Company holiday parties are always a tricky events to navigate through. You show up to work every day where your company works you like a dog. As a reward they throw you this party and offer you a well deserved open bar. It’s not like a wedding with friends and family though, this is a party with your bosses and coworkers. On the one hand your performance at work earns you the right to get totally blitzed, but on the other hand you know you tend to tell offensive jokes and occasionally whip things out when you drink. Your friends may think it’s funny, but your coworkers for sure won’t and they can definitely fire you if you misbehave.

You should be on your best behavior, but they don’t make it easy with an open bar. I guess that’s just a test of self control though right? This happened to me recently at our annual End of the Year party. I promised myself that at the actual event I would only have one or two drinks and then wait till the smaller after party to drink heavily with the coworkers I actually liked. I walk up to the bar to order me and my date a drink.

Me: “Two Titos and Sodas, Please.”

Bartender: “We only have Smirnoff, is that ok?”

It’s not ok, but it’s free so I can’t complain. I nod and say “Sure”

Bartender: “Do you want a single or a double?”

It’s free so without hesitation I respond “Double”

Bartender: “Do you want a double or a double-double?”

Me: “What? Is that even a real thing? Yeah of course I’ll have that.” As she starts to pour I turn to my date to explain what I’ve just done. I had never heard of a double double before. I mean, how can that even be profitable for us to be offering drinks like that, but I’m a bargain drinker so I can’t pass an opportunity like this. After discussing how bad this could turn out for like a solid minute, I turn back around to find that the bartender is still pouring. In fact she was in the process of finishing the handle of Smirnoff. She had filled both highball glasses to right under the brim. Then she splashed each with soda. I took the drinks and thanked her in advance for getting me fired.

As I turn to walk away from the bar with my drinks, I look around the room to scope out the vibe. Judging from the loud laughing, the wild dancing, and general rockiness of the crowd, I would say she made everyone’s drinks that strong. People definitely won’t notice if I get a little tipsy too. I take a sip and taste pure vodka. My date took a sip of hers and decided that she didn’t want to drink it. I don’t blame her, it was awful, but I don’t want to waste it, so it’s all on me. This is going to be tough.

I peer to my right, and at the end of the bar I see someone beyond tipsy. I mean just to look at him you would think we were on a boat in the middle of a squall. He starts to rock back and forth more and more and I can tell he’s going down. All of a sudden he falls backwards in my direction. I probably could have caught him, but I was holding two gallons of vodka. Had to take care of priorities first. No surprise, he was escorted out a few minutes later and don’t think I’ve seen him at work ever again.

Me on the other hand. I faired ok. I finished both drinks and was able to go back for more (stuck to just a regular double this time). I danced, which is something I would never do at a work event, but nothing too embarrassing. No thanks to the Double Down Bandit working behind the bar, I was able to make it through to the other side drunk but still employed. But as we saw with the tipsy sailor, not everyone can be that lucky. Party with coworkers responsibly my friends.

 

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Dusty Cummings