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I am recovering from a disastrous office party…

Headline franke james, donkey photo licensed from istock

Dear Office-Politics,

I need to recover from a disastrous office party where I got too drunk.

Events of concern are as follows:

1. I managed to charm the bartender into supplying me drinks for free rather than purchasing drink tickets.

2. Invited many upper management folks to have a drink at the bar with me, including VP, without having to pay.

3. Later found out that drinks were not provided by the house rather supplied by VP himself.

4. Picked up a young lady. Later found out she was the VP’s girlfriend. She may be able to twist things around (it was mutual).

Look forward to your advice.


franke james

Dear Hungover,

Yeow!! You really got yourself into a mess. So how do you mop it up?

First, an apology to the VP is in order. You should also offer to pay for the drinks to redeem yourself. I can hear you howling now that you can’t possibly afford it. If the VP accepts your offer, write out the check graciously and chalk it up to an expensive lesson in EFMR (Executive Foot in Mouth Removal).

Now, how to extricate yourself from the girlfriend issue is much more problematic… Obviously his girlfriend isn’t that attached to him since she went off to play with you…. His reaction could be to dump her for being disloyal and embarrassing him. But how is he going to punish you? You humiliated him in front of his peers. That has got to hurt. The only hope is that he wanted to end the relationship anyway. Or that he’s very liberal…

Your Clean-Up-The-Mess-List:

1. Apologize in person

2. Offer to pay for the drinks

3. Try humor to lessen the sting. Give him a humorous card which admits to him that your behavior was totally wrong, immature, stupid etc. (Suitable image would be a donkey. See my take on it above.)

4. Recognize your weakness for drinking to excess in an office situation and strive to improve. This time you created a mess which caused emotional and financial injury. Count yourself lucky that you didn’t cause anyone bodily injury (e.g. drunk driving, assault, death). If you’re smart you’ll take this as a sign you need to change.

5. If you are very lucky your VP will give you a 2nd chance because you’ve tried to repair the damage and you’ve owned up to your mistake….

But I’d get your resume ready just in case. Thanks for writing to OfficePolitics.com.

Cheers (or maybe not!)


Franke James, MFA
Editor & Founder, Office-Politics.com
Inventor, The Office-Politics® Game


Franke James, MFA is the Editor & Founder of Office-Politics.com. She is also the Inventor of The Office-Politics® Game a dilemma-based social game that teaches you how to play, and laugh, at office politics. It’s used by HR departments, and corporate trainers worldwide. The Office-Politics Dilemmas have been inspired by the hundreds of letters submitted to Office-Politics.com.

  1. One Answer to “I am recovering from a disastrous office party…”

  2. Hi-

    I would love some advice. I went to my significant other’s office party last night and had too much to drink. I had a glass of wine before we went because I was nervous and then the free wine was flowing during dinner (which lasted for hours!). I kept having him pass the bottle down to me, and I refused to stop drinking even when he asked me to.

    After dinner we had a few drinks at the bar and went outside and I continued drinking. I became beligerant, and shared a cigar with one of the partners. I embarrassed my significant other. This is a new job for him (4 days), and I drank so much I can’t even remember how the night ended.

    What, if anything, should I do to try and repair this for him? This is a big firm and politics are important. Will they view him negatively because of me?


    By Sarah Riley on Oct 26, 2008

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