Monday, February 1, 2010

Don't Get Trashed At The Work Happy Hour

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Alas, it's Monday again. How was your weekend? Did it start, as mine did, with a Friday evening Happy Hour? If so, then we should definitely be friends - we can trade tips on the best deals (mine involves 2-for-1 drinks, cheap and delicious food, and getting out the door with a check for under twenty bucks). However, the more pertinent question is: who were you drinking with? Friends? Romans? Significant others? Awesome. Coworkers? We might need to chat. Because, this Monday morning, I am here to tell you, please: Don't Get Trashed At The Office Happy Hour.

Half of you are probably looking at me like I'm completely insane. "WHY," you ask, "would I socialize with THOSE people?? I have to see them all day, every day, and they drive me bonkers." Awesome. I'm sorry that, you know, you kind of hate your job, but you are probably not scheduling Happy Hour with the rest of your staff as we speak (Mondays are hard for me, too). But if you, like me, mostly like some of the people you work with, then we need to talk.

Let me tell you a quick story. About a month ago, a bunch of people I work with went for cheap margaritas after a company holiday party. By the end of the night - six hours later - there were four or five of us left. Our significant others had joined us, and we were thoroughly enjoying life. I was about halfway through my fourth marg (and before you scoff at me, these things are strong), and hadn't eaten dinner. Why? Because we had just come from a potluck! There was so much food! I was full! Of course, in my margarita-drenched haze, I neglected to realize that the giant potluck-y meal I had eaten was approximately eight or nine hours behind me. As a coworker - who, by the way, is one of my supervisors- said to me the next Monday, "You were sober! weren't." The night ended with a state that I am choosing not to share, because my parents say they read this. (If they don't give me shit about this entry, I'll know they don't actually read it, and next week's post will be full of inappropriate stories. Cross your fingers!) (Hi Mom!)

Anyway. Lucky for me, this time it ended up a goofy story that we giggled about for a couple of days and then forgot about. Perhaps that's one of the bonuses of working in a field that really promotes self-care. But that is not normal, not something I'm going to count on in the future, and definitely not something that you should take a cue from.

Like it or not, we are grown-ups. And sure, when I was bemoaning my lack of maturity on this particular night to one of my best friends, she pointed out that part of the fun of being a grown-up is that it sometimes is okay to drink like a college student. She makes an excellent point. But the point I'm trying to make is that we - being adults - need to take into account the population of the people in our drinking group. Are they friends who you trade TV-on-DVD with? Friends with whom you occasionally waste entire weekends sitting on various back patios? Are you drinking with your significant other, with whom you can be your absolute silliest? Are they friends from work, with whom you have an entirely separate relationship outside of the office? Or is your booth full of colleagues and coworkers, folks who you respect and who you hope respect you? People you want to build a career with? People whose help you could use in your future professional endeavors? If the people you're emailing this morning fall into those categories, just stop, think about your future - and your limit - and don't order that extra drink on Friday.


  1. I wish that you all had started this blog sooner; I learned all of these the hard way. URGH.

  2. Yeah, we learned the hard way too (over and over in some cases), which is why we now feel qualified to give advice!

  3. And hey, this story was a mere month ago, so it's not like I've completely mastered this stuff.

  4. Mine was in August, when I got completely smashed at my brother's 40th birthday party. Yay for G&Ts! Boo for photos of the event!