My husband is out on his Christmas Do this evening. Drinking early, some overpriced and badly cooked food and then embarrassing dancing. Sounds like the ingredients for a dreadful evening but in fact I really miss the office Christmas do.
When I was working each department had its own do and it depended on your own area of expertise as to which one or ones you were invited to. Some were a real no no. The Commercial Property do was one to be avoided. Too many middle aged partners in charge. As employment lawyers we had feet in a number of camps. Technically as litigators we would have to go to that one. Not too bad. Usually quite entertaining and generous partners so plenty of booze.
However, without a shadow of a doubt the Do to be at was the Corporate department. All that testosterone meant that there were always plenty of stags with their antlers clashing. Also, the secretaries knew how to party and because they were always being asked to stay ridiculously late to close deals they expected to be pampered with edible food and plenty of booze. In return they got dressed up to the nines and painted the town the brightest shade of red that the paintbox can offer. Fortunately, because my role mainly encompassed corporate employment stuff, I always managed to get myself a legitimate invitation . So for weeks beforehand outfits were discussed, bought, returned and rebought to ensure that the balance between the demure and yet sexy was absolutely perfect. At this point I should point out that I was very junior and unmarried and so trying to look demure and yet sexy was perfectly acceptable and very much expected.
Anyway, it was always a really good night. The partners all tried to outdo each other by how much champagne they could buy. The secretaries all drank far more of it than was good for them and a fair amount of inappropriate snogging went on in dark corners. As I said, a good night out and one which kept us going with gossip well into the new year.
The ubiquitous Christmas Do also had another, less obvious bonus for us employment lawyers. They always led to lots more work for us in January. Whether it was the junior employee acting in an insubordinate manner after one pint too many or the boss trying it on in an unwelcome fashion it often resulted in some disciplinary tangle or other. Many a job was forfeited by ill advised actions at the Christmas do and we were always there to pick up the pieces.
Which brings me nicely back to my thought for this evening. I wish I had a Christmas do to go to – not like the ones of my youth which sadly I have grown out of and can never be repeated now that I am in my forties. No, any sort of Christmas do would be nice. The shops are full of beautiful party dresses. Daytime tv is awash with articles on how to put your hair up or apply false eyelashes ( although I am not sure why as, if you watch day time tv you surely have no do to go to like me) and here I am . At home. Imogen Clark At Home. I shall organise a Christmas do for all those people who don’t have an office do to go to. Still, it’s not the same if you don’t see your boss try to dance with his assistant and trip over a paper hat on his way to the loo. Oh well. Maybe next year….