So you think your office party is a drag?
You might appreciate a dull night out with your colleagues after reading anecdotes from those responding to a recent ABCNews.com inquiry about outrageous company holiday-party moments.
From an executive who accidentally mooned his staff to a game of musical chairs for adults and a fight between female staffers, these stories serve as a bright reminder that it's not always a good idea to mix cocktails with co-workers.
'Nothing Short of Disaster'
In the competitive atmosphere of a workplace, there are those who view the office party as one more chance to impress the boss.
For them, the holiday party is no evening of revelry. It's an opportunity to stand out as the person who is perfect for a future promotion.
But those efforts can turn ugly if not carefully executed, according to Dina in Pennsylvania, who didn't want to give her last name. The media professional recalled a co-worker at her former job who decided he would serenade his boss during the party despite colleagues' urging to reconsider his plan.
The night of the party, he strummed a guitar and belted out a personalized rendition of Billy Joel's classic song, "Piano Man." No one was in the mood for his melody, and he had changed the song's lyrics to laud the boss, creating a moment his co-workers would not soon forget.
"It was so bad, it was good. This guy, he came up with the idea on his own because he wanted to basically brown-nose his bosses -- and it was just really nothing short of a disaster," Dina said.
The new lyrics didn't rhyme, the beat was off, and, according to Dina, the song didn't make sense. "The guy ruined that song for me," said the 37-year-old.
Seeing Too Much of a Manager
For a corporate-minded city like New York, December is a lively time as companies hold parties nearly every day of the week at locations throughout the city.
"It's something that I think we all look forward to," said real estate professional Sequoia Millen-El. "Especially if you've been working hard all year and you feel that the fruits of your labor are being appreciated a little bit."
But after a night of fun at a previous job, she said one executive had apparently consumed a bit too many cocktails. "He was walking with his wife and we were walking behind him and his pants just fell down," said Millen-El.
She and her co-workers felt they had been "mooned," unexpectedly.
"I felt embarrassed for his wife but I think she was a little toasted herself so she didn't even really notice," said Millen-El.
As she and her co-workers stood in shock, one of their office mates helped the gentlemen get dressed. The incident was ignored back at the office, but for Millen-El it was not easily forgotten. "How do you look at someone like that with a straight face? How do you respect them?" she said.
One Florida chef said he was so turned off by a chaotic holiday party that he has since sworn off the events.
David Fisher, 57, said at his last job one party resembled a soap opera, as the hostess who was dating another employee noticed her beau leave the room with another woman from their staff.
"And when she came out -- [she] was waiting for her and just boom -- hit her like a sucker punch," said Fisher.
"They got into a catfight, all the employees were watching," he said. "No one was fired because the manager, who was sort of the instigator, she was dating the boss. It's a real sick situation."
Grab a Chair, Not Your Co-Worker
When it comes time for the holiday party, office managers devote a lot of time and energy to the planning. Music is selected, menus planned, and in some cases games are added to liven up the event.
But do you really want to play games with your boss?
For one California-based human resources employee, a round of musical chairs hit a sour note.
"As they would eliminate chairs people were getting more aggressive," said the partygoer who asked to remain anonymous. "This rendition had co-workers doing body slams into each other. It looked like people trying to have sex with each other," she said.
She's now at another company and said she did attend gatherings at that job, but left before the games began.
In a tamer incident in Nashville, another staffer was irritated by a call for bingo because the game came with a price tag for employees, who were told they might win a prize if they paid to play the game.
Considering the party was employees' one chance to feel appreciated by their employer, some on the staff were less than enthusiastic. "I think it's a little different if you receive a bonus … but at our workplace this is the only acknowledgement we receive," said the employee, who asked to remain anonymous. "To me it should be about appreciation and fellowship with the fellow co-workers."
Remembering the Good Old Disco Days
For some partygoers, nothing compares to the wild parties of the 1970s, when disco music was in its heyday.
Scott Jay Regner said while working for the Maryland Highway Department they had blowout parties, including one that started early in the morning and was in full swing by the time he arrived for work.
"We heard the party before we got to the building," said Regner. "We got in there and opened the door, the stereo was blaring … folks were dancing on the desks."
He was quick to point out that they would raise money for the party so the taxpayers were not footing the bill. And no one was worried about their post-party reputation at the office. "From what I recall, the boss would very appropriately leave that day," said Regner. "The office would become complete chaos for a period of time."
One of his more vivid memories involved a secretary showing off her disco moves.
"She normally was quite staid and considerate, just doing her work … she was doing some hustle … on the top of her desk which I thought was a great liberator for her," he said.
Regner is a bit nostalgic for those days as compared to his current government job, which will host a tame daytime party featuring cookies and juice. While he understands the need to behave professionally, Regner said when the disco was blaring and they were whooping it up for that one day, no one worried about the sort of impression they would leave with their co-workers.
"Back then it was more tolerant in general," said Regner. "Folks expressed themselves and then, hey, we have to get back to reality and act normal again."