Advice column: how do I face my boss after overdoing it at the office Christmas party?

Dear Ash

We had our office Christmas party just before the annual break and I am mortified by how I behaved. Unfortunately, I had a bit too much to drink and recall telling my boss what I really thought of him! One of my friends also later confirmed that my boss had been quite inebriated and when he made a joke about my being incompetent, I had retaliated by telling him how self-centred and arrogant he was! My boss went on annual leave soon after the party and I have therefore not seen him since then; I’m not sure how he will be towards me as I don’t know how much he recalls…

Ash replies:

In the aftermath of the Christmas party there are often pockets of regret as people can lose the veil of professionalism once inebriated and reveal their true feelings.

In your case it seems that you were clearly feeling aggravated at your boss’s behaviour and rather than hold back, as you perhaps normally would have, you decided to confirm your true feelings. Although you have not seen your boss since the party, I suggest that when he does return to the office, you ask to speak to him. I suggest that you apologise for your behaviour and perhaps confirm that you were merely jesting in response to his joke. He may have assumed that your response was in jest in any case, but it is important that you are able to clear the air. It is better to be honest, as presumably others may have overheard your comments and they may tell your boss anyway.

If your boss was as inebriated as you say then hopefully he may not recall the extent of your honesty, but I would suggest that you perhaps consider adopting a new year’s resolution of refraining from drinking too heavily at any future work event…

Happy new year!

Send your queries to Ash

“Ash” is a solicitor who is willing to answer work-related queries from solicitors and trainees, which can be put to her via the editor:, or mail to Studio 2001, Mile End, Paisley PA1 1JS. Confidence will be respected and any advice published will be anonymised.

Please note that letters to Ash are not received at the Law Society of Scotland. The Society offers a support service for trainees through its Registrar’s Department. For one-to-one advice, contact Katie Wood, manager in the Registrar’s Department on 0131 476 8105/8200, or 

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