A staggering two thirds (68%) say that they had flirted or made a full-blown pass at someone they work with and later regretted it.
They say a wise man learns from his own mistakes, a genius learns from other people’s. With that in mind, before you start planning your outfit for your work Christmas bash or preparing your opening line to the girl from the second floor, pause to reflect on some common seasonal party penitence.
Coming onto a colleague, talking to the boss for too long and telling people how much you earn are the top office party regrets after drinking too much, according to a new survey.
MaritalAffair.co.uk, the UK’s leading dating website for married or attached people, has asked a wide range of professionals from bankers to beauticians to reveal their post-tipple Christmas party gaffes.
A staggering two thirds (68%) say that they had flirted or made a full-blown pass at someone they work with and later regretted it. The results showed it was more common for a junior member of staff to regret coming onto someone more senior, rather than the other way around. Perhaps the fear of HR reprimands has put paid to the old-school randy bosses ogling inappropriately at fresh, young office totty?
Another one-quarter (24%) said they had gone as far as having sex with a colleague after a Christmas party. (There was no question to establish how many had sex AT the Christmas party!).
Founder of the maritalaffair.co.uk Paul Graham says: “All this harbored embarrassment shows how dangerous the workplace is to play out our romantic and sexual fantasies. If you are tempted to have a fling, for whatever reason, do it where you can stay anonymous – i.e. on a dating site set up for that with like minded naughty minds! Don't leave yourself vulnerable to gossip, disapproval, Monday morning awkwardness, or worse, blackmail.”
The next most common cause for remorse was talking shop to the boss in a bid to impress him or her. More than half of the 1,000 people questioned said they had woke up cringing at some point in their career for saying something they thought made them sound clever at the time.
Joint third in the hall of regrets was crying in front of a colleague and telling another colleague how much you earn.
Other common non-no’s include revealing a personal sexual story, falling asleep, stealing a ‘souvenir’ (the office Christmas tree fairy and the boss’s framed family photo were particular causes for lament) and being the first on the dance floor.
Little more than one in ten people (12%) had no regrets. But for these smug perfectionists, researchers also asked for any memorable antics they had witnessed their colleagues humiliate themselves with.
Sartorial mistakes was the most common with many expressing exasperation for colleagues who turn up to a function wearing a ‘stupid Timmy Mallett tie or a Reindeer jumper.’ One 35-year-old management consultant said: “What is it about the office party that makes guys loosen their shirts down to three buttons? They don't do this anywhere else!”
Dodgy dance moves and asking the DJ for questionable tunes also attracted disapproval.
So if you can save your amorous affections for outside of the office and stay tight-lipped around the boss, you’re half way there. But don’t whatever you do be a bore. One 42-year-old office manager made his views clear: “Talking about your pet project, babysitters, the school run, your marriage proposal, your morning commute or anything to do with the menu at the staff canteen is just boring and anyone who does that should be tied to their office chair in humiliation!”
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