Analyzing The Office Happy Hour

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Work | Posted on 27-01-2012

Do you have office happy hours?  We do for a variety of reasons.  Maybe we had a particularly good month, or someone is leaving to go work somewhere else.

(That seems to happen a lot.  I wonder why?  Oh yeah, because we’re grossly underpaid!)

Once in awhile we have happy hours just because we haven’t had one in awhile.

Sometimes there is a good turnout with people staying for a three or four drinks.  Other times people only stick around for one or two drinks.

Drunkeness is no excuse for squatting on a pool table

Why the discrepancy?  Through the process of all these happy hours I have used my advanced sense of observation and analytical thinking to learn a few things about human behavior… and it may surprise you.

Happy Hours that are started EARLIER than the normal end-of-the-work-day time are less successful than ones started closer to the normal time we end our workdays.  I know this seems backwards right?

You’d think if the happy hour started at 3:00 that more people would be excited to leave work early to get their drink on.

Here is what happens.  At 3:00 people head down to the bar.  The have one drink, do a little bullshitting with their co-workers then realize they could leave at 3:30pm and be home that much earlier than a normal day.  But when you start the happy hour at say 4:30 people plan on staying a little longer.  They get clearance from their significant others to stay after work a bit, which takes away any possible guilt – that is an important factor.

I think this guy bought me a shot once.

But the late happy hours are the ones that can be dangerous.  I’ve had plenty of happy hours that started at 4:30, and end around midnight.  Not good.  Especially on a Tuesday.  But those later starting happy hours are inevitably the ones that are more fun, better attended and sometimes talked about for a long time.

I know it’s nice to get out of work early, believe me, I’ve mastered the art of working as little as possible.  But if you are planning a work happy hour, and you want it to be the kind of event people are talking about for months… have it start closer to the end of the work day.

Although I should mention that there is a big exception to this rule:  The REALLY early happy hour.  The one that basically means everyone works a half day – then heads to the bar shortly after lunch.

These work functions are also talked about for a long time, though usually for all the wrong reasons… some examples could be:

–A couple of coworkers made out in a back corner (often married or same sex coworkers)

–Someone got really drunk and flashed everyone in the bar. (This typically ends up being the least attractive person in the company)

–The boss told a “funny” story about that time he picked up a tranny hooker.  Hey, it happens.

No matter what time you start your happy hour you have to keep one thought in your mind at ALL times.  These people may be a lot of fun to hang out with right now… but you are going to have to see them when you’re all stone cold sober tomorrow.

If dancing on a table using your tie or belt as a head band is something you won’t mind being discussed by everyone the next day, then GO FOR IT.

You only live once right?


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