Tell me about the office Christmas party in Ireland.
I'll be attending my first this year, as an American employee. I know enough to know that, culturally, these are very different from their Yank counterparts. But that's about where it ends. I've been told by some of my American colleagues that "the women get much more dressed up, and for many it's considered the social event of the year." My Irish colleagues just sort of smile wistfully with memories of debaucheries past and say, "You'll have a great time."
Google has turned up articles like this one
, which only underline the differences without clarifying them.
I don't want to drill for further info from co-workers for political reasons, but neither do I want to plan poorly and show up ill-prepared. I don't want to be a stick in the mud because I'm used to the formal rules of a US office party... nor do I want to cross the line and make any career-limiting moves.
Have you ever been to an Irish office Christmas party? Please do tell. (Or, if they are similar throughout the UK, feel free to share your take on a British party, etc.)
Looking for a generic timeline of events, insight on cultural mindset, how professionalism does or doesn't come into play, how spouses and guests fare, are gifts given among colleagues or from employer to employee, the ranges of dress code (I'm really worried about that one, as I am very conservative in my formal wear at American events, yet don't want to look like a prudish schoolmarm in Dublin).
Does everyone stay overnight? If everyone has rooms at the hotel, is there partying before and after? Do people really write anonymous reports to the local news? How does anyone manage to stay employed after such a weekend?
If it varies based on industry, size, etc., then assume your average mid-range paper merchant, 100 employees or so.
Does the Irish holiday season play a role? With no Thanksgiving, when do the holidays "kick off," so to speak?
(Oh, and any insight as to the concept of Resident's Bar will be appreciated. If you are staying at the hotel, then there is no last call, basically?)