Tuesday, April 14, 2009

UnHappy Hour

Not everyone enjoys the cocktails, but I know multitudinous people that do. And that statement is not criticism, its fact. I am not talking benders, I am referring to a beer, some vino, maybe a G&T. Social drinking, its not a demerit. Nor does it require admission to a 12 step as most of these people can handle their business. Its the over-zealous drinkers that are hapless.

There is a world of difference between the "Good Time Charlie" and the wanton GlenFiddich tornado. I am sure many of you can nod in agreement. And I also think there is a permanent list of situations or occasions you should not overly imbibe. Let's start at the top of the list. Wouldn't work functions be number one? I do believe so. Too much consumption with coworkers equals unhappy hour. Let's review.

Have I been overserved? Undoubtedly. I like to think those episodes have long since tapered off since I am not 25 anymore. And now with a little one who crows like a rooster every morning at 7 am, I am very careful. JohnnyMac learned early on, babies don't care what time you go to bed because they wake up at the same time every day, and they had a full night of sleep. I might of lost my bearings one night at the Bruce Springsteen concert, and my liver being so unaccustom to martinis at that time gave strong pushback when I downed the third one. I paid for it. Trust me.

But there is still that slight margin of people who must think if they attend an event where alcohol is served, that is all the persuasion they need to consume the alcohol. Work function? Who cares! There is alcohol isn't there?

I am no angel but I do think if you can not refrain from quenching all your thirst at football games, world series, poker tournaments, and boys or girls night out, then at the minimum, easy does it at your work function where I assure you, all of your co-workers are not swilling them down like Frank the Tank.

For me, spring ushers in a new round of work-related charity galas, and summer will soon be here accompanied by numerous fun summer time work functions. I know the wave of holiday parties have come and gone, but these tips will help all year long. I worked with someone once who literally ordered cocktails at lunch meetings. Ummm, isnt that your boss sitting three chairs down? Easy John Goodman. He didnt last long but boy, we had some funny stories with him as the star. I also worked with a woman who was guar-an-teed to go on a bender at any work function that rolled past eight p.m. Once, she knocked an entire tray of cocktails from a server's arms as she slurred and slobbered on one of our executives. Produce big results during the day must allot some shenanigans at night but for the average bear, sloppy times with people you work with are never a great investment. So in honor of those characters, I am going to share an old but treasured list of suggestions, that I have updated a bit. And you can share as needed.

Tips for the Moderation Challenged: Avoiding Unhappy Hour

10. Once your hose or tights have a big "Easy Access" hole in the upper thigh, or a tear of any kind, just take them off already. You're not fooling anyone there, classy. And for the sake of Baby Jesus, if your take off your shoes because your feet hurt too much for you to properly dance the Macarena. Take your self home. First, barefoot is not nice unless your company function is literally on a beach. And honey, we stopped doing the Macarena years ago.

9. The CEO of your company does NOT want to know how YOU think things are REALLY going. Guess what? If anyone really cared,YOU would be CEO. So just move along.

8. Eat all of the food you are offered throughout the evening. It works. I don't know why, but it does. Choose not to look that particular gift horse in the mouth. Just stick to the nibbles and be grateful. One plate at a time, you aren't going into hibernation for the Winter. And maybe dab up some of that cocktail bonanza with a piece or two of bread. I know you are carb conscious but this is a good time to advise, unless that is seared tuna in that martini glass, you are not consuming pure protein anyway. Oh, and while you negate their caloric value because they are "empty calories", umm, all that "emptiness" will be filled by the double cheeseburger you will demand on the way home.

7. Arrive at the party assuming you are going to be put in a cab and sent home. Translation, know your address, or at least have it written down somewhere on your person. And by all means, hang on to some cab fare. Oh, and try not to remove any flowers or decor to take home to give your living room a spruce as you exit.

6. Nothing says class like a woman double fisting Bud from the bottle. Use a cup, and try an import just this once. And please, do not order white zinfandel. You don't want to wake up to that again tomorrow.

5. If your party is open bar all evening long, and you feel you've hit "BONANZA", pace yourself, or you'll be pissed in the morning when you realize you were sent home in time to watch an old rerun of That 70's Show. If your party is open bar only for an hour, offer to help "organize" so you can get there early and have "samples". If your party is cash bar only, consider quitting now. It's early Spring. You can get a new job at a company that will at least pickup the bar tab for a few hours.

4. Just because you can't see others while you're hooking up with your intern on the dance floor doesn't mean others can not see YOU. Hands to self, sugar plum. And by all mean, if any part of your anatomy that is covered by a bathing suit presents itself, turn in that resignation on Monday. You will never live it down.

3. If you've fallen down more than once, and you still want to maintain gainful employment, thanks for playing, we have some nice parting gifts for you. Au revoir. Remove yourself before someone has to check you in to the emergency room. If you are gracious enough to merely stumble, quickly look at the floor and warn everyone of the "water spill."

2. Your body, especially your hands, do not belong anywhere within 6 inches of your boss's body. Not for any reason, period. If you find your idle hands in need of something to do, fill them with a cocktail. I realize this might be your first time at the school dance, but most companies have a nonconsensual relationship for a reason.

and finally...

1. Stay a drink or two behind anyone you really don't like. Better yet, give them shots. Think of the hours of fun and excitement you will have discussing what a drunken fool they were at the party the next day.

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