A Guide to an Effective Office Happy Hour
In T-minus 7 minutes from now our office holiday happy hour will start. Afterwards, my department and neighboring department will go on a department holiday dinner. There will be small-talk-a-plenty and small talk is something that I suck very badly at. I have been sitting at my desk trying to figure out how to weather the storm, so to speak. I have compiled a list of things that anti-socialites, such as myself, can do to make happy hour a bit more happy.
1. Buddy System
Center yourself in discussion circles where an office buddy is stationed. I don't really pal around (thanks Sarah Palin for the wonderful new phrase) with co-workers, so this is difficult for me. There are, however, a couple of people in my office who see through my "stay away from me" demeanor and recognize that I'm a lonely sap looking for a little lovin'. I will be sure to stick around them without being too clingy.
2. Do not attend.
I'm not sure if you knew this but happy hours are not mandatory; in which case, you could just not show up and say you had errands to run. Running errands is always the universal excuse and it always works. "Running errands" is something grown ups say when they don't have shit to do and they either:
a) Want to avoid you, or...
b) Want you to think they're busy, when they really aren't
I mean, really...what are people doing when they're running said errands or "running around all day". Whenever someone tells me this (usually women) I get in image of them running the streets of the city with no objective or Point B.
ME: Hey, what have you been up to today?
GROWN UP: Ohhh...nothing much. I've been running around all day.
GROWN UP: Yeah! I had a ton of errands to run and things I had to take care of.
Gimmie a break! Anyways, we're all grown up enough to not question each other when we say we're "running errands", so you can use this excuse when trying to get out of uncomfortable social situations.....like happy hour :D
Just stare at people. If someone tries to talk to you just stare them down; not in an aggressive way. Just in a "I'm weird" kind of way. I warn you, this will change happy hour into UNhappy hour for your co-workers and will further alienate you from the networking professionals' social club.
4. Take the food and run
This is just as it sounds. Go in, get your food, and be out. I plan on doing that right now.