A workplace game of “Santa Steal” at the annual Christmas lunch yesterday fell flat because everyone was too scared of each other to steal presents. Not one present was stolen, as eyes nervously darted around the room and people secretly wished they had the courage to steal the bottle of scotch off the boss.

After enjoying a raucous game of Santa Steal with his family last Christmas, Tim in Accounts was super keen to introduce it to the small accounting office he works at in Heidelberg. But while his family’s version of the game was fuelled by years of sibling rivalry, in-jokes, mild bullying and, at times, open contempt for Uncle Warren, Tim failed to predict that his workplace dynamic was a whole lot more awkward than that.

About half way through the game, Tim realised what was happening, as otherwise decent gifts were not being stolen by his colleagues, but it was too late to stop the game. He later told The Watsonia Bugle, “I should’ve known, but my family had had such a good time last year that I thought it would be awesome. Problem is, it’s actually a pretty awkward office, and a lot of people are scared of each other, so everyone just opened their $20 gift, smiled politely, and then the next person had a go. It was very disappointing, and it’s all my fault.”