I’m guessing that at least one or two of you out there are a fan of happy hour. There’s something about waiting the minimum amount of time between work and drinking an alcoholic beverage, and not getting judged for it, that just feels right. Nothing compliments an eight-hour workday like discounted beer and half-priced appetizers. However, as glorious as this tradition is, it’s surprisingly hard to have a truly successful happy hour. I’m talking about the kind where you’re upbeat and high-energy, not half asleep in your bar stool after three IPAs. I’m talking about your crew spitting game at girls and actually hitting it off. I’m talking about walking into work the next morning tired, but refreshed from cutting loose, not looking like an extra on a b-list zombie movie. To achieve this happy hour greatness, you must assemble a team of people that supports each other and will help carry you over the finish line. This is that team.
The Money Guy
If this guy is you, I only have two words for you. Thank you. Thank you for picking a better career path than I, and studying on weeknights in college while I was blacking out at Two Dollar Tuesdays. Without this guy, you would only be drinking at shitty dive bars or equally shitty but somehow more expensive sports bars. It is his skillset (wallet) that allows you to frequent classy joints in the financial district where you can order a martini without looking like a try-hard. I mean, you are one, since Martinis taste like recycled Vodka, but you’ll look the part. With Money Guy on your team, you all look rich. He’s the one who can drop $80 on a round of Patron for you and the table of hotties next to you. His tailored Armani suit makes up for the Chipotle stain on your slacks, and his black card hides the fact that three-fourths of your group have cracked phone screens. As long as you keep The Money Guy’s ego primed and don’t try to upstage him in front of a girl, he’s game to make everyone look good on his dime.
The “I Got A Guy” Guy
Hats off to this master of networking. Whether he used to work in the service industry, grew up in the area, or simply has the natural charm of a young Vince Vaughn, this guy is going to be hooking. it. up. Bartenders will approach your table with a round of free bombs. Jam-packed sports bars are miraculously going to have some seats in front of the TV for your group. If this guy makes a suggestion, you should listen to him, no matter how lame it sounds. Sure, his request to go to “his boy’s” house after work sounds sketchy at best, until you find out this friend has a roof that can see into the baseball stadium without shelling out for $100 tickets.
His only rule? Be cool. That means don’t whine when you’re in a situation outside of your comfort zone, and don’t make a fool of yourself in front of his friends. Reputation is everything in his world, and if you embarrass him he will drop you from the team like you’re 2010 JaMarcus Russell.
Happy hour is a time of shared fun. Everyone in the bar is there for one reason; they want to drink until they forget how much work sucks. That’s a bonding feeling, and you don’t want to be the group of people in the corner looking like a lame high school clique. Enter The Chatterbox. This guy just wants to talk to everyone. Whether he’s talking sports with the foursome of bros next to you, cracking jokes with the executives hammering out an after-hours meeting, or flirting with the girls near you, this guy brings the fun. On many nights, this guy’s non-stop banter can wear you out, even piss you off, but during this magical hour, it is a necessity. To most effectively utilize this guy, you can’t stand in his way. Jump in on the banter he’s started and watch your whole crew become the popular kid’s table. If you wanted to drink in peace you should have stayed home, and if you try and rein this guy in you’ll only end up looking like the R.A. of the bar. No one likes an R.A.
The Works From Home Guy
Fuck this guy. Whether he’s a programmer, an artist, or just has a boss that doesn’t give a fuck, this guy has none of the worries that you do. He can work from his bed with a raging hangover, and no one from HR is going to be talking to him about “workplace professionalism” or “not puking in the wastebaskets.” He’ll be the one clamoring for shots at 9 p.m. when you know you should go home. He’s always on the lookout for the next party, because his alarm isn’t set for 6:15 a.m. However, as much as I hate this guy, he’s an essential part of the team. Good stories don’t happen when you have four beers and get home in time to watch HBO. You may hate your life at work the next day, but when you’re eighty you’ll be able to tell the tale of the time you raged with the Blackhawks at a club got sternly removed by the bouncer on a Wednesday night and still made it to work the next day.
Every Ying needs a Yang. As much as he sucks, every great happy hour crew needs The Drag. He’s the guy who “has to work early tomorrow” like all of you aren’t in the same boat. He’s the one who “doesn’t care about the game” when it’s the middle of playoffs. He may be a great guy, maybe even the life of the party on the weekends, but for Happy Hours, he is the annoying angel on your shoulder. Him and the Works From Home Guy are natural enemies, but both of them have their points. You can’t have one without the other. Without this guy, you would probably unemployed and living in a cardboard box right now. As much as it sucks to listen to him when he urges you to call it a night at 7 p.m. and wake up somewhat human tomorrow, he’s probably right. Especially because if you don’t take his advice, he’ll be blowing up the group chat the next day, talking about how he hit the gym before work while you debate taking a spill down the stairs at work just to get some disability leave.
Draft well, my friends, and assemble your perfect crew. Work will always be work, happy hour makes it all better. .
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