We’ve all been there, when you partied a little too hard at the work do, only to regret it for the rest of your working years. Or at least until the next best job offer rears its head, in which case it’s sayonara bad reputation and bon voyage to those god awful cringey memories.e
However I’m assuming this isn’t the case, which leaves you in the predicament of actually having to face the tales of your drunken antics head on, first thing Monday morning. You have no doubt tried and failed to hide your embarrassment at every heart-wrenching reminder from colleagues, that couldn’t help but cackle at all the sickening details of your drunken demise.
I don’t blame you, the prospect of an evening filled with free drinks courtesy of the company credit card conjures up enough excitement in me to rival New Orleans Madi Gras parade. Such was my case whilst working as Production Assistant at a very well established design house last year. After hours of hard work, 30 minute breaks a day, back breaking work loads, bone aching quality controlling and mind numbing print placement checks – I deserved this! I was finally going to let my hair down and party with my fashion counterparts and fellow interns. This was my reward for months of hard work, I had every intention of just having a few drinks, sashaying across the room congratulating my friends and leaving with my dignity intact.
But my inner Kermit had other plans for the night. I was confronted head on by the Kermit the Frog in a hoodie meme, I couldn’t turn back. Every drink I had somehow accounted for every hard day’s work at the studio, justifying the next set of drinks to come. At this point I passed my personal two drink limit and was actually now up to my eighth cocktail, not to mention a round of tequila shots, courtesy of the cute bartender. To be frank, he probably chose me as his designated free drink tenant as I was clearly far more lively in comparison with the other attendees. Which may I add consisted of the team’s closest friends, associates and design team. Thankfully my bosses opted out of the event and that meant that I wouldn’t be fired on the spot for my misdemeanours.
It’s a tricky thing to tackle, knowing when to leave an engagement, especially one in the fashion industry. There you are in a room full of people you admire and aspire to be like and you’ve managed to ingest £250 worth of liquid courage, brilliant. By 11 pm, if you’re anything like myself, you’ll have totally missed the point of the event, which is in one part a small gathering to pat yourself on the back in a dignified and socially acceptable fashion. In another, it’s an opportunity to introduce yourself personally to the company’s managers and directors and get your name out there, so to speak.
Instead, I accepted the fake smiles and air kisses by people who would otherwise never say good morning to me at work and ran with my inner Sasha Fierce on to the dance floor, at the sound of Beyonce’s Formation. Somewhere between busting my overly choreographed formation dance moves and gang signing to Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money, I knew that my reputation as the ‘party animal’ had been officially and indefinitely solidified amongst my cohorts. To be honest, I was cool with that. I was that hard working, kick ass Production Assistant that everyone would come to at work, but also the employee that guaranteed to entertain you at the party.
To this day I still have flash backs of the evening and judging by all the stories I was told most of them were pure entertainment to that of my team. From taking over the DJ decks to being secretly carried out the fire escape by the very bartenders who served me, it was one hell of a night. Or, so I hear.
All jokes aside, to work amongst some of the biggest names in fashion is a privilege awarded to very few people. Those who manage to beat the odds and find themselves rubbing shoulders with the elite should not follow my lead and instead, be humble and observant. Work the room how you would work in a meeting, keep it professional at all times, leave with your reputation and dignity intact. Unlike myself, though I’ve now learnt my lesson. Most of all, enjoy yourself but try to remain professional.
Follow Debora on Instagram @wrinterns
(Artwork via @thepoopculture)