It’s Thursday, and the weekend seems to be approaching a lot slower than you originally anticipated. But how is this possible? Once you get over the proverbial “hump” that is Wednesday, it seems as though the weekend it basically upon us, right? Wrong. Thursday is just as bad. The week may be more than half way over, but the “Fuck it, it’s Friday” excuse isn’t gonna fly today. That’s when you get an unsuspected instant message from a coworker that reads, “Happy hour tonight anyone?” Your first thought is to make up an excuse that would prevent you from going, but the more you think about it, the more you realize that your life really isn’t that interesting. You reluctantly respond, “I’m in.” But before going, you must keep these details in mind.
Always have a go-to spot.
Every office has the “event planner.” It’s usually a female, and for some reason she loves bonding with her coworkers. She’s the one that will suggest happy hour, but will have no idea where said event will take place. She means well, so you don’t mind accepting her invitation. That’s when someone will ask for your input. Here’s what you do: have a place in mind. Don’t suggest a place you would go with your buddies, because if you’re a regular, that spells trouble. If the bartender knows you as that guy that puked on the bar after his fifth tequila shot last weekend, that’s probably not the place to go. Hit some place low key, where it won’t get too rowdy. If your suggestion gets shot down, at least you offered up your opinion.
Never show up on time.
I’ve fallen victim to this a couple times, and have since learned from my mistakes. If the plan is to meet there at 6, show up at 6:30. Never earlier. Because there’s always that one guy that literally has nothing better to do and shows up right at 6. (Maybe I’m that guy?) You’ll be stuck forcing conversation with him at the bar, painfully awaiting the arrival of your co-workers.
Embrace the awkwardness.
Let’s face it, the only thing you and your coworkers have in common is work. Everyone there feels like a fish out of water. Whenever you find that the topic of conversation doesn’t involve the office in some way shape or form, just wait, because the subject will inevitably change. But when you weigh the possibilities of where you are versus where you could be at that moment, the bar is really not so bad.
Don’t be the drunk guy.
There’s always the one coworker at happy hour that gets way too drunk and is the laughingstock of the office the next day. Don’t let this be you. Once the drinks start flowing, we all get a little loose lipped. Don’t accidentally hit on that office 6 that all of the sudden looks like a 9 after a few drinks. Nobody wins in that situation. Let the Kevin Malone’s of your office be that guy. After all, his wife hasn’t let him out of the house in months. This is his time to shine.
Have an exit strategy.
A lot of times, someone will say, “I’m only going to stay for one drink.” That never happens. We all know it. None of us have the discipline to get one drink at a bar then just leave. It’s not the way we operate. One turns into two, and it’s a slippery slope from there. If you have to bite the bullet and buy a round for the crew, then do it. Let that be your ticket out.