Plea for clemency for the Office Christmas Committee

It’s 2 weeks before Christmas and all across the city,

Office Christmas committee’s are getting quite shitty

Why? Come on, you KNOW why. It’s THAT time of year isn’t it? Let me share something with you – I have 3 business rules I apply to every single job I’ve had – and I NEVER break them. They are:

  1. Never make a meeting for 9am Monday morning.
  2. Never make a meeting for 4pm Friday afternoon.
  3. Never, under any circumstances, even if you’re begged, or threatened with the sack, volunteer to go on the Office Christmas Committee.

Office Christmas committees. A unique conglomerate made up of enthusiastic and hopeful volunteers who’ve only been on the floor for maybe 6 weeks. In the weeks before Christmas they gather together to come up with 2010’s Divisional/Unit/Team Christmas function. They throw around inspired ideas – Kris Kringle with the boss dressed up as Santa, rude food platters, 100 Things You Can Do With Tinsel Competition – trying to stumble upon the kind of unforgettable festive occasion their colleagues will be gossiping about well into the New Year.

‘How was that Christmas party last year?’

‘Awesome. Best I’ve ever been too.’

‘And the boss in that Santa suit…?’


These are the sounds of mirth Office Christmas Committee’s long to hear. They want THEIR NAMES hovering reverently on the lips of their peers – ‘true party champions – these guys could organise a party in Vic Pol’s OPC.’

YEAH, RIGHT! You and I both know (don’t we?) that what begins with hope, love and poor taste, rapidly deteriorates into bickering, disgruntlement(?) and clashes of festive philosophies?

Firstly there is the question of cost – (assuming you don’t work in a self-serving, for-profit corporate giant that buys your soul every Christmas with lobster banquets and John Farnham serenades) – the first major hurdle every Office Christmas Committee (OCC) must clear without knocking the Christmas cheer out of their colleagues. If the function is too cheap, those with more refined tastes will be dubious as to its quality – if it’s too expensive, it will isolate those on budgets or maintaining extreme social lives.

Then there is the question of what type of function: picnic in the park (‘But what if it’s too hot? What if it’s too cold? What about ants? And mosquitoes? What about hygiene, the food will go off in the sun? Can we drink? We’ll lose people!’ or ‘Great! I can nick off early.’); evening cocktails and dancing (‘I’ll have to find a baby sitter.’ ‘I can’t stay late, Tracey gets annoyed if I stay out too late.’ ‘Can we bring our partners?’ ‘Oh, God, can you believe it, why would anyone want to bring their partner to a work Christmas party?’); a long lunch at a local pub (‘BOR-ING! Why can’t we all go out and get drunk, dance like maniacs and pash each other?’ ‘That’s civilised, then I don’t have to watch X get pissed and crack on to the Managers assistant.’); in-office catering (‘That’s nice – I can get straight back to my desk afterwards.’ ‘Is it from that lovely little café down the road? Woolies? WHAT?’ ‘Jesus – don’t we even get unchained from the office at Christmas time?’).

By the time the OCC has suffered the arguments about cost and type of function they’ve then got to face the question of food – Finger food, a la carte meal, set menu, snacks, catered, bring a plate, so many options it’ll make your singing Santa spin. Spare a thought for your OCC who must cater for those who won’t eat much and don’t want to pay extra to cater for those who wish to GORGE themselves like – dogs. And these days it’s further complicated by ‘special dietary needs’. Lactose free, gluten free, meat free, crustacean free, dairy free, fat free, nut free, no preservatives or artificial colourings and definitely NO MAYONNAISE (because these days EVERYBODY hates mayonnaise – right?) By the time you’ve catered for all the ‘frees’ everyone will be eating carrot sticks and rice crackers and drinking still mineral water – truly celebratory fare.

Kris Kringle? (‘I loathe getting a stupid box of penis shaped pasta,’ or ‘Oh yeah, I’ve got these incredible raspberry flavoured edible g-string undies I want to give Madge! She’ll die!’)

Santa? (‘God, how OLD do they think we are?’ to ‘I can’t wait to see what the boss says when I sit on his knee and tell him I want a raise for Christmas – haw haw haw!’)

And let’s not even go down the track of – ‘But I don’t celebrate Christmas, I’m a practising {insert a non-Christian religion}’ or ‘I don’t celebrate Christmas because I’m an over-educated, left wing, environmental killjoy who doesn’t want to support the terrible carbon imprint and corporate commercial exploitation created by Westernised version of christmas}.

{Ooooooh. That was dangerous – wasn’t it? J}

So, this Christmas, spare some heart, spare some pity, spare some Christmas spirit for your beleaguered, battle weary, fed-up-to-the-gills-with-you-lot Office Christmas Committee. After all, they are doing their best and they are only trying to please YOU.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Colin
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 09:29:01

    Bah Humbug!!!!!!!


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