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The Worst (Real-Life) Work Christmas Party Hook-ups

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If you think of office Christmas party hook-ups in pop culture, there are some pretty dreamy examples out there. There’s Laura Linney’s character in Love, Actually slow-dancing with the hunky foreign colleague she’s long had an eye on, and The Office’s Dawn returning to the party in tears to kiss Tim while Yazoo’s “Only You” plays.

In reality, however, office Christmas do get-togethers are more readily associated with extreme drunkenness, ill-advised groping and deep, deep regret. Forget making your way home the following day, the true walk of shame is crossing the office floor the morning after the free work bar. Never is the phrase “don’t dip your pen in the company ink” more pertinent than in December.

But apparently, none of this is stopping us. A new survey by Ann Summers reveals that 39% of us have admitted to having had sex at the annual get-together. The sectors that are more likely to indulge in a bit of festive fooling around are IT, legal and HR, while the ones least likely to pounce on a colleague are those who work in health and education. Out of the survey of 2000 people, the most popular destination for these after-hours trysts was the car park, which suggests co-workers are really hitting the hard stuff if they want to undress in these temperatures.

So if you have a few too many gins at your work Christmas party and wake up in the arms of your superior (or junior), try not to panic. And you never know, it doesn’t always have to end badly. But, let’s face it, as these stories from R29 UK friends attest, it usually does.


“I get quite, er, affectionate after a few drinks and was feeling suitably rowdy at the work Christmas drinks two years ago. I ended up snogging a girl from the office who I vaguely knew and was really nice. But I’m gay and live with my boyfriend and she emailed me the next day telling me that she’d had a really fun night but her head hurt and all that. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her I was gay and I was so wasted so I asked my friend to drop the hint. Fortunately, she saw the funny side.” Max, 26

“I used to work as an intern at a TV station and one of my jobs was to deliver the video tapes to the TX department who would then make copies for clients. I was up and down to their “cupboard” at least three times a day. It was a bit gross going down there; it was three dudes who were very flirty and blokey but I used to sweet talk them to get my tapes back early. At the work Christmas party I ended up in the toilets making out with one of the copy guys, so so drunk. I’m just pleased I didn’t go home with him, as he was suggesting. From the following day until I left almost a whole year later, I had to deal with his innuendo at the “cupboard” at least three times a day. It was awful.” Jemima, 31

“A temp in the IT department at my work hooked up with a cleaning lady and punched an intern at our Christmas party last year. He was subsequently let go. They also sacked the guy in the most hilariously weasly way – they sent him on a job to our other office in London and then when he was there, called him to say don't bother coming back to work." Sam, 32

“There was a Santa's grotto thing at the work party venue and the sales manager of my first job sat on his lap and properly snogged him. It was gross and then she got up and swaggered over to my friend saying, 'I've been a good girl this Christmas'." Remi, 26

“I worked with a couple at an ad agency; they lived together. At the work party, the woman decided to go home early and left her boyfriend, who proceeded to get absolutely smashed. He then started kissing another girl from the office in front of everyone, even though it was common knowledge that he lived with his girlfriend. In the morning, with a killer hangover, he figured that too many people had seen him cheat and the best thing to do was to tell his girlfriend who, remarkably, forgave him. They only lasted another three months though.” Ryan, 30

“At a recent work Christmas party I thought I was getting vibes from someone. We spent the whole night chatting. They had a boyfriend, who everyone at work knew, so I went to the toilets and texted them: ‘Girls toilets, 3rd cubicle on the right.’ They never came. Not quite a hook-up but equally as embarrassing.” Juliet, 24

“After years spent being professional as the head of HR in a big city firm, you know, the position where your entire job is to be politically correct and to investigate any sort of bad office conduct, the head of HR had a foursome with three other senior members of the company after the Christmas party and none of them came to the office the next day. Word got out pretty quickly.” Jen, 28

“A junior member of staff got very drunk at our Christmas party and swung her arm around the big boss (not just the boss, the big scary boss who you don't talk to unless they talk to you) at the bar and said 'we can make this company work together, we just need to come up with better ideas'. She was later spotted telling nervous boys on the dance floor in Cruel Intentions style that they could "put it anywhere". She sent an email the next day saying she's been offered another job.” Kevin, 27


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