How Not To Get Drunk and Disgrace Yourself at Work Events

How Not To Get Drunk and Disgrace Yourself at Work Events [Guest Blog]

Ever woken up the morning after a boozy work event and had that moment of panic; ice runs through your veins while tequila-tinged sweat simultaneously drips from your brow.

That sense of creeping dread, not knowing what you did or said is both terrifying and sobering.

However, you can’t deny, getting drunk at office parties does provide some truly funny stories. (Obviously they’re funnier if they didn’t happen to you!)

But there’s a difference between Greg from IT busting out his dad dance moves while wearing his tie around his forehead Rambo style and doing or saying something wildly inappropriate or offensive – particularly to a senior member of staff.

It can be mortifying stuff when you have to face your colleagues the following Monday knowing that you’ve acted like a fool – or worse.

In fact it makes classic drunken office party tropes like photocopying your backside (do people still do that?!) or flirting with the geek in accounts look tame in comparison.

With that in mind, here are some simple tips that could mean the difference between having a good time and facing disciplinary action.

1. Pace yourself

When the drinks are on tap and being paid for by the company it can be tempting to act like some kind of savage who has been deprived of fluids for the last two weeks.

However, limiting yourself to a reasonable number of drinks is highly advisable. Just because there’s an open bar, it doesn’t mean you have to drink it dry.

Have fun – but you know your limits so stick to them.

2. Alternate with soft drinks

Make the evening last longer by drinking a soft drink in between every alcoholic tipple and make sure you eat if food is laid on.

If there’s no buffet or meal provided, ensure you eat something solid and carb heavy beforehand to line your stomach.

3. Keep track of what you’re drinking

Try to keep a mental note or even a physical tally of how many drinks you’re actually imbibing – the jovial atmosphere and the fact that you’re not having to pull your wallet or purse out and foot your own bill can make it all too easy to lose track of how many drinks you’ve had.

4. Remember why you’re there

It’s also important to remember why you’re there.

Your bosses may have arranged the event or party in order to impress clients, boost employee morale or congratulate your team on a job well done.

It’s highly unlikely that they went to the time, trouble and expense of organising a bash purely so you could get steaming drunk.

Therefore, use the opportunity to find out more about colleagues you never really cross paths with at work, or have a chat with those you do know and like but rarely socialise with outside of the office.

You could even put the time to good use by networking and sounding out managers about a promotion or change of role.

Plus, taking the time to talk to people not only shows you as the awesome team player you are, but should go some way to slowing you down and stopping you from pounding beers all night long.

5. Don’t give in to peer pressure

Resist the urge to give in to peer pressure too.

We all know that one person who tries to force shots on everyone anytime you’re at the bar. Hey, that person might even be you!

But your work do is really not the time or place to be slamming tequila – especially if you don’t want to wake up wondering what on earth you did the night before.

If you are being pressured into drinking, be friendly but firm in your refusal.

Or you could always pretend to be drinking a vodka tonic when it’s really sparkling water, or wheel out the old “I’m on antibiotics” excuse as a last resort.

6. Don’t go in the first place

Finally, if you know you’re REALLY not to be trusted whenever there’s a sniff of alcohol in the air, it might be wiser to make an excuse and skip the do altogether.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, as the old saying goes.

And when it comes down to one night of fun versus your career and long term job prospects, we have a feeling that old cliché should be abided by.

The Sobering Truth…

We like to let our hair down as much as the next person but getting blackout drunk and coming on to your boss is never a good look.

The sobering (pun intended) truth is, however, that a whopping one in ten UK workers know someone who’s been disciplined or sacked for behaving badly at a work bash, with aggressive behaviour and sexual harassment being the main reasons why.

Here’s the thing: one person’s idea of mild flirting can be viewed very differently by an uninterested colleague and, of course, what constitutes mild flirting after six pints and five Flaming Sambucas is subjective, to say the least!

But, if you’re intent on keeping your job and you know you tend to get a little “over excited” after a few drinks, it’d be in your best interests to exercise a modicum of self-control next time your company throws a party or organises an event where the booze will be flowing.

Thanks Cathy! I’m pretty sure we’ve all been or known someone who has been the person to make a regrettable action on a work night out.

In fact, it can get pretty awkward.

Although, in fairness, some people can be embarrassingly awkward without any drinks… check out who I’m talking about here.

Anyway! Hopefully it’s not too late to salvage yourself and avoid being the talk of the office after your work event.

And don’t forget to subscribe to our Friday Funnies to receive a weekly update with more lighthearted content.

Happy Friday!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments