I Dream of a Lampshade… The Office Holiday Party Alcohol Consumption Guide

The holidays are upon us. This means there are parties being thrown and there are people expressing their angst about things they don’t like about the holidays. This is a great example of such angst… a great example in why some of you make it harder for the rest of us. I am going to attempt to focus on the positives of the holidays and associated parties.

I guess each of us equate different things, ideas, and memories with the holidays. I equate holidays with alcohol and office parties. I am not alone in my love of alcohol, because it seems the majority of Americans consume it in large amounts. Like a lot of employees, I attend holiday office parties. I have never attended an office holiday party that was worth a shit. I have never been fortunate enough to experience this kind of party. The mythical holiday party that results in panties falling to the floor, asses being photocopied, and coke snorting off stripper bodies is pure, and unadulterated, bullshit. Hollywood set the bar pretty fucking high with the whole bitchin’ holiday party turned bloodbath theme in Die Hard. How can your employer meet these expectations? But if anyone is thinking of stealing billions in bonds over the holidays… please let me know because I know my way around a weapon or two.

But in the holiday spirit, I am going to give you a gift by providing you with an appropriate primer on whether or not to drink at your office’s holiday party. In some cases large amounts of alcohol is allowed, in others controlled consumption is required, and finally there are situations were no alcohol is recommended.

Large Amounts Alcohol1

– It is after work hours and thrown at a bar.

– The party is after hours and thrown in a restaurant that has a large bar.

– The party includes an open or cash bar.

– Your boss doesn’t frown when you enter the party with a case of beer under your arm.

– Your boss enters the party with a case of beer under their arm.

– You work at a brewery.

– You work at the Fredericks of Hollywood factory.2

– You and some friends (who also happen to be coworkers) gather at a bar during the month of December.

– Your November AA meeting really blew and decided that it was okay to drink for the month of December.

– You work with a bunch of drunks.

– You work with a bunch of assholes.3

– You have a new job and your old job is full of a bunch of assholes.

– You have a new job but you’re gonna miss the drunks at your old job.

– You are single and your coworkers are hot.

– You work for the Catholic Church.

– You just don’t give a shit.

Limited Alcohol Consumption4

– The party is during work hours.

– The party is held in your office and only wine is offered.5

– The food to alcohol ratio is more than 3-to-1.6

– The dessert to alcohol ratio is more than 4-to-1.7

– Your boss’ boss will be present.

– Your annual work evaluation falls in the months of December or January.

– Your boss is a recovering alcoholic.

– You are an alcoholic and thinking of quitting.

– Your boss is highly religious, but you don’t work in a religious organization.

– You are single but none of your coworkers are hot.8

– You are married and your coworkers are hot.

– Your spouse attends the party with you.

– A few of your coworkers bring their kids to the party.9

No Alcohol Consumption10

– You work for a religious institution or a religiously inspired organization.11

– You work for a nonprofit like MADD or AA.

– You are self-employed.12

– You work at Planned Parenthood.13

… okay, I really don’t have any idea why you wouldn’t at least drink a little at an office party.

I know I got this out a little too late for most people (since office holiday parties should be wrapped up by now). I hope this has been helpful for next year’s office merriment. My office party was earlier this week. It was in the afternoon, it was held in the office, kids were present, my boss’ boss was present, the amount food and desserts dwarfed the amount of wine and beer present, my coworkers are highly unattractive (except for Steve, Matt, Jacob, and Jared)… needless to say I got shit-faced.

1 Each of you is an individual and understands what “large amounts” means personally. For some of you, this means drinking to total inebriation and vomiting. However, I do not recommend drinking to “double clutching.” Double clutching is one of those words that I learned in college and truly defines “learning through experience.” If you do not know what double clutching is, then imagine both ends of your body that fluids go in and out… now imagine them violently evacuating at the same time… viola, double clutching.

2 I do not work at Fredericks of Hollywood, nor do I know anyone that works at Fredericks of Hollywood, but I imagine lingerie and adult toy manufacturers know how to fucking party.

3 And you are the type of person who needs alcohol to loosen up and let people know how you feel about them. I, fortunately, am not this type of person. I will gladly let assholes know how I feel about them drunk or sober.

4 Like the word “large,” “limited” is also a personally subjective term. For some of us who are professional drinkers, limited might be considered a lot to the sailboater. For the uninitiated, there are two types of drinkers… there are “sailboaters” who gradually float along on the alcoholic waves, and there are “powerboaters” which should be self-explanatory.

5 The types of alcohol served is usually a good indicator on what level of drinking is expected. If wine is the only offering, you can bet that no one expects or wants to see you shit-faced. If beer and wine is offered you are allowed to get a good buzz on, but again shit-faced is highly frowned upon. If bottles of liquor are present… well giddy-up!!!!!

6 This also means you do not work at Jenny Craig Industries and it is possibly an indicator that you work with a lot of females… I know it’s a stereotype, but it seems that the more women in the office the better, and larger amounts of, food present.

7 This might be an indication that you have a lot of “healthy” sized people in your office that put a higher premium on fatty foods over alcohol. Never… I repeat, never mix large amounts of alcohol and desserts. Nothing leads to double clutching quicker than vodka and your cubicle mate’s (who is a 58 year-old grandmother) special holiday spice cake.

8 Waking up next to an ugly coworker after a night of alcoholic induced debauchery is worse than double clutching.

9 Nothing kills a good office party like your coworkers’ corduroy-clad crumb snatchers. I like kids… your kids, but as a nonparent by choice, there is nothing worse than being surrounded by snot, poop, and hyperactivity at a party that I am trying to enjoy. If you do bring your kids, I can not be held responsible for any large amounts of cake icing I may force feed them (true story, I once gave a fellow Army officer’s 3 year-old several large doses of cake icing at a party once just so I could see the kid ping off the wall).

10 I have never attended this type of office party, but I assume they exist. Sort of like I assume the Higgs boson, or God Particle, exists but it hasn’t been seen yet.

11 Unless you work for the Catholic Church. Additionally, my religious institutional experiences are fairly limited to the Southern flavor… thus no one would be caught dead drinking around fellow “Christians”… they just do it with their NASCAR and poker buddies instead.

12 In this case, you don’t have an office party… you have a “oh shit it is Tuesday morning and I got to get my drink on before facing myself” party.

13 With all these budget cuts, who can afford an office party?


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