It happened. (Insert name here) from (insert department here) has become another notch on your belt. Your relationship has gone from a witty professional rapport to a sloppy, alcohol-induced mistake in a matter of hours. Perhaps this hookup can be attributed to the multiple rounds of Rumplemintz you bought the team during happy hour, nearly emptying your Chase College checking account. Or, said hookup may be the result of you and your fellow coworker finally realizing, over a deep and heartfelt conversation, that you both truly identify with Daryll from The Walking Dead. No matter the reasoning, you’ve done the nasty and now have to deal with the repercussions. As someone who has made this egregious mistake in the past, I am hoping this article will provide a shred of shelter in what has become the absolute rock bottom of your postgrad decision making.
1. Do Not Tell A Single Soul At Your Company
Throughout my years, I have realized that the majority of organizational structures I have been involved with can always be boiled down to nothing more than a glorified high school. Even while currently working at a Fortune 500 company, these animals are always chomping at the bit for any form of juicy gossip. Those that are over the age of 30 will look for anything to try and keep themselves connected with their misspent, and rather disappointing, youth. And anyone under the age of 30 is looking for any leverage they can to trample those around them and soar to the pinnacle of existence at large companies – middle management. You may think you have allies within your company; you may even be delusional enough to label them friends. But trust me, give them anything worth talking about and these vultures will pick you apart in no time.
2. Play It Cool
Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Due to the fact that you were in an impaired state of mind, and more than likely with a large group of colleagues, you may not be fully aware of your actions from the previous night. However, I assure you, they are. I am fairly positive there was an intern in the corner taking notes. The playful arm touching, intimately close conversation, and few too many twirls on the dance floor will all need an explanation. If there was a DFMO (dance floor make out, for those of you living under a rock) then your goose is cooked and you better just update your resume. No matter how hungover or ethically compromised you may feel you’ll need to be ready to field any and all questions. Some say that calling in sick the next day is a safe bet, but I could not disagree more. The rumors will be flying with or without your presence and you will want to be there to defend your actions.
3. Do Not Let It Happen Again
Depending on the situation, this one can be a tricky one. Multiple hookups lead to feelings, feelings lead to relationships and office relationships lead to awkward and somewhat racy disclosure agreements with HR. If your endgame is to start a meaningful relationship then, by all means, pursue it. I, on the other hand, need to learn how to properly drain a pot of spaghetti without ending up with second degree burns on my body before I attempt to connect emotionally with another human being. Trying to avoid this person at work will be futile. It’s always convenient how after a night of displaying your low moral standards you two get paired up to finish work on the Penske file. You will just need to remain diligent while at happy hours in order to avoid being referred to as the new “it couple” during talk at the water cooler. Then again, you’ve hit another dry spell and rumor has it that the Christmas party will have a three-hour open bar. Fuck it, deal with the shame in the morning.