around. That open bar is only open for so many hours and you don’t want to get into the same refreshment schedule as that lady who orders like so,
“Do you know what my husband was drinking? No? I think it was a beer, looked amberish? Oh OK, well, I’ll have a lime, bitters, lemon while I ring my husband, by the way just half lime, oh gosh he’s not picking up, what wines do you have? do you have red wine? Do you think he would like a Shiraz? Oh hold up he’s ringing back”
9. The needlessly emotional coworker
As a general rule, tears come AFTER the work Xmas bash. When you are alone, naked, and scared on your shower floor wondering if you still have a job after whipping your balls out for the group photo.
Nevertheless, there will always be one attendee who decides it’s the perfect time to pointlessly cry, force D&Ms on you, and go far deeper than superficial work colleagues ever should.
Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?