The 12 people you're guaranteed to see at your work Christmas party
Christmas. A time for family, friends, sensible nights out and wildly presumptive expectations of one's willpower.
Before we embark on journeys home to visit loved ones and catch up with people we haven't spoken to for a year, many of us will enjoy our work Christmas parties in the coming week.
Now, I'm not going to tell you what you should or should not do at this party. You're (probably) an adult, and you don't need me to tell you that you should act like a human being.
I will, however, provide you with some insider knowledge. Specifically, exactly what sort of people you should expect to meet at your work Christmas party, and how to deal with them.
1 - The person who usually works from home
Ah, the work-from-home person. They spend their time in their home office, being a part of the office Slack but rarely there in physical form. This person is essentially the professional equivalent to that cousin who only ever comes to the rarest of family dos.
How does one spot them? Easy. They will most likely be tired, having travelled for hours without getting any God-damned sleep. They will also be loud and gregarious - in a nice way of course - and utterly overwhelmed by the sight of actual human beings and enjoying company that isn't simply the little paper clip on Microsoft Word. They can also be recognised by the repeated uttering of the phrase "who's that?" by other colleagues.
These people are just like you and your colleagues, so treat them as such and things will be fine.
2 - The person who can't handle their drink
This is a special one. Every work party has (at least) one person who gets a little ahead of themselves each year.
They are excited, racing into the night as if it were the last day of humanity. They are, in essence, a giddy child at a birthday party who had too many Skittles and is about to pass out before everyone else.
If you're lucky, this person will require little more than a couple of pints of water and a shoulder to kip on for half an hour. If you're unlucky, they will require a taxi and - at worst - someone to take them home.
3 - The person who can keep it together to an annoying degree
Ah yes, it is you. The person who, despite appearing to drink more than anyone else, is a picture of calmness and self-restraint. They always have a drink in their hand, emitting a vibe which can be best described as "James Bond on a chilled night out".
This person will be just as healthy at 4am as they were at 7.30pm, and - to make things worse - probably wake up the next morning feeling fresh enough to go for a quick 10k and a smoothie.
4 - The intentionally sober person
Every part has this person. They are content to enjoy the festivities without the social lubricant being greedily consumed by the rest.
How to treat them? Nicely. Some people don't want to drink and that's cool. Don't be an ass, and don't try and force them to drink something they don't want to. Simple.
5 - The surprise package
No one saw it coming, no one was prepared for this. This person is generally quiet. Social? Yes, but certainly not the first person to speak up in meetings.
But tonight? They arise like a butterfly from their cocoon, like a phoenix from the ashes, ready to take the party by storm and shock the masses. They show a side of themselves rarely seen, and easily win the Ms./Mr. Congeniality award for the night.
6 - The person who will not stop f*@%ing talking about work
Look, mate, we get it. You love your job. You are professionally fulfilled to a degree which is quite frankly sickening and you simply want to discuss nothing apart from work for the entire night.
We understand, it's a real gift in life to enjoy your job, it is. But having said that, can we not just sit for a while and discuss something else? Hell, we can even bitch about people in work, without having to discuss the year ahead from a professional point of view.
Thankfully, this person usually becomes enormous fun later on in proceedings and can't even be brought back to the topic of work even if you tried. Swings and roundabouts.
7 - The person who puts no effort into Secret Santa
Ah yes, this loathsome being. The one who takes the jokey nature of office Secret Santa a little too far and puts little to no effort into the gift purchase. Look, we know it's supposed to be funny and all that, but seriously, no one is laughing at the boxer shorts with a picture of David Hasselhoff on them.
We're not asking for an incredibly thoughtful gift, or even anything expensive, but you could have looked somewhere other than the pound shop. That's all we're saying.
This person is almost as bad as the person who puts too much effort into Secret Santa and makes us all feel like awful, inconsiderate human beings.
8 - The person who keeps saying "Remember last year's party?"
Nostalgia is fine, in small doses. But every party is nailed-on to have at least one person who constantly refers to how much fun last year was. This is okay for a very small amount of time. But when you move onto the next venue for a few drinks the last thing you want to hear is "last year's spot was better".
This is particularly annoying for newer employees who didn't attend last year's event, and are left to wonder in vain at what sort of Shangri-La the previous Christmas' party took place in. Little tip: it probably wasn't as good as that person is making out.
9 - The person who booked the next day off back in July
Preparation is a good quality. It helps us in all areas of our lives and generally makes for an easier one. However, there are few things more grating than that one person who keeps informing you that they had the foresight to book the next day off six months ago.
This results in this person spending the night like there is no tomorrow, like someone on death row who is only there for a laugh.
What are we supposed to do with that information? Is it supposed to comfort us as we struggle through the next day like someone who can only dream about feeling as good as a zombie? We are all happy for you, but please, stop.
10 - The person who starts on the expensive whiskey when they find out it's a free bar
This opportunist has been present - in some form - at every Christmas party since Jesus' apostles decided to start celebrating their mate's birthday.
Prior to finding out it's a free bar, this person is on the cheapest wine or beer going. But the second that the truth dawns upon them, they turn into the Great Gatsby. Out goes the Stella and in comes the Courvoisier, as the person begins to swill their costly tipple at every opportunity.
This of course comes back to haunt them the next day, but that won't stop them from doing it all again next year.
11 - The person who think they know better than the DJ
"This song is crap, I know what would be better" - these are the words of wannabe Tiestos at work Christmas parties across the globe.
It really matters little what actual music is being played, be it pop, rock or hip-hop; this person will not be satisfied until their own curated Spotify playlist is given centre-stage. It'll be all they talk about, and they will slowly drive away every other human as they stumble deeper into their own hubris.
What's more, this person is nearly guaranteed to freeze once given control of the music, eventually choosing some songs that kill the atmosphere, at which point they return to their table with their tail between their legs.
12 - The person who refuses to take off their Christmas hat
We all love getting into the Christmas spirit. It is a time of merriment and joy, and, for some, hats becoming fused with your scalp and never leaving its surface.
None of us are quite sure why people do this. The hats are almost always too tight or too loose, they never look good and tend to make you look foolish, but this does not stop at least one person from finding their soul mate in the inanimate reindeer hat upon their head.
They would rather fight to the death than give it up, and will only relinquish their bodily decoration when it escapes and finds a place in which no one can find it.
And so, that is that. Have we missed anyone in this comprehensive party analysis? If so, please reply on Twitter or Facebook and, if possible, let us know which one of these stereotypes you are. Because you are definitely one.
But above all else, enjoy your Christmas party and be merry.