13 Office Holiday Party Fouls

Embarrassing mistakes that have taken place at past office holiday parties, and how to prevent them

With December here, it’s officially holiday party season! While the lavish celebrations of years past, featuring extravagances like a vodka luge or a performance by Jay—Z might be replaced by more casual, low-key affairs this year, that doesn’t mean that the occurence of drunken outbursts, broom-closet tête-à-têtes, and other unbecoming behavior when in the presence of workplace superiors will decline.

Holiday office parties are just ripe with opportunity for embarassment, or worse, errors that can ruin a career. Ever been the one to be caught on camera getting a bit too cozy with those smart, funny, and oh-so-good-looking interns? You know what we mean. Or perhaps you were lucky (or not?) enough to experience the overly raucous holiday celebrations at one Boston-area business. Or remember the time when you thoroughly enjoyed your office manager’s signature homemade eggnog last year just a bit too much and fell at your CEO’s feet as you shook their hand? Yeah, not a wise move.

In an interview with USA Today, Stacey Carroll, a blogger for PayScale, cautions, “No matter how fun or festive the work party is — it's still a work function. While family and friends tend to forgive your slipups — it's different at work." That means no drunken requests for seared prime steak when all the waiters are serving are passed hors d’oeuvres and no taking advantage of coat check attendants inundated with briefcases, umbrellas, bags, and coats and walking away with that designer coat that isn’t yours, but looks oh so good. 

So before you don your heels, and holiday tie this year, brush up on what not to do. Believe us, when you’re promoted and your co-worker who knocks back too many Jack-and-Cokes gets let go, you’ll thank us.

Click here to see the 13 Holiday Office Party Fouls Slideshow.