It’s Wednesday afternoon but the aftertaste of Monday still lingers. You curse the spreadsheet gods and vow to declare war on the next person who refers today as “Hump Day.” Then, without warning, a calendar request pops up entitled “Wine-thirty.”
Yup, it’s office happy hour. With no hesitation you immediately check the invitee list, scanning for the typical landmines… Touchy McGraberston from accounting is not on the list, that’s good. That hussy Heather from Marketing also failed to make the cut, promising. Your boss was invited, but he never goes out, so you’re in the clear… you accept.
Before you loosen that tie and slam down tequila shots, there are a few rules of the office happy hour one should follow:
Arrive late - Punctuality is very important in the workplace. That rule, however, does not apply for happy hour. By arriving late you’re able to survey the scene and assess the situation. Not to mention you completely avoid the awkward conversations while you wait for everyone else to arrive.
Order from the bar - There is no worse feeling then being stuck at a table dividing the tab 13 ways. Order from the bar to avoid this mess and you can be in and out of happy hour quicker then Charlie Sheen at rehab.
NO shots - Nothing good can come from shots. Before you know it you’re standing on some table with your tie wrapped around your head doing your best Christopher Walken impression… and that’s not good for anyone.
Order food - Take advantage of the happy hour specials and grab something to soak up the alcohol. Try not to share… you always want to make sure there is someone more drunk than you.
Know your limits - You certainly don’t want to be classified as the office lush. Be smart and know how much you can handle. Don’t go toe to toe with the office intern with an iron liver, you will lose.
Be smart - Use the happy hour as an extended opportunity to climb the office ladder. People tend to let their guards down in social settings. Use this opening and get to know your colleagues. The best business is done in bars and on the golf course… fact.
Have an out - Always have an excuse or reason for leaving. My personal favorite is “I have to go make dinner for my family.” You come off as caring, considerate and people won’t question you.
These aren’t the facts… they are just the Princeples.