For those who are not aware of this lingo – Happy Hour (HH) is a term invented by restaurant owners to boost their business by attracting customers during weekdays and during specific times of the day when the business is usually low. Typically happy hour is offered during late afternoon to early evenings or late in the night Monday through Thursday. It is widely used to provide discounts on beverages (both alcohol as well as non-alcohol) and usually combined with half priced appetizers.
In normal circumstances, who would not love such a deal and you must probably be wondering what is wrong with me to not love it. Well I do love going to happy hour with my friends over the weekends or any other day but most happy hours are offered at times when it is not possible to meet with friends (unless your friend works with you). So usually people from work end up going together for the happy hour.
In corporate world, it has become a culture to take people out or organize celebration treats, farewells, promotions etc as happy hour. And that’s what I don’t like and here’s why:
1. I do not like the idea of drinking with colleagues – Reason is quite obvious; drinking with colleagues is not the same like drinking with your friends on a weekend. The same rules don’t apply.
2. Place for gossip – Office people are known to gossip, they have so much inside them that when given an opportunity to talk they don’t stop. And if booze is added to the equation then it becomes unstoppable. The last thing I would want after a whole day’s work is to hear my colleague gossip about work again for another hour or so.
3. Some people open too much – It is either due to the ambience or the alcohol, there are some people who open up a whole lot. They would be a completely different person and end up embarrassing themselves at the end of the day. This is a big no-no when you go with colleagues as you would be the topic of discussion the next day.
4. Some open too little – When a happy hour is organized at work and if your boss or VP or CIO is invited then it kind of becomes boring. People often find it hard to loosen up around them and it ends up being a torturous evening.
5. Some people cannot attend – Often due to family obligations, some people are not able to attend. This is applicable mostly to women but men can be part of it too. People with very young kid’s or who stay far away generally skip such parties. Women generally feel uncomfortable joining such parties and often it ends up being an evening with a bunch of men from work.
I don’t mean to sound like a boring coworker but it is really hard for me to enjoy an evening when I have to drink with the people I work with. I would rather prefer going out with them for a lunch or an ice-cream party. It works out better if you take the booze out of the equation and if the party is hosted during office hours. I do end up going to such parties to give company to few of my colleague friend’s although I don’t really enjoy it. I hope I can change it for the better someday but I believe I am okay this way.