July 17, 2016

Happy Hour: It’s Still Business



Ruth was still in the office sitting at her desk. She had just finished writing e-mails. Her mobile rang. It was John: “Ruth, where are you? We are waiting for you.” She looked at her watch. It was 19h00, high time to hurry up to the happy hour. “I am on my way. See you soon,” Ruth lied and didn’t know why. She grabbed her coat and went out…


Ruth was still in the office sitting at her desk. She had just finished writing e-mails. Her mobile rang. It was John: “Ruth, where are you? We are waiting for you.” She looked at her watch. It was 19h00, high time to hurry up to the happy hour. “I am on my way. See you soon,” Ruth lied and didn’t know why. She grabbed her coat and went out.



It was bitterly cold and snowy outside. Ruth decided to walk. Snowflakes were slowly falling upon her blond hair. Lights were shining from all the windows. “Wow, it’s like a fairy tale. Breathe in, breathe out…” Ruth was tired.



Some ten minutes later she allowed herself to relax when she saw John, Emily, Sam, Peter, and Ron at the long bar of their favorite restaurant. It was great that it was rather quiet and nice there. Four other people were sitting and chatting at the other end of the bar. Some soft music was playing … Ruth greeted her colleagues, ordered a glass of white wine, and enjoyed the aroma of the appetizers.



“Ruth, we’ve just been talking about commuting, “John said “what is the best way to overcome tiredness? What do you think?” Ruth looked tired and wanted to relax. But her colleagues were waiting for her response. “Well, I think the best way is to find time to relax during the day, so for example, I nap on the train when I commute,” Ruth said. “Excellent!” Emily exclaimed, “napping in the workplace may be a solution.” Ron gave Emily a surprised look and explained that employees are paid to work and not for sleeping at their desks. Sam was the only one who laughed. John loved happy hour because it had always helped his team to let off steam and create a bond between the team members. “Sorry, I don’t agree with you Ron,” John contradicted “some of our commuters often sleep less than eight hours, work longer than eight hours, and simply can’t relax on the way. Maybe our company could offer a more comfortable workplace.” Unfortunately, Ron was not interested in the topic. He thought for a minute and muttered: “Maybe, maybe.” Emily and Sam started swapping some silly jokes and everyone was laughing. Time was passing quickly.



“Have you heard the latest office gossip?” Sam asked suddenly. Ruth flushed. John frowned. “Is it about a young woman who was fired two days ago in our company? Do you know the reason?” Peter asked. “Hmm… They say – but it’s a gossip only – she was planning to get married,” Emily said, looking amused. Ron looked at his empty glass and went to order a drink. “I can’t imagine that planning to get married can be a reason for firing someone,” Ruth said. John agreed with her, regretting he hadn’t spoken to Ruth since their conversation yesterday. He was curious whether she could turn down Ron’s invitation.



Ron returned with a can of Diet Coke and listened to Emily who was telling a funny story about someone who had danced on the table last time they were at there happy hour event. “Who is the hero of the story?” Ron asked. Emily was confused because the story was about Sam. Peter saved the situation: “Guys, do you know that life begins at 46? I read somewhere that 46-year-olds are the happiest people and become even happier as they get older.” Ruth wondered whether he was kidding. Sam said that happiness was finding two olives in your Martini when you were hungry. The conversation became real fun …



Some ten minutes later Ron said he should go. Before leaving the bar he had a chance to tell John: “Thank you for inviting me. Your team members like you. How do you do this?” John replied, smiling: “I never have to tell them that I am their leader.”



How to let off steam and be careful during the office happy hour?



Please feel free to write a comment which I would really appreciate.



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