A co-worker pulled a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. Another colleague got caught making out with the married gal from HR.
And despite the abuse of the open bar, somehow people always remember these blunders.
Holiday parties aren't boring when these situations happen, but they're also not ones you should be experiencing at a professional event. You certainly shouldn't be the one participating in them, either.
If you want to maintain your dignity (and your job), make sure not to fall prey to any of these company holiday party blunders:
1. Bragging (about yourself or another person)
Though parties are a time to relax and cut loose, they're no place for assuming you can finally and freely talk about how awesome you think you are compared to your co-workers.
It doesn't matter how much more work you actually do put in than they do, or how much the champagne's been flowing. Bragging about yourself will only lead to your co-workers resenting you.
And if you're the boss, it's important to note that you can't highlight a single employee, either. Don't walk around singing the praises of your favorite worker, or you're bound to cause your other employees to grumble, which leads right into the next item on the list of company holiday party blunders...
So you heard your boss is especially fond of Sarah from IT because she does more than "fix his computer?" It doesn't matter if the rumors are true; what matters is that you don't spread them.
Gossiping about colleagues doesn't contribute to a positive party setting, and it will only lead to trouble. Don't assume that no one will ever find out or that no one would ever rat you out. Instead, play it safe and deftly change the subject if a co-worker starts talking about Sarah's "services."
3. Drinking too much
This one should be a no-brainer with how many times it's been written about. Yet without fail, someone always manages to drink one too many and ends up doing something they regret.
If you know you can't control how much you drink once the glass is in hand (or you know you're a lightweight because you rarely drink), ask a close co-worker to kindly point out when you seem like you've had too much. Swap out your alcohol for water or soda.
And don't let anyone pressure you into drinking more than you can handle; you'll be the one without a hangover and those embarrassing pictures the next morning.
4. Dressing inappropriately
Company holiday party blunders can be avoided with some planning, and this is especially true when you're choosing what to wear to the event.
First of all, remember that this is a professional party and you should dress accordingly. There's no reason to dress like you wished you were 21 again and going to a bar to score a date.
Also, keep in mind the theme of your company holiday party; don't show up in an ugly Christmas sweater when you're supposed to be wearing an evening gown.
Maybe you still haven't found the right person to share your life with, or you have but that co-worker of yours is just so fun and interesting. Either way, flirting's not appropriate in a corporate party setting.
And let's go even further here: flirting could be anything from a "harmless" wink to groping to making out (or more). As one of the biggest company holiday party blunders, no aspect of flirting can be good for you or anyone else involved.
6. Dancing suggestively
If your company's holding a dance portion for your holiday party, you might be tempted to shake what you've got like you did when you were in college. But that's a bad idea. Period.
There's a reason that dirty dancing stays on college campuses or in hip bars -- it's seen as immature and unprofessional. When you're at a professional party, you simply can't behave that way. You can avoid those awkward glances from co-workers by keeping things clean.
7. Slamming the boss
Do you want to get fired? Didn't think so. This means you can't blab about how much you hate your boss or your boss's decisions. (If you do want to lose your job, that's a different matter entirely...)
Even if you think your co-workers won't tell on you, one of them may secretly dislike you or someone else could overhear. All it takes is one disgruntled colleague to tell your boss and you can say "sayonara" to your job.
Company holiday party blunders don't have to ruin your celebration. Just make sure you learn the proper etiquette, follow it to a "T," and have a blast without worrying about whether or not the boss will call you into his office the next morning and ask why you barfed all over his car.
What are some of the worst company holiday party blunders you've experienced personally or watched happen?