While we were studying, we worked in hospitality for five years. We got a job at the local golf club, mostly because it was walking distance from our house, and we got to drink as much Pepsi Max as we wanted. The club would regularly host weddings, birthdays, corporate events and, in December, countless Christmas parties.
There’s nothing that turns you off Christmas music like hearing it on repeat for an entire month while people incessantly bother you.
But that wasn’t the worst part. Not even close.
The thing about working in hospitality during Christmas is that you witness first hand the worst qualities about human beings.
Inappropriate hunger and/or thirst.
Intense social awkwardness.
LISTEN: We debate whether it’s time to boycott the office Christmas party (hint: it’s definitely not) on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after audio.
Having worked at more Christmas parties than we can possibly count, here are some of the most horrifying things people do.
People consume far more than is necessary.
In case you’ve never interacted with a human being before, people tend to get really, really greedy when things are free. Of course, we find this somewhat understandable. We’re not above eating/taking/adopting/wearing something purely because it doesn’t cost us any monies. But the problem is when people go that one step too far.
We’ve watched grown men HOARD food because they know their employer is paying for it.
We’ve watched people take a handful of canapes that were clearly a one-per-person type deal.
We’ve watched adults come back for thirds and even FOURTHS when we’ve served a buffet lunch.
There are people who have YELLED because we've run out of potatoes.
People, please. This isn't Ireland in the 1840s. We all know you're going to Maccas afterwards anyway.
Guests are just generally incredibly gross.
Cleaning up after one Christmas party, one of us came across a dirty nappy under a table. A woman had changed the nappy at the table, and hidden it, for us to find at the very end of a long and torturous shift.
At the end of another party a man put his dirty plate in between his chair and the seat cover. Basically it was invisible and was discovered hours after he had finished his meal. So it was stanky. But...but...why?
A friend recently told us that while working at a pub near Christmas, a bunch of builders came in. They urinated in their beer jug and then gave it to her to clean up. Cool.
People become incredibly rude.
When someone has organised a Christmas party for a large group of people, it's always going to be a mess. There will be several people who haven't told anyone that they're not eating solid foods that month, a number of people will turn up who didn't RSVP, the money you've put on the bar tab will never be enough, and guests will either leave far too early or far too late.
These issues, however, are not the fault of the people working at the venue of your party. So it's kinda weird when you get angry at us. YOU guys are the ones that suck.
Also, people tend to have a weird sense of entitlement at their Christmas parties. We've had men come up and tap the beer they'd like, without speaking. We've also had guests who demand another meal (who has two lunches? In public?), or want to swap with someone else, or claim they're allergic to fish which we all know is BS.
Everyone starts being seedy AF.
It's the end of the year. Work is over. Drinks are free. Everyone's merry.
And look. We don't want to tell you how to live your life, but hitting on the twenty-something bar tender makes you look...creepy. And no one likes it.
Just to be clear, we didn't choose to be here. We're not part of the function package and we are certainly not having fun.
Also, sexy time.
We don't know what it is about Christmas parties, but it has fully grown adults humping each other at 7pm. Or hooking up in broad daylight. Or giving blow jobs in bathrooms.
It all becomes very Year 8 dance.
So this Christmas, spare a thought for hospitality workers. Light a candle. Say a prayer.
Because they will be spending the festive season straight up traumatised.