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Cover your ass.
December 4, 2006 3:35 AM   Subscribe

Avoid office party lawsuits: buy insurance and distribute the rules in advance; don't let them drink; no flirting; bring a recording device; no religious stuff; don't dance with staff members.

Have a safe holiday.
posted by Meatbomb (28 comments total)

 
"a party host who serves alcohol to a clearly drunk guest may be legally responsible if that person goes on to hurt or kill someone in a car accident."

Obviously, hosts should serve their guests LSD instead! But not their cats.

Sorry, Meatbomb, I couldn't resist.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:48 AM on December 4, 2006


By saying Holiday you have revealed yourself to be a foot soldier in the war on Christmas. Fortunately, Christmas has a huge military budget, understands unconventional asymmetric warfare, has congressional authorization to use whatever measures it deems necessary to protect itself and it has your two front teeth.
posted by srboisvert at 4:02 AM on December 4, 2006


"one in five (20%) adults will host or co-host a holiday party this year at which alcohol will be served."

So 80% of American adults are fucking boring and/or bad hosts.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:05 AM on December 4, 2006


slimepuppy, if 100% of American adults hosted parties, there would be no guests left to attend.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:31 AM on December 4, 2006


Rules like this are the reason less and less companies bother doing a Xmas thing...
posted by clevershark at 4:33 AM on December 4, 2006


Dear Lord, save us from the hoards of people who incist on not only having office Christmas parties, but that all must attend.

Thank you Jesus.
Goofyy
posted by Goofyy at 4:58 AM on December 4, 2006


Times like these make me thankful to be an independent worker.
posted by signal at 5:34 AM on December 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thank jebus for being in Ireland this Christmas season, where they work damn hard at getting the staff absolutely sloshed and embarrassing themselves.
posted by antifuse at 5:46 AM on December 4, 2006


You forgot to add forced games. Nothing adds joy to corporate office fun like ice-breaking games!
posted by thekilgore at 5:51 AM on December 4, 2006


--At a nursing home holiday party, a 220-kg. brown bear brought in to entertain residents fell on a 90 year-old woman, killing her. (From the next to last link)

That must have been one hell of an ice-breaker!
posted by TedW at 6:07 AM on December 4, 2006


Maybe this explains something that I experienced ten years ago when I was working in a certain prominent scientific institute in southern California.

Our lab had just moved there from Canada. The Christmas season arrived and with it the Christmas party. I was primed for the traditional Canadian scientific piss-up and was already planning my next-day apologies, anticipating an encore of my wife's legendary performance three years before wherein she and a friend hiked up their dresses, sat on the photocopier and handed out the priceless souvenir copies to assorted attendees, including the institute head and his wife.

The first sign that something was amiss was that the invitation stated that the party started at 4:30. It also said it ended at 5:30, but I assumed that was a misprint. Nope. At 4.30 we went to the designated room, and were greeted with a dazzling array of sandwiches, juice and bottled water. Polite if somewhat awkward conversation was exhanged for an hour. Then everyone went home.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:37 AM on December 4, 2006


Thank jebus for being in Ireland this Christmas season, where they work damn hard at getting the staff absolutely sloshed and embarrassing themselves.

Yep, Staff Christmas dinner is probably the best thing about Christmas. Make an ass out of yourself, your boss makes an ass out of themselves, everyone has a laugh and guess what... plenty of people bruise their egos and much more besides, and yet... no-one sues. Fucking genius isn't it.
posted by twistedonion at 7:22 AM on December 4, 2006


Thank jebus for being in Ireland this Christmas season, where they work damn hard at getting the staff absolutely sloshed and embarrassing themselves.

I guess that I'm just a boring American but I would avoid such a thing like the plague. I'd really rather not mix work and fun and risk my job by getting drunk in front of management. I'll stick with the holiday pot-luck lunches.
posted by octothorpe at 7:40 AM on December 4, 2006


--A school district faced a lawsuit over an 8-year-old's attempt to distribute pens carrying a religious message during a classroom holiday party;

--An office Christmas party ended in tragedy when an employee's synthetic grass skirt caught fire, killing him and severely burning a second person;

--At a nursing home holiday party, a 220-kg. brown bear brought in to entertain residents fell on a 90 year-old woman, killing her.


Lesson learned:

Give the 8-year-olds those pens with the pictures of girls who get naked when you turn em upside down, instead.

Make sure your skirt is REAL grass.

Get lighter bears, and don't let them drink.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:45 AM on December 4, 2006


I guess that I'm just a boring American but I would avoid such a thing like the plague. I'd really rather not mix work and fun and risk my job by getting drunk in front of management.

When I was in Japan, we had regular afterwork drinking sessions in the office. The boss provided money to buy booze and snacks. It was considered 'bonding'. One day, after a few too many tequila shots, an employee had to be taken home by ambulance. He had also become a little over-agressive before losing consciousness. Not only did no one get sued, no one got fired either, and the only bad result was that future sessions were limited to beer and wine only.

In some countries, what happens while drunk is not held against you when sober. It provides a good escape valve to vent your issues, because you can say later - sorry about that, it was just the alcohol talking. Both sides save face that way.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:51 AM on December 4, 2006


it was just the alcohol talking.

But no one really believes that. Alcohol doesn't create ideas in your head, it just lets them out. Does anyone really buy that Mel Gibson isn't a racist and that somehow the alcohol that he drank turned him into one? I still have no interest in getting drunk with my co-workers. Plus, most of us are over forty, I don't think that there is anyone at my office who ever has more than one or two drinks.
posted by octothorpe at 8:02 AM on December 4, 2006


risk my job by getting drunk in front of management.

But you are drunk and it's Christmas, you can't get fired no matter what you do, it's tradition (or rather, one I'm glad we have)!!!!!
posted by twistedonion at 8:05 AM on December 4, 2006


Thank jebus for being in Ireland this Christmas season, where they work damn hard at getting the staff absolutely sloshed and embarrassing themselves.

Was just thinking the same thing about being in Denmark this Christmas season....
posted by jckll at 8:05 AM on December 4, 2006


But no one really believes that.

Of course they don't, but it does let both people to open up a bit more than they would sober.
posted by twistedonion at 8:06 AM on December 4, 2006


a) Get drunk at office party, risk telling the design team why they fail and prove it mathematically.
b) Play Battlefield 2 with friends, get drunk optionaly, and scream like imbicile mongoloids over VoIP.

I used to like comming to work, but I have to say the more time I spend away from this new project the better.

P.S. One store bought Starbucks Double Shot, one shot Balieys Irish Cream, one shot Kalhula, one shot Vodka. Yeah, I'm a ponce.
posted by The Power Nap at 9:01 AM on December 4, 2006


I think my boss would contemplate firing me if I didn't have a drink at Christmas. At my last job, at a family run company, the managing director of the (relatively large) company appeared, took everyone out for dinner and made damn sure everyone had a) a good time and plenty to drink if they wanted and b) a taxi home. This seems like the sensible solution to me!
posted by prentiz at 9:07 AM on December 4, 2006


I'd really rather not mix work and fun and risk my job by getting drunk in front of management

Well see, that's the thing. Getting drunk in front of management doesn't really make much difference when management is getting just as drunk with you. Everybody wins! I suppose it also helps if you actually like the people you work with/for. :)
posted by antifuse at 9:18 AM on December 4, 2006


The few times I've had what you people would call a "job" [simpsons shudder], my motto has always been "If I liked these people, they wouldn't have to pay me to come spend time with them each day".
posted by signal at 10:07 AM on December 4, 2006


The few times I've had what you would call a "job" [simpsons shudder], my motto has always been "If I liked these people, they wouldn't have to pay me to come spend time with them each day".
posted by signal at 10:07 AM on December 4, 2006


I guess I'm one of very few people that thinks it's sad that the concept of "company Christmas party" has gone away like it has. Lawyers and whiners are ruining America. Many folks I know here in the Valley work for places that aren't having Christmas parties simply because of the potential liability. And if they are, they're short, alcohol-free, and called "holiday" parties or "end of the year" parties to avoid offending any sensitive religious types.

Instead, we opened a different can of worms and moved the boozefest back to Halloween.
posted by drstein at 10:59 AM on December 4, 2006


signal: a-fucking-men

The last few years I've been an "executive" (I hate myself enough already) I've refused to sanction a company Christmas party. I don't expect I ever will.

I'm not a Grinch... I just have a fierce opposition to "forced" social functions.

If people want to get together, they will. It's not the place of management to dictate social behavior.

Some employees have asked to have department or facility parties, with the attendance voluntary, and I've approved the expenses.

But a company-wide party, where 3/4 of the employees are "strangers" to one another, and would not interact again until the next mandatory party?

Pass.
posted by Ynoxas at 1:20 PM on December 4, 2006


If people want to get together, they will. It's not the place of management to dictate social behavior.

Nobody here is forced to go to their Christmas party (at least, not that I've heard of). If they don't want to go, they don't go. Simple as that. It's not so much the "Hey, we want to get together" aspect, as it is the "Hey, we want the company to buy us booze" aspect. :)
posted by antifuse at 2:05 AM on December 5, 2006


Ah, the company holiday party. That fun, happening get-together when a drunken co-worker tells you all about her and her husband's experiments with wife-swapping.

Dear god, no no no, just shut up now, I can't hear you, lalalalalalala
posted by deborah at 3:14 PM on December 5, 2006


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