Rant: Drinking with Co-workers

( #co-workers, #drinking )


Credit: Dos Equis

The Most Interesting Man In The World Says: “I don’t always drink with co-workers, but when I do, I wish I didn’t.”

I learned several lessons as a young adult about socializing with co-workers. Recent experiences while drinking with professionals (no just co-workers) have led me to create this rules of engagement document:

1. Unless expressly stated by both parties, a co-worker is not a friend. Do not treat them like one while socializing after hours. A co-worker can become a friend, but I suspect those chances are diminished greatly if people are losing control after a few drinks.

2. Don’t talk about work. You probably just left the office and that project is falling behind, but use the time together to get to know someone as a human being, not complain—we all have problems.

3. Don’t talk about work. Seriously, I know it is weird to try to start a conversation about something other than work stuff, but try, it pays off.

4. Be aware of other people around you: See how I said not to talk about work? I was in a bar a while back and people were complaining about work…LOUDLY. There was a girl who was obviously put off by the conversation and she had her head buried in her phone. I really thought she was tweeting the conversation. I checked when I got home but didn’t find anything—that could have been a horrible situation.

5. Try to keep some of your more personal beliefs to yourself for a while: Topics regarding religion and politics should be avoided. I know this is funny coming from someone who has a blog that talks about this stuff, but the point is, I don’t rub it in people’s faces. After a few social events, if you feel like you know the person well enough to test the waters, go for it, but be prepared to back off if you have different views because you have to work with this person.

6. Having marital problems? I don’t care. Open marriage? I don’t want to know. Please don’t ask the bartender for their number when I am in your company—that actually goes for any social situation and the rule applies to the wait staff as well.
Additional Advice: If you have a bar you really like or are a regular at, don’t bring co-workers there until you know they are okay. If things get weird you might get banned from your favorite watering hole.

7. If you happen to be invited to someone’s home, don’t go through their house (this happened to a co-worker several years ago). If you see a guitar or other musical instrument, don’t pick it up and start playing unless you are asked. You will look like a douchebag (well honestly, if you are rummaging around in somebody’s house, you probably are a douchebag).

8. Don’t start a fight at a bar when you are with co-workers. Sounds like common sense right? This includes saying anything that warrants you being punched in the face. Personally, I will not help you and will be hoping you lose a tooth.

9. Assuming we are working under the conditions I have outlined above—no shots.

Thanks for reading. It is my intent to help the workers of the world avoid making complete fools out of themselves and to (selfishly) avoid having to be in your company if you act like this. If you work with me, these are my ground rules for socializing. This article is a work in progress and will probably be updated several times.

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