Judging by the comments to my previous posting about holiday parties, workers feel strongly about their right to get pumpkin-faced at their year-end corporate do. Twelve months of pouring your very soul into PowerPoint pie charts deserves some alcoholic compensation, dangit.
You’re in luck. A fresh batch of surveys in my in-box today insists that employers are throwing more parties, not fewer, and that they’ll be pumping up the booze. Battalia Winston International’s Annual Survey on Corporate Holiday Celebrations found that 94% of employers will have some type of year-end party, up from 87% in 2005. What’s more, 86% will serve alcohol at their parties, up from 75% last year.
For those readers who insist they enjoy these events, another survey, this one from staffing company Adecco, backs you up: 85% of workers attend, and over half of those because they enjoy loosening up with their cubicle buds.
As “Liz” writes:
Holiday parties are one of the chances where people who work together can have fun and blow off some steam. Besides, if there’s nobody making fools of themselves by getting drunk at holiday parties, what would people in the office talk about for the rest of the year?!
You’re right. I guess I’d forgotten; it’s been so long. My own employer ixnayed the holiday party years ago in an apparently permanent belt-tightening measure. But I have fond memories of an over-the-top bash in the go-go late ’90s: fancy Manhattan restaurant, palm readers, deejays, goodie bags. It was a little weird to watch my boss shimmying to Christmas rock, but I admit feeling flattered and impressed that he went through that much trouble to throw us such a swanky event.
Or maybe those warm feelings were from that third mojito.
One thing I do remember very clearly: the staffer standing by the door of the restaurant, guiding partiers into cabs or hired cars. As one reader writes:
Personally, I don’t drink at these things because I don’t want to make a fool of myself but I don’t mind other people drinking. However, companies should find ways to curtail the people getting wasted then driving. We recently had our Christmas party and one employee of ours left the party drunk and killed someone while driving. Now his life’s basically over along with the poor guy he hit. I’m sure my company will pay a large price for that and we probably won’t allow liquor at any events again.
Sobering. So: go ahead and imbibe. Just leave your keys at the door.