Young Professional Problems: The Happy Hour Quandary

by February 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Lauren Levine. Email her at lauren[AT]

"happy hour"

The Happy Hour quandary. (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s 5:30 pm, and you’re about to hit send on your last email of the day. What are you going to do with your five hours before bedtime?

Every Monday through Friday, young professionals are presented with the same quandary over and over – should I go to happy hour today? So then why does it often feel like we have to physically drag ourselves to the treasured DC tradition that is happy hour?

Maximizing the Happy

Here are some tips for maximizing the “happy” in your hour(s):

  • Do what you want. If you’re fantasizing about that sushi delivery guy and West Wing on Netflix more than that friend you’re going to meet, simply don’t go! We have enough obligations as it — reschedule it for a time when you’ll be more psyched to dish on your non-existent love life or work frustrations. Plus, your friend will appreciate your honesty if you just say, “I’ve had a rough day and want to give you my full attention. Can we do this next week?”
  • Bring a late afternoon snack to work that day. Is it just me, or do you feel gross when you leave a happy hour? You drink three beers before the specials end at 7 pm, and then you wolf down some cheesy fries… and a quesadilla… and those 30-cent buffalo wings were too good to pass up. A pre-happy hour snack at your desk will leave you full enough to save the munchies for when you get home to real food.
  • Don’t let work dominate a work happy hour. So your coworker managed to rally the office to the bar, and now you all spend 3 hours talking about your least favorite client or how frustrated you are with the other side of the aisle. Gosh, you just worked for eight to 10 hours — the least you could do to actually take the edge off is talk about Game of Thrones or the Caps or something. Plus it’s nice to know your coworkers as real people.
  • Really talk to new people. You know when you’re looking forward to some big happy hour so you can meet new people, but then you find someone you know and stand in the corner and talk to them the whole time? It can be hard to muster the energy to start from scratch with someone after a long day, so pump yourself up for it with some iTunes jams on the walk over. It could save you from an awkward OKCupid date later on. Plus, there’s a sweet deal going on if you wanna buy someone a drink, you stud, you.

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