How to have fun - without being a fool - at your office Christmas bash

DO make out with someone, DON'T if you're the boss - and more wisdom from Yolisa Mkele that'll save you from being 'that' guy or gal at the your company's year-end function

26 November 2017 - 00:00 By YOLISA MKELE
Spider Legs Dave, Alberton's best middle-aged breakdancer.
Spider Legs Dave, Alberton's best middle-aged breakdancer.
Image: 123RF/fjjimenez / 123RF

The fear of company Christmas parties probably stems from the fact that most office workers spend the entire year repressing their inner fun person, only for that person to suddenly burst forth with the encouragement of free booze.

The memory of how your civilian office self magically transformed into Spider Legs Dave, Alberton's best middle-aged breakdancer, can be a little unnerving the next day.

Offices tend to be anaemic places where potentially interesting people are corralled into staid open-plan cattle pens and have to endure conversations about other people's children.

It is only outside this environment that you really get to know your co-workers, and let's be honest, no one really wants to speak to their colleagues after 4.30pm.

But something miraculous happens at the office party. This is the moment when Sibusiso from accounts has his Cinderella moment and all of a sudden turns into a fascinating prince who once rode a jet ski up the Andes.

In the spirit of doing one's fairy godfatherly duty this end-of-year party season, here are a couple of dos and don'ts to help ensure that you get the most out of your rented glass slippers.



Undoubtedly the music will be crap. Everyone will judge your disjointed attempts at finding the beat and the risk of falling on your face will increase exponentially as the alcohol erodes your control of motor functions.

So what? Dancing, provided you don't mistake yourself for Channing Tatum in Magic Mike, is possibly the least egregious thing you can do at a staff party.

At best everyone will discover that you are the reanimated corpse of Michael Jackson in disguise and at worst you will be the loveable goof. Either way, fun will be had.


Your boss, who doesn't pay you enough, clearly feels awful for undervaluing you and has decided that the company will pay for something for once.

So eat all the canapés, order seconds if you go to a restaurant and drink like your budget is tax deductible. Sure you could pretend you are used to nice things and politely nibble the occasional hors d'ouvre while Janine from HR strolls past with a heavily laden tray and a tequila, but only one of you will have fun.

The other will get home, sigh, and complain about how annoying their colleagues are. The problem is that no one really cares if you hate your colleagues or love them, so have fun and spare us the whingeing.


You've spent all year lustily eyeing each other from afar. It is time to seize the day, or wait another long 12 months. Don't worry about all that spouses malarkey, we're all adults here and know how to keep a secret. All you need to worry about is consent.

If you are all old enough to have a job, you are old enough to know when someone wants to suck your face

If you are all old enough to have a job, you are old enough to know when someone wants to suck your face.



Touch/Kiss/Grope/ Smell/Be in Anyway Sexual with Anyone Who Calls You Boss.

If you were previously confused about this, Louis C.K., Brett Ratner, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Ben Affleck, Russell Simmons and Co are currently conducting free online courses about why this is a TERRIBLE idea.


Yes, you are a masterful car conductor whose hand-eye co-ordination is impervious to liquor's foul manipulations, but don't do it. An Uber/Taxify/Maxi cab is cheaper than learning how to pick up soap in a prison shower room without exposing your vulnerabilities.

If you don't drink, congratulations, but chances are it will be late, you will be tired and idiots will be driving, so better safe than sorry.


Sure, you and your trendy friends think Chinese death techno is awesome, but no one else does. If you play Despacito, you will be subject to pained groans from people with teenaged kids and despite what you may think, not everyone knows The Eagles. There are too many different tastes for someone to not be paid to take the flak when people complain. You should stay out of it.