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9th Dec 2012 3:01pm | By Jade Bremner
Worked your tits off this year and want to unwind with a few tequilas at your Christmas do? Think again
Work Christmas parties are historically sordid affairs.
The dangerous mix of pent-up resentment and sexual attraction, not to mention free alcohol, means they can get messy.
So messy, in fact, your head could end up on the chopping block.
However, fear not.
We’re here to offer advice on how not to behave, so you don’t end up blottoed and photocopying your genitals in front of your colleagues, or worse ...
While a little exposing oneself may sound like a normal night out to some, 30-year-old City banker Peter Jones* learned the hard way that his flaccid cock was something his work colleagues should never have seen.
“I’d just passed my probation – I’d been at the company three months and three days,” he explains proudly.
“This, let me assure you, does not mean you can get away with anything.”
After previous hedonistic nights out with the other male bankers, Jones had already developed a reputation among his colleagues.
“My boss put me up to it, as I’d exposed myself once on a night out,” he continues.
“So when he asked me to do it at the work Christmas party, at the drop of a hat, I flopped my old boy out,” he admits.
“Before I could put him back in, I heard, ‘You’re fired’ from the HR director, who happened to be standing right next to me.”
He explains that, after a stressful Christmas, he had to beg for his job back – and he was reinstated on the grounds he was taking a direct order from his boss.
He’s since managed to maintain his career at the same company and reckons it even “enhanced my reputation”.
Nevertheless, HR manager Gemma Cannon, 29, from London, wouldn’t recommend this behaviour at your Crimbo do this year.
“You can relax a bit, but don’t overstep the mark,” Cannon says.
She explains even the wrong conversations can be detrimental to your career, depending on which industry you’re in.
“Be aware of what you are talking about and who you are talking to ... you don’t want be remembered for the wrong reasons!”
She explains that just as treacherous, if not more so, can be ‘after’ Xmas parties, when you’re still with colleagues but not on work time.
“They can end in strip clubs or with colleagues doing drugs in the loos together, or a particular problem – employees getting frisky.”
Cannon says that in her job she’s dealt with accusations of rape after Christmas parties: “One girl was so drunk she couldn’t remember what happened.”
Things can really blow up in a worker’s face when they return to work.
This is the situation Sally Russell*, a 26-year-old London accountant, found herself in after her Xmas shindig last year.
“I was known as pretty quiet at work, but I was really getting to know some of my colleagues at our work Christmas event,” she says.