Employees at an office supply firm in Leatherhead were celebrating today after their annual Christmas party topped their previous record for fatalities, colleague impregnation and on-the-spot dismissals.
‘There’s always a certain pressure to make each year’s Christmas do better than the last,’ said Emma Kirkwood, junior sales assistant at Deskatronic and this year’s party organiser. ‘But in the end it was a triumph. All we could manage last year was a paper-weight induced head injury and two temps having their contracts ended for arson. Janice from reception still isn’t even clear whether her September baby was conceived in-house at our party or outsourced to our supplier’s Christmas bash the week after.’
The party started with drinks in the office at lunchtime, but quickly moved on to the accounts department’s annual swivel-chair race. 'We call it the Tour de Finance,' said accounts manager Harry Driver. 'The mountain stages on the stairwell are particularly gruelling. The winner gets to wear the coveted Yellow Jersey Boxers, but those who manage the descent unscathed usually find their underwear has turned that colour anyway.'
Later in the afternoon the five-man sales team was summarily dismissed after listing all the office chairs, desks and IT equipment on eBay in a bid to hit their December sales targets. Tragedy then followed when Alan Rogers, 48-year-old logistics manager, was electrocuted while sitting on the photocopier with his trousers round his ankles after spilling his beer on the Xerox. 'It was a tragic and hilarious accident,' said managing director, Keith Shah, wiping the tears from his eyes. 'But at least we have one hundred A3 copies of Alan’s arse to remember him by. It's what he would have wanted.'
Deskatronic attributes its successful Christmas party to a culture of continuous improvement and never settling for second best. ‘When our competitors started reporting serious injuries, sexual assaults and increased staff turnover in December, we knew we had to up our game,’ said Shah. ‘I’m really proud of what the team’s achieved.'
The celebrations were completed when an ambulance crew came to deal with Alan's body. Thinking they were strip-a-grams, Tamsin and Shreeti undressed the paramedics and took them on a tour of the stationery cupboard. 'Something to do with hole-punching, I think,' added Shah. 'Anyway, they've both said they won't be around for next year’s bash and have asked for Mothercare vouchers this Christmas.'