Office Christmas Party, starring TJ Miller and Jason Batemen, should not be used as an instruction manual.
Office Christmas Party, starring TJ Miller and Jason Batemen, should not be used as an instruction manual.

The worst office Christmas party ever thrown


To: All Staff

From: Susie O'Brien, Chief Political Correctness Officer

Date: November 27, 2018

Re: Festive season

As many of you know, the festive season is upon us again. However, I urge caution with regard to freely offering the term "Happy Christmas" to your fellow workers.

Think about how the pressure to be happy could affect one in four of the population suffering a range of depressive disorders. And Christmas is definitely a no-no.

How do you think it makes non-Christians feel? What about those who celebrate Ramadan? Hanukkah? Chinese New Year? Orthodox Greek Easter? Pagan rituals?

It's important to be religiously inclusive, so something like "For those of you who are observing any religious or non-religious celebrations, I wish you a non-pressured degree of satisfaction" might be more appropriate.

Or you could just say Hello. Actually, that might be safer.

I have been trying to organise an office party. We had planned to have drinks at a pub with a smorgasbord lunch, a $20 Kris Kringle and a carol singalong. We thought it would be fun.

First up, the term party was challenged by the HR managers, who wanted it called a non-compulsory "team-building exercise".

No risk of any accidental David Brent dancing at my festive party.
No risk of any accidental David Brent dancing at my festive party.

We also had to stop the managing director from dressing up as Santa after it was deemed to be ageist, sexist and discriminatory to those of a larger stature.

We have also had to deal with a range of demands from staff with diverse dietary and social restrictions.

Those with allergies asked us to make sure the food was gluten free, dairy free, lactose free, nut free, bio-dynamically sound and free-range.

Vegans wanted no meat.

Pescetarians wanted fish.

Fruitarians only wanted fruit fallen from trees naturally (and not too bruised).

Those with alcohol addictions wanted no booze.

Those sensitive to noise wanted a quiet contemplation zone.

Those with indeterminate gender identity wanted a non-binary toilet choice and training for all staff in the use of the pronoun "their".

We were going to ask people to bring their partners, but those who are single objected. They suggested they should be free to bring a transitory non-platonic person if they could find one on Tinder in time.

After the HR department put together a 52-point risk assessment, we decided the event cannot go ahead.

We also had to keep in mind the possibility of inappropriate sexual behaviour between colleagues. Given the number of sexual harassment complaints we're already dealing with after someone put mistletoe up in the photocopier room last year, we can't be sure all verbal and non-verbal interactions among staff will be respectful, reciprocal and enjoyable.

A fun time will not be had by all. Picture: iStock
A fun time will not be had by all. Picture: iStock

Plans to replace the event with a family day with children also went awry as those without families (childless by choice, they call themselves) objected to being left out.

A suggestion to replace it with an aunts or uncles, guardians, kinship carers, special people and grandfriends' picnic is under discussion.

We also had to cancel the Kris Kringle, as all the people in the office called Kris objected to being objectified once again. And the payroll officers pointed out that $20 is a lot for some people to pay, particularly given the dubious taste of the gifts being exchanged.

No doubt you remember the fluffy penis in a cage given to Barb from accounts three years ago that is still the subject of court action.

We were drawing up guidelines for presents: no f*** off coffee mugs, no poo emoji cushions, no BBQ aprons with inappropriate slogans such as "Kiss the cook" and "Sexy Minx" and no sudoku toilet paper.

Someone pointed out there was nothing much left to give, so we've agreed to give nothing.

I would also like to remind you about the appropriate nature of festive greeting cards displayed in the office. "Look at Santa's shiny red balls" and "When I think of you I touch my elf" are not fit for this workplace.

Please remember that any mention of Christmas elves is discriminatory to the vertically challenged.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best wishes for a socially inclusive, non-discriminatory, gender-free, stress-free, religion-adverse, non-denominational, non-caffeinated, inoffensive festive celebration.

If you choose not to celebrate any kind of festive season activity, then best wishes to you and I hope you are able to enjoy the day without any unintended ill feelings.

And best wishes for a fiscally secure, medically sound, personally fulfilling new year.

After organising this optional non-event, I am taking a well-earned break, so see you in April.

(With thanks to Greg Brother and funnysh*

Susie O'Brien is a Herald Sun columnist.