Spring is here in its full glory, and your company is planning on a fun cocktail after-work meetup to let off some steam. This might sound like a good idea, especially when your employer is paying the bill. But, before you start downing cocktails, be cautious of your behaviour and also keep in mind that you may be subjected to a drug test at work and getting extremely drunk can have consequences. Here are five situations to avoid at office happy hour so you may return to work feeling refreshed—not embarrassed.
He’s charming, engaging, witty, and sophisticated. You’d seen him a dozen times in the office but couldn’t seem to grab his attention. Maybe he’s focused on you tonight, ordering drinks for you, inquiring about your family, showing interest in your roommate’s impending art exhibition, and you might find out that you have a lot in common. Even though on the spot it might seem like you totally click, it is better to withhold from such type of romance as you might become the gossip of the month in the office in the best-case scenario, and the worst what can happen is jeopardizing your career and reputation which could have longer consequences.
In no way you should be a part of a group that usually tries to dump dirt on other coworkers during the office happy hour. Plus, if you are new to the team then you should be especially careful because while they’re likely to preserve each other’s secrets, you need to understand that you are a newcomer and need to watch very carefully what you say and who do you say it to.
If you find yourself among such a group, there’s no need to be nasty or make a big, self-righteous exit—just respectfully excuse yourself.
The Therapy Session
Alcohol is a depressive, as we were all informed in those required substance-abuse educational movies in middle school. That implies that if your employer (or anybody else) starts muttering about his or her private issues after a few too many Chardonnays, it’s time to depart.
I understand that not providing a listening ear may sound cruel, but trust me when I say that if you’re dealing with divorce turmoil, your over-sharer will most likely withdraw herself from you in the office in the morning out of sheer humiliation.
Cheers with Interns
You may think that some of them are only a few years younger than you, or that you want to be known as the cool supervisor, the one who can still party. Even so, don’t do it. When you do, you put yourself on their level, and your credibility will be slipping out of your fingers as quickly as the drink itself. Also, keep in mind the drug test at work as consuming too many drinks with your subordinates may encourage them to drink more or as much as their manager.
We can all agree that college years were fantastic years. Those humiliating party scenes and sorority house stories are legendary. However, they should be left to those who observed events firsthand. As these might result in embarrassment when you go to the office the next day.
Office happy hour is one of the ways to interact with your colleagues in a more informal way, helps make connections and builds a better workplace environment. It is important not to cross the boundaries and overindulge in order to avoid any embarrassment the next day in the office. And remember, if you suspect a coworker is using drugs, you can report it to Human Resources or your immediate supervisor. The human resources department has specific training and tools for dealing with such incidents. Be sure to approach the situation cautiously and confidentially so that your coworker does not suffer further. The sooner you act, the sooner the addict will seek treatment. The best way to verify the suspicions would be through a drug test at work, so make sure you prepare yourself as well.