This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
It's late December, which means you're probably fresh from the horror of your office Christmas party. Free booze and awkward chit-chat with people you actively avoid the rest of the year means you likely drank a lot and possibly did some very awful things. Got off with a colleague, perhaps? Spilt your wrap on the toilet floor and hoovered it up anyway? Told you boss loudly and vividly that normally they're a prick, but now it's 2:07AM and you're mellowed by a keg of mulled wine, actually, you know what, maybe they're not that much of a prick?
Either way, chances are there were other people who witnessed whatever you did. People who were sober. People who are paid to be sober. Bartenders. Your contact points for more alcohol, serving you drinks and quietly observing your awfulness.
Here are some stories from those people about the worst things they've ever seen while working at Christmas parties.
Once we did a party with a social media company. They were fine at the start, just like a usual party where people are still a bit awkward and too sober. Then, as soon as it hit around 11PM, that's when they all went mental. And it wasn't just them; people from the company that organised the party with us and worked the event as cloakroom staff were caught shortly after it began taking coke in the toilets.
One of our bartenders started talking to someone from the party, just asking how her night was going, but one of the organisers came up and told him "not to speak to anyone at the party". After that, a guy at the bar stripped off and got his dick out at one of our female staff members, then he started doing the windmill with his very limp dick. That's when we started chucking people out.
We rewrote our terms and conditions because of those guys, and now make sure every single party reads them so they know not to take the piss – but they still don't care.
Working in Loughborough, we had a load of student or society or office Christmas parties. There would be 40 to 50 of them – which is a lot to cram into a pub for a three-course meal. We had some groups who would be respectful and helpful, but one that sticks out in my memory is one where nobody knew what they had ordered, so service was a nightmare.
They got drunker and drunker, pulled down all of our Christmas decorations, ripped the wallpaper, mashed food onto the tables, broke pieces off the picture frames. I refused to serve them any more booze and one girl threw a proper fit and started crying. In general, that was the most ridiculous Christmas party I worked. And did they tip? Nope. So they destroyed the pub then pissed off without a word of thanks. Merry Christmas!
The other night we had a party of ten who told the staff they were offered their dinner for £17.95 instead of £18.95 because they were a party of ten. This wasn't true, but they kicked off at us anyway, argued with the staff and threatened to take the £10 out of the tip.
We also had a group who took a load of decorations that we put aside for another group and basically started destroying everything with their bare hands because they were so wasted. I had to grab the decorations from them when they wouldn't listen. That same table spent over £500 and didn't leave a tip at all, which is a bit shit.
When I worked at a bar in Leicester we hosted a party for the office of a big high street clothing chain, so all-in-all about 80 people. We cooked them a three-course meal but most of them refused to eat because they wanted to get pissed as quickly as possible on the free bar tab. They did just that, and before 9PM were dancing on the tables, throwing food around and sexually harassing the staff. This went on for a while until one woman fell down the concrete stairs and cracked her head open. All of her co-workers ignored her, and when we tried to get them to move to let the ambulance staff through they shouted at us for ruining their fun because it was the "only time" they got to let loose. They continued the party as soon as all the blood was cleared up, but not one lasted past midnight.
There was one Christmas where it was really busy in the first bar I worked at, and there was one dude who was out with a load of his lad mates giving it the big one about getting smashed. He was a polite enough dude but obviously had something to prove. He ordered himself and his mates shots, then proceeded to talk about Gas Chambers [shots where you down the drink then inhale the remaining alcohol vapour with a straw] and asked if I could sell him one. I did, and fair play to him he smashed it back.
Anyway, later that night we had shut and were having drinks at the bar for a good two hours after we closed. I went into the customer toilets and, as a last check of the building, opened the door to find him at the urinal using his head to balance himself. He was rolling all over the place, dick in hand, so safe to say we got him tooled back in and into a taxi home.