Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Buy Your Own

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Buy Your Own

Article excerpt

VICTORIA MOORE still has a hangover from the office Christmas party

Thank heavens for January and the fine opportunity to put the pseudo-festivities of the Christmas season behind us. No more limp streamers leaking their colour into perfectly good food. No more office "parties" celebrating an impending holiday, the dreadful impersonations of jovial spirit making refugees out of all the other diners. No more butting one's way on to Tube carriages stuffed with whey-faced account executives swaying under their paper hats. No more amateur drinkers cluttering the route to the bar.

And a whole 11 months to go before the joyless carnival begins again. A recent American survey claimed that "entertainment of staff" was now the second-biggest expense (behind salaries) for large corporations. Someone ought to take a good look at office parties and organise legislation designed to curb celebrations. At the very least, they ought to be held only behind specially cordoned-off areas patrolled by Rottweilers, in case any "revellers" attempt to break free.

Those horrible, concrete off-motorway shopping centres would be ideal locations for crowds of white-collar employees to put away endless supplies of Bacardi Breezers before wandering off to be sick in the spacious car park.

Probably, too, they ought to be non-alcoholic. The trouble is that office parties are so ghastly -- and the drink usually so insulting -- that most people rightly believe the only supportable course of action is to down an entire bottle of wine, or jugful of some ridiculously named cocktail, within as short a space of time as possible and to allow a merciful state of unconsciousness to take care of the rest of the night. …

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