Sinead in the City is your insider's guide to millennial life in Auckland. If you're struggling to pay the bills or find love in the city of couples, you're not alone. Sinead is here to commiserate. Because whatever you're regretting, Sinead has probably done it twice.

Ah, 'tis the season of eating too many Cadbury Favourites, pashing people we absolutely shouldn't, and crying to that scene in Bridget Jones's Diary where Mark Darcy tells her he likes her "just the way she is".

It's Christmas babes, unofficially sponsored by Lindauer - and Lindauer-soaked regrets.

We've officially hit that sharp decline towards December 25. We've given up going to the gym because it's miles too late to get bikini body ready, and we're in a constant state of mildly hungover anyway.


We've thrown in the towel, and any semblance of diet or exercise has been replaced by handfuls of those little Merryteaser Malteser chocolate bars you get at the Kmart checkout (this might just be me though).

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From December 1, many of us are just slothing around the office, pretending to do work. In reality we're spending six of the eight working hours perusing OnceIt for thoughtful-looking gifts so we can avoid the cesspit that is Sylvia Park's Late Night Hours.

(Not me though, Boss, ha ha ha. I assure you my productivity levels are through the roof.)

For many of us, the festive season also means an impending Office Christmas Party – and of course, the Morning After The Office Christmas Party Dreads.

Commonly referred to (in my social circle anyway) as Hangxiety or Beer Fear, this is when you sit Bolt Upright at around 4:45 am - crippled by what you may have said, done, pashed or posted on your Instagram story the night before, while under the influence of a bottle or three of Jacob's Creek.

Look, there's no judgment here my friend. I have personally been afflicted by the Hangx more times than I care to remember. But I'm here to help.

Now by no means do I want you to forgo having a hoot at your office Christmas party – god no. We must take advantage of free food and alcohol whenever the opportunity presents itself.


But before you decide that tonight's the night you simply must ask your boss for a pay rise, all the while performing an "arty" striptease to Santa Baby, and then going home with Josh the Tech Guy - I would like to share a few cautionary tales.

Without further ado, I present to you: Sinead in The City's Office Christmas Party Horror Stories, a collection of true hangxiety nightmares come to life.

While all tales are anonymous to protect identities - I assure you these stories are bone-chillingly true.

Oh Christmas tree

"The office party centerpiece was a huge, beautiful Christmas tree. I got so drunk that I proceeded to vomit all over it."

A festive strip tease

"Our office shindig was a costume party, but I ended up so drunk that I took mine off – along with my bra. It's been six months and I'm still too embarrassed to go back to the venue to retrieve my clothes."

Under the mistle-CEO

"It was 2012. I had taken a lot of painkillers because I'd recently injured my knee. We had spent the day getting absolutely obliterated at a winery. Later that day during an office awards ceremony I stumbled up on stage to collect a prize and proceeded to kiss my CEO on the lips."


The ghost of Christmas parties past

"A woman at one of our Christmas parties got rip-snorting drunk, felt she should take things up a notch and crawled onto the table to perform a 'dance' - which she decided should involve removing her underwear.

"As her colleagues tried to pull her down she tripped and fell backward, legs splayed, off the table and onto the floor. She NEVER returned to work, and was never seen or heard from again."

When you get too merry

"Last year my colleague spent the entire Christmas party with a bottle of wine in each hand. She then decided to perch on a glass table, which shattered. We now have a strict 'one drink at a time' company policy."

Dashing through the snow, to Longroom

"Our company was owned by a married couple in their fifties. At the end of the Christmas party, the husband tried to get his wife to come home. Still wanting to boogie the night away – she screamed "F*** YOU!" at him, and leaped in a taxi van full of young lads in their twenties, and zoomed off to the clubs."

Gal overboard

"Our office Christmas party was a boat cruise around the harbour. One woman was so drunk that she fell off the side of the boat. We hadn't even left the pier at this point. The cruise got cancelled and everyone was kicked off the boat."

A very campground Christmas

"Management decided it would be a great idea to hire a campground with cabins near the beach approximately three hours from everyone's homes.


"There was nothing to do at night as it was in the middle of nowhere so naturally, everyone got incredibly drunk.

"There was a lady engaged to be married in the next couple of months who had a threesome with two other staff members.

"A few people were asked to leave as a result, or just resigned out of pure mortification.

"Management then made us all do an online training course on 'correct conduct at work events'. We have not gone camping since."

So while I absolutely encourage you to take full advantage of that bar tab - and make nonchalant-but-uncomfortably-long eye contact with your work crush when Mariah gets to the "You" part in "All I Want For Christmas Is You" - do drink responsibly.

Because remember, you will unfortunately have to face your colleagues on Monday morning, unless of course you accidentally flash them your genitals and have no choice but to change your name and flee the country.