Though the office Christmas party may move venue and bring new faces every year, the personalities of those invited never change, according to research from national bar and brasserie chain, Browns. They claim exactly 10 party ‘characters’ are present at every single staff party regardless of where it is, which industry or trade throws the bash or how many people attend. Wondering which character you are? Here are 10 characters you’ll spot at every IDEAL office party,
This man or woman is the office Christmas party evangelist. They help round up the troops in advance of the annual bash and make wild promises of incredible party feats and promises of being the last-man or woman standing at the after-party shindig. Unfortunately, they are then found just 90 minutes into the festive bash, candle well and truly burnt at both ends, snoozing quietly in the corner.
You’ve had your suspicions about this staff member all year and, as the Christmas party celebrations start to unfold, they confirm your worst fears – they’ve made you the target of their inappropriate advances for the duration of the evening. They start off the night pleasantly enough – innocently offering to buy you a drink – but then suddenly turn, shunning every other member of staff and focus their attention solely on you (or a particularly inappropriate part of your body). They make lewd suggestions almost as an after-thought, sit uncomfortably close to you and growl at other members of their sex who have the misfortune of straying innocently into your vicinity throughout the evening.
They’ve been the picture of discretion all year, hiding their simmering discontent at not getting that pay-rise or failing in that promotion behind a façade of normality. But once the festive spirit takes them, their lips become loose and they begin to announce, at an inconsidered and raised volume, how rubbish it is working at their company. They also suddenly find it impossible to maintain company secrets or private disclosures. Nothing is out of bounds and, before the end of the evening, any confidential company business is suddenly common knowledge among the entire workforce. Often found at the root of any Christmas party squabbles.
Often best-friends with the Peak-too-sooner and the Organiser, the Houdini seems well up for plenty of festive frolics in the lead-up to the staffChristmas do. They often go as far as helping organise venues for the hardy party animals to go to after the main event has subsided. Unfortunately, this party ‘type’ is usually never around when the après-party begins, having sloped off home for an early-night and a mug of Horlicks discreetly while the rest of the workforce is still in full-party mode. Usually in their early 30s and often a new parent or horribly infatuated with their lover.
THE DARK HORSE
Quiet as a mouse all year round this pinstriped staff member suddenly, frighteningly finds their outrageous inner self at the Christmas party. While they wouldn’t say boo to a goose in normal office hours they suddenly think it is perfectly acceptable to go round helping themselves to colleagues drinks and dancing inappropriately close to members of the opposite sex. They’re also likely to announce that they used to be lead singer in a death metal band once they’d quit their job as a dancer at a seedy revue bar. Often to be found working the floor in tandem with The Flirt.
You can easily spot this s(h)elfish staff member at the Christmas party because they are irremovably welded to the side of their departmental boss. They’ll be the one heartily laughing at their boss’s awful jokes, cooing cringefully at their boss’s development plan and happily skipping off to the bar and buying their boss drinks all night out of their own pocket. They’ll also be the one left looking heartbroken as their boss exits the party early without hearing their full 14-part eulogy to their boss’s greatness, written in staggering techni-coloured fawning detail (in their own blood). Often to be found, at the end of the night, in the toilets, attempting to outcry The Weeper.
The staff member who steadfastly, resolutely refuses to leave their personal problems at the door to the Christmas party venue. They wear their heart on their sleeve and spread their misty-eyed romantic delusions of love through snotty tear-stained tissues thrust into the clammy hands of colleagues unfortunate enough to aimlessly wander into the toilets while The Weeper is mid-shriek over the untimely ending of their torrid love affair with Tommy, the butcher’s son.
They cry so much and so often at Christmas parties that The Organiser has stopped booking them a seat at the annual dinner table and has simply arranged for them to be hooked up to the water mains in order to replenish lost hydration.
Always a decade beyond their prime, The dancer will bust all manner of old-skool moves at the office party following years of secret attendance at their local community centre’s disco-dancing classes. Thought you’d seen the last of the hand-jive? Oh no you haven’t. And you’ve never ever seen anyone under the age of 25 attempt that backflip into a John Travolta strut before. This staff member will not vacate the dance floor – tonight it is their personal stage and the masses of open-mouthed colleagues sitting around the vicinity of the dance floor are their greatest audience. Also available for christenings, bah mitzvahs and evening wedding receptions.
Woe betide anyone who decides to change their Christmas dinner choice at the staff party or bemoans the quality of the venue, The Organiser will be firmly, angrily on your case. This diminutive staff member has spent years scaring the pants off the biggest characters in the staff canteen, honing their withering Paddington stare to perfection. They have a list of everything (including other lists) and have arranged the staff party with military precision. No matter you have just ordered a full round of drinks for you and your colleagues, if The Organiser says it is time to move on, you move on. No argument, you shuffle into the dining room and leave your drinks behind (they’re banned from this room because The Organiser has arranged special Christmas cocktails to be served).
Usually a friend (or lover) of a staff member, The Gatecrasher has already been out on their own staff party at a venue across town earlier in the evening. They turn up at yours, risking the wrath of The Organiser and invite themselves to share the paid-for after-dinner activities. Convinced that they have injected new life into your they’ll be so sure of their ‘legend’ status they’ll even try and cheer up The Weeper before attempting to solve world famine, challenge The Dancer to a Step Up-style dance-off and demand that your boss tell them exactly what it is like being a PA.
With all these different types of character’s coming out, it’s no wonder why this festive event is the highlight of the working year for so many people. If you want to make it extra special and really see your work colleagues as their real selves, something different you can plan for your next office Christmas party is to hire a virtual reality headset, take a look at some examples of different VR headsets. Playing games always brings out people’s true colours.