Are You Going To Attend?

I noticed about fifteen years ago that there was no such thing as office parties anymore.

??? Huh ???

I recall, from the days when I first entered the workforce, Christmas office parties complete with free beer and wine, and yes, “hot and cold running secretaries” (to paraphrase Trapper John from M*A*S*H). Today, no beer, no wine (unthinkable since the company would be held liable for any accident that might occur on or off premises), certainly no “secretaries gone wild” (no secretaries – they’re office managers now and far too educated for that), and certainly no hanky-panky in excess of what occurs any other time of year. The sexual harassment seminars instructed us not to be so bold.

Not much fun, either. But I’m sure that’s a coincidence. People are just too tired, you see.

Megan McArdle noticed too:

Similarly, the wild, drunken office Christmas party used to be a staple of television, books, and movies. Now I feel as if it’s dropped pretty thoroughly out of the popular imagination; the only example I can think of recently is a fleeting scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary. Were office holiday parties really that much wilder in the past? Or have we just stopped noticing, literally?

Oh no, Megan. We’ve noticed. We’ve noticed.

H/T to Ed Driscoll.

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