笑熬浆糊糊 / 外语 / 英国办公室圣诞派对:狂欢变成梦魇?




2013-10-11  笑熬浆糊糊


What day is it when your boss tells you to dress up, drink champagne and dance around in front of your co-workers? The clue is the Santa hat on top of your head. For those of us working in the UK, you’re not allowed Christmas Day until you’ve had “Office Christmas Party Day”.

While Chinese companies are planning their Spring Festival gala to congratulate themselves on what has (hopefully) been a good Year of the Dragon, people in the UK are recovering from their office Christmas parties, which took place in early December.

There’s usually an “Awards Ceremony”, with typical prizes going to the “Office Clown”, “Most Annoying Laugh”, or (as I was once crowned) “Owner of Messiest Desk”.

Most companies also stage a traditional Christmas pantomime – a performance, usually of a well-known fairy tale, in which men play women and women play men. One of my first Christmas memories is of being forced to watch my father’s Christmas panto. The sight of him in a sparkly dress, pink high heels and a blonde wig has stayed with me forever.

But it’s not just the hapless children of employees who often find the whole experience rather embarrassing. Even without plays and cross-dressing, everyone knows they will have to spend an evening with their colleagues and boss. A recent survey found that almost a third of British workers hate office Christmas parties. Even more, 70 percent, said they did not want to socialize with their co-workers.

As is normal in awkward circumstances, people turn to the (often free) alcohol on offer – and that’s when things start getting messy. According to a survey released this month, one in three employees at banking firms in London have “behaved inappropriately” with a colleague of the opposite sex at their office Christmas party because they were drunk.

Luckily for party-haters, things are changing. Many people now work over Christmas or New Year, although this didn’t stop employees of the Royal Court Theatre in London from staying up all night for their party.

But even rich lawyers say the days of extravagant celebrations are over. According to a lawyer from Clifford Chance, the three-course meal and open bar at a private member’s club with a rooftop swimming pool was “fairly sedate”.

“Later on a few people tried to go swimming in the pool,” he said. “But I’d left by that point.”

Still, smaller budgets won’t stop the office Christmas party from being a nightmare for many workers. It’s just as easy to embarrass yourself with cheap wine as it is with expensive champagne, and to cause enough shame to last until your first day back at work in 2013.




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