I know I should know better, but I need help on handling a VERY drunken office party hookup that I should not have done. I work at a really fun company, and let’s just say that there is a lot of partying that goes on there on a regular basis. So, our Christmas party was no exception, we went out to eat and then hit a few bars. Well, the classic dumbass move, I get plastered and end up going home with this woman I work with who I have absolutely no interest in as far as dating or anything goes. Not that there is anything wrong with her, it’s just not there. But I was wrecked, and honestly I can barely remember the sex so I’m sure that wasn’t even that great on either of our parts. I got out of there that night and stumbled home (we don’t live far from each other), and threw up the rest of the night (yeah, Loserville, population: me). Our company is large enough where I don’t have to see her every day so I haven’t seen her since. I got an e-mail from her afterwards, asking if I got home OK, and I said yes and made a little joke about how wasted we were. She was totally cool about it so I think she’s OK with us just moving on with life, but I’ve gotten several comments from co-workers since then blowing me shit about the whole thing. I am not close to being the first person to sleep with someone there so this isn’t a huge scandal, but I’m a little worried about how to proceed. I’ve never really been the hot topic of gossip before and this is making me a little nervous. I don’t want to damage my career or have anything get back to my supervisors. I just want to move on. What can I do to get the dust to settle?
NOT Employee of the Month
Ah, the classics never die. Well, don’t fret, it won’t be long before everyone has something else to talk about, and you can help that happen quicker. People will only razz you as long as you make it entertaining for them to do so. Next time someone brings up your recent lapse in judgment, just smile and shrug. Attempting a witty comeback, rather than shutting down the taunting, is usually misinterpreted as an invitation for people to get into a good-natured ribbing with you. But no one likes awkward silence, so they won’t likely come back for more of that. If for some reason you have a colleague who won’t take a hint, it’s OK to take him aside and mention you’d rather see the matter dropped. You could even come off looking like a, ahem, gentleman for not wanting your co-worker/co-debaucher to be spoken of in such seedy terms. As far as your career goes, don’t panic. You may have pulled a CLM here, but usually it takes more than one tragic performance at a Christmas party to destroy a well-built reputation. What’s done is done; don’t waste energy on worrying. Unfortunately, you’ve given them a juicy story and you can’t control wagging tongues, but gossip has a short shelf life. You’ll be forgotten by New Year’s Eve, provided you don’t turn in an encore performance. Lay low, behave yourself; it’ll be all right.