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Sex, drugs and a small fire: is this the end of the work Christmas party?

work Christmas party

A survey of over 1,745 Mumsnet users has revealed how they really feel about the work Christmas party, as well as exposing some of the weirdest things that they have witnessed at an office knees-up.

Unsurprisingly, nearly three quarters of users (73%) say they’ve attended office parties at which people have more booze than they can handle. 41% say people have spilled secrets or shared hurtful gossip, 36% say an office party has been the scene of inappropriate consensual romantic liaisons between people who already have (other) partners, and 30% say there have been arguments between co-workers. 9% said something had happened that required the involvement of HR.

Some of the most outrageous examples include:

My colleague knocked over a tray of Flaming Sambuca and set the table on fire.

Several women (including me) got groped by the equality and diversity HR manager. He never returned to work after the Christmas break.

My male supervisor drank so much he ended up with a ‘homestyle’ ear piercing done by the weekend girl.

The company director insisted the lock on the store cupboard was faulty and would not open when he and his secretary were in there ‘looking for copy paper’.

One guy let colleagues run up a drugs tab and was later fired for chasing up the debts using the internal company email.

With all this excitement, perhaps it’s surprising that just 15% say they love the work Christmas party, while 34% say they dread them. Nearly two thirds (61%) would prefer a bonus (or a bigger bonus), and a fifth (20%) would like an extra half-a-day off, while a self-sufficient 8% think their company doesn’t owe them anything extra at Christmas.

Mumsnet Founder and CEO Justine Roberts said: “There’s letting your hair down, and there’s accidentally setting your hair on fire: it looks as though the average office Christmas party might involve slightly too much of the latter. Thankfully, Mumsnet HQ’s is always extremely sedate.”