You’ve been there. A big time office happy hour, the office Christmas party, or just a nice little gathering of adults trying to recreate the magic of the house parties of yesteryear. Good times had by all, but did you have too good of a time? Valid question.
In a perfect world, your drunken interactions with those you work with will happen on a weeknight. This leaves you little-to-no time to develop the blues, scaries, or whatever term you want to use to describe post-boozing anxiety. In reality, however, you’re going to run into a situation where you have a Sunday, or heaven forbid, a Saturday and Sunday to think about what you might have done or said. One thing you can count on, though, is that you’ll be reading way too much into every little word, shift in tone of voice, and the body language of those coworkers that were witnesses to something that probably didn’t happen, but you’re paranoid and thinking worst case scenario anyway. This is an awful state of mind, but one that you must confront with valor.
There Will Be Smirks
You can bet your ass that you’ll make eye-contact with someone, and rather than saying, “Hi,” or “Good morning” like a good teammate, they’ll smirk immediately. What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Are you smirking because I made an ass out of myself? I don’t remember anything, as you are probably well aware, so don’t make me feel worse about things by smirking. That stupid little grin now has me wondering whether I peed with my pants down around my ankles in front of everyone, or if I challenged someone to a freestyle battle. Both are very real possibilities.
“Did you have fun the other night?”
Heh, great question, Sally. I think we’re all clear on the fact that I had a fun time the other night. Don’t make me feel worse with your passive aggressive inquisition. I don’t remember a lot, but apparently you do, so please either let me in on your insider info regarding the whereabouts of my dignity, or shut your mouth. Just shut it.
“What time did you end up getting to bed?”
Again, not to be a broken record, but the fact that you’re prying into my timeline from the other night is really making this worse. You may as well have said, “You were done when I left the other night, and you probably should’ve gone to bed 2 hours before you did, you piece of dog shit.” How about you say something positive like, “You were really fun the other night and everyone enjoyed your company.” Seems like a reasonable request.
“I saw your Snapchat.”
Shit. What? You’re sending snaps and coworkers can see them? What are you doing? Your instinct will tell you to inquire about what it was, because surely you don’t remember. Don’t, though. If it was that bad, you’d already know about it.
“You talk to [coworker you may have argued politics with] yet?”
Love this one. How am I even supposed to respond to this? “No, why? Did I launch a personal attack on him?” Why would you even put this on me right now? It’s Monday morning, and everyone feels awful by definition, so thanks for making me feel that much worse. Great start to the week, quizmaster.
“You didn’t drive, did you?” or “How’d you get home?”
How dare you. I don’t even text and drive, let alone drink and drive, asshole. The local Uber drivers call me “Mr. 5 Star” for a reason. I’m a well known beast in the ride-share game, and I’ll pass out on a kitchen floor before I drive. In fact, I may have passed out on a kitchen floor. Yep, that’s where I slept. Fuck.
“We need to talk.”
Your worst fears come true. Hopefully, all you get is a stern talking-to, and not a full blown HR intervention.
There you have it. Even though you were probably fine, once the seed of doubt has been planted, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. I recommend taking the bull by the horns and forcing some standard workplace interaction with each coworker that was there. It’s a preemptive maneuver that will hopefully give you some peace of mind so that maybe you can get some work done. Remember, it could always be worse. You could be Randy. Randy totally shit the bed..