After-work drinks should be straight-forward. It's just a couple of beers with your colleagues in the closest pub to your office, isn't it?
If you're lucky, the drinks are usually paid for. There might even be something to celebrate. It's the perfect opportunity to let off steam and have fun with the people you see every weekday. And yet, after-work drinking is dangerous territory.
Why? Aside from the obvious (there's never any food, you'll end up smashed...), here's five things that always happen:
1. You'll never stay for "just one."
You've just finished a day at work and your colleague persuades you into going for a quick glass of wine. Your arm is easily twisted, but you've only got time to stay for one drink. The next thing you know, Sandra from sales has gone and bought a bottle and you're in it for the long haul. Feeling tipsy, then plastered, then really hungover the next day soon follows. And it's only Tuesday.
2. You'll say something inappropriate to a senior member of staff (or a senior member of staff will say something inappropriate to you.)
It's amazing how much you and everyone else on your team can drink when your boss puts their card behind the bar. However, no matter how much you want to thank them for their generosity, don't go and strike up conversation after you've just been persuaded to start drinking shots. It will end badly and you will regret it for the next three weeks. Unfortunately, inappropriate chat can get even more problematic when your boss is the one who encourages the shot-drinking. Smile, nod and politely refuse the second round of tequila.
3. You'll realise how slowly other people drink.
You've bought a round, you've drunk your drink and you're quickly gasping for another one. You don't want to come across as rude, but it's someone else's turn to go to the bar. If only they'd hurry up and stopping sipping their pint. It's been an hour.
4. You'll pay for everything on card and not remember how much you've spent (until you see the bank statement.)
When you're the one persuading everyone you know in the office to have a drink with you, you'll probably also be the one to buy huge rounds that you definitely don't have the cash to pay for. Instead, you'll put it all on your card and swiftly forget about what a bad idea it was to start offering to buy doubles at 5pm on a Wednesday.
5. You'll feel sorry for the lightweight who can't handle drinking on an empty-stomach.
Unless of course, that person is you.
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