I have to admit that I am not a fan of work Christmas parties. I did go to mine this year but drove (so no drinking) and stayed for only about 2 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I like my colleagues very much. They’re a good bunch to work with, we get along well and are a great team. My opinion on work parties definitely says more about me than it does my colleagues and reaches back much further than my current employment but I’m just not comfortable in that kind of social situation. Sure, I’ve been on nights out with some of my workmates but Christmas parties are just a different situation entirely and I find them so awkward.
This year, our work party was at a hotel and was an all-inclusive party night where other groups of guests also book tables. I was really hesitant about going but I didn’t go last year (my 1st year at the company) and didn’t have a good excuse not to be there this time. To make it worse, I haven’t been very well this past week and wasn’t feeling particularly upbeat and social. Nevertheless, I did attend but am glad I left when I did. The stories that emerged over the weekend make me relieved that I didn’t stick around. Harmless, silly antics but just not what I want to be involved with alongside work colleagues.
I like work to be work and social to be social; I prefer to have some distance between who I am as a professional and who I am on a personal level. There are some colleagues who I enjoy spending time with away from the office but there are others who I get along well with purely in a business capacity, and that’s absolutely ok too.
I feel like a work Christmas party is such a forced situation; organised fun. And I can’t feel relaxed under those circumstances. From awkward interactions between some colleagues, meeting partners who you’ve heard so much about but are probably meeting in real-life for the first time, to unnecessary drunkenness and embarrassing actions. I’m just not down with the whole situation.
But, I go. And I make an effort, if only for a few hours. Because what it boils down to is that sometimes it’s a good thing to step outside your comfort zone.
What are your thoughts on a work Christmas party? What are the best and worst parties you’ve been to?