Over the past few weeks, Vincenzo Ferrara has been busy curating the PA Life guide to the juiciest real-life Christmas party horror stories. Given the nature of our industry, we have vowed to keep all stories completely anonymous. We’ve both laughed and cried at some of the tales sent in. Read on for our favourite Christmas crackers…
The boss and the bin
In my first year as a PA, I was working for a woman that made my life an absolute nightmare (I’ve worked for several bosses since and she was by far the worst).
It wasn’t personal, she hated everyone in the office.
After a few too many drinks at the Christmas party, I snuck into my bosses’ office and decided to play a little prank on her.
I grabbed the bin from the floor and spread the contents over her desk. I thought it was the perfect crime, how would she ever know it was me?
The next morning, I crawled into work to find my boss stood at my desk with a very stern look on her face. It turns out an unfinished can of diet coke had emptied itself over her computer and rendered it completely unusable.
To add to the problem, I hadn’t realised that my work ID had fallen off and landed on top of the mess the night before, leaving an obvious link to me – I’d make a terrible criminal.
I started looking for a new job later that day…
My dark office secret
Let me just start by saying, me and my boss are very close and have a great relationship, which is why he can never know what I did.
I’m the EA to the CEO and have gained my position from years of hard work and loyalty.
One year at the office Christmas party, I was dressed up to the nines and getting into the festive spirit when a younger guy approached me. I didn’t recognise him, but the company has a lot of employees, it would be impossible to know them all. We started talking and after a little bit of time, kissing. I don’t know what came over me but being in front of colleges made everything feel a little bit naughtier – silly, I know.
After a while, I went to the bar to get another drink, expecting to return to his very cute self.
However, on my return, I couldn’t find him!
I asked everyone at the party if they had seen a man that fit his description, with little luck.
The next day, I continued the search by checking our employee database. But without a name or department to search, this seemed like a dead-end.
Later that day, my boss asked me to go into his office for a chat – nothing out of the ordinary. He asked me all of the usual questions: How did the party go, did it look like people had fun etc, then he wanted to show me some pictures of his family dressed up for the event.
You can probably guess what happened next.
To my shame, a picture of my bosses’ son popped up on the screen and I instantly recognised, it was Mr cute.
I had only ever seen pictures of my bosses’ son that were on his desk from when his kids were younger, his son was now 18 and very handsome.
To this day I have never told my boss and luckily never run into his son.
The very naughty list
I work as PA to the head of human technology interaction at an all-female tech startup.
My boss and all of the employees are happy, and we share a lot in common. Which means that when it comes around to the Christmas party, we go a bit wild; drinking too much and laughing the entire time.
Last year, my boss invited us all to a Christmas themed male strip club for the annual party, we were all nervous, but she had never let us down before, so we agreed to go, what’s the worst that could happen?
The night was fabulous, one of the best in my life! We drank endless bottles of prosecco and got to watch some very attractive men strip – not quite to the baubles but the Santa hats were a nice touch!
All of a sudden, the lights of the room went off, all except one spotlight. The hip-hop music went silent and was replaces by jingle bells rock. Whatever was about to happen had our full attention…
From behind the curtain, a fat man dressed as Santa Claus appeared. He began to dance and strip – the moment he took his shirt off to reveal a glitter painted image of Rudolf on his belly made the crowd give an enormous cheer.
After all the commotion, I managed to catch a drink with Santa at the bar, one thing led to another and let’s just say, I had to get a taxi back from the North Pole the next morning.
A bit too much festive cheer
I planned and ruined the best Christmas party my office had ever been part of.
In 2013, I was given the job of planning the office Christmas party, something I believe most EAs have experience in planning at some point over their career.
It was my first year as EA to the head of team building and event planning at my former company. He had put me in charge of creating a winter wonderland party. I wanted to make it the best party the staff had ever seen, so I went out and booked the most extravagantly Christmas time party that anyone at the company had ever seen. I managed to fill the area with movie snow, added a fairground and even encouraged a couple of German food and drink stands to attend. It was truly magical!
On the night, everyone was dressed up and looked brilliant, as if we had all entered high society for an evening. They loved what I had created, and I instantly got a lot of great feedback. It was such good feedback, that I decided to celebrate my success by having a drink – If it had stopped at just one drink, it would have been fine.
After too many drinks to count, I let success get to my head, I became overly loud and emotional. People were now trying to avoid me (who could blame them) which only made me worse. I decided that I needed to re-capture everyone’s attention, and my bright idea included the Ferris wheel that was giving people a spectacular view of the venue.
The owner of the wheel wouldn’t let me on because I was ‘too drunk’, so I exclaimed: “Do you know who I am?” – he did not, and I doubt he cared either way.
So, in my drunken insanity, I decided to push past and try to climb the wheel itself, I felt I was nearly at the top, the video evidence provided to me later on shows I was only around two-feet up. I lost my grip and fell to the ground – breaking my leg.
The feedback from my boss when I saw him after Christmas, leg in cast, was: “At least you made it a night that no one will ever forget,” we laughed and continue to work together to this day. But he has never asked me to plan another Christmas party.
An oldie but a Goldie
I am pleased to announce that I retire at Christmas this year and last week was my final office Christmas party. After 46 years at work following the rule and behaving myself I wanted to leave on a cheeky note. Nothing too naughty but just a bit of fun that means I could say I broke the rules just one time.
I’m in my sixties and just wanted to let loose, I thought the office party would be the perfect location to sneakily cause some trouble.
I had a few drinks but what I was planning I wanted to be completely sober. In the midst of the party I snuck off to an office upstairs, it was the only office in the building that had a photocopier.
I lifted my dress and dropped my knickers and took a photocopy of my bottom, it was just something I’ve seen in films and I thought it would be quick and easy to get a few prints.
My plan was to print several images and stick them around my office on the day I leave (Dec 21), so that they would walk into the office on January 2 to find images of my behind on some of the walls, never knowing it was me.
I’ve used this photocopier every day for the past four years and not once have I pressed a wrong button. However, on that evening for some unknown reason, instead of pressing sever copies, I pressed 777.
The obvious thing to do would have just been to cancel the printing and collect the few that were done. Instead, I panicked and ran for it. I went straight down to the party (Fully dressed again) and blended in.
The next day I walked into the office to see the supply manager shredding 777 copies on my bum, using the shredder in the centre of the office. He asked me if I know who have the bear bottomed cheek of doing such a thing as I know most people who work on the floor. When I denied any knowledge, he got on with his shredding.
I think it was the perfect crime, even if it didn’t go to plan, and I’m now excited to start my retirement, safe with the knowledge I broke the rules at work, just the once.