Celebrate good times – come on!
With party season well and truly in full swing, I’ve been reflecting on the pleasures and pitfalls of the office party. For most of us, the risk of consuming too much alcohol when we’re celebrating with our work colleagues is probably the biggest danger we face. After all, the last thing anyone wants is to wake up with a dry mouth, banging head and a vague recollection of telling the boss exactly what you think of his KPIs before performing an enthusiastic tabletop rendition of Agadoo in your underwear.
Get into the groove
If you’re guilty of any of these excesses, take comfort from the fact that scuppering your chances of promotion or looking a fool in the office photos isn’t the worst thing that could happen.
The office party is also notorious for adulterous dalliances. It seems that a combination of free-flowing alcohol and generally high spirits not only fuels ill-advised photocopier pranks, but also erodes the barriers of propriety. If you’ve been exchanging flirtatious glances with Danielle from accounts or swapping sob stories with Guy from purchasing, the opportunity to let your hair down over a flaming sambuca might prove to be more than you can resist.
And while a chaste kiss under the mistletoe isn’t likely to cause any ripples in a stable relationship, if a lingering embrace in the stationery cupboard sparks a full-on office romance, you might be risking more than a nasty hangover with a side order of regret.
Tis the season
Divorce lawyers claim that the festive season is one of the prime times for catching out cheating partners. The traditional tell-tale signs of office party philandering are lipstick on the collar or a snail’s trail of body glitter clinging to clothing – signs which often lead directly to instructions in our industry. Curiously, we’ve followed more wives than husbands, professionally speaking, which maybe only goes to show that only men are daft enough to come home smelling of perfume and covered in kisses!
It’s actually mobile phones that are the biggest giveaway, especially at Christmas, with cheating partners tapping out romantic texts during ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ re-runs or leaving an untended phone lying around containing an incriminating message while they’re tucking into the turkey. Maybe it’s because it’s also the time of year when emotions – and expectations – run high and couples have to spend much more time with each other and the in-laws than they’re used to.
We find that rather than evidence of adultery suddenly coming to light, it’s more commonly the case that a husband or wife is already suspicious and decides to investigate further by checking their partner’s phone or social media messages for proof.
Keep looking over your shoulder
It’s not just private investigators who get results; some people get the heads-up on a cheating partner from the unlikeliest of sources. A story broke in America last year in which a football fan in Detroit passed a note to a guy who’d been seated in front of him during a match. Seems he’d seen the guy’s pregnant girlfriend covertly texting another man throughout the game and felt compelled to give him the bad news. Even if it turns out to be a hoax, it’s sparked some interesting discussions about morality on both sides of the pond.
Here’s hoping your office party brings you nothing that can’t be cured by the ‘plink, plink, fizz’ of a couple of Alka Seltzer tablets and a full English.