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Unhappy Hour

Bob Goldman on

The famous business consultant Alexander, Lord Tennyson said it best: "In the spring a young manager's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of happy hours."

It's true! Seeing the weather warm up and the direct reports freeze up, even the dimmest bulb of a manager realizes that their loyal team wants to frolic like butterflies and, while they're frolicking, drink like fish.

Welcome to happy hour.

Hanging out with your co-workers in a lovely garden or a grimy dive bar is a great way to spend an afternoon, especially when your manager is the one picking up the tab. But as wonderful as free mochatinis can be, danger lurks.

No one knows the risks better than Megan Broussard, whose recent posting on The Muse website schooled me on the "5 Situations to Avoid at Office Happy Hour."

How can you avoid making an afternoon of team building result in a walk of shame the next morning?

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No. 1 on the list is avoiding "The Gossiping Gabbys."

The Gabbys have dirt on everyone in the office. You'd like to be part of what appears to be the office in crowd, and you're certainly ready, willing and able to throw shade on your co-workers. So, what's the problem?

The problem is that the Gabbys have worked side by side for years and spend most of their time together gabbing about the strange weirdo in the office. In case you can't identify the strange weirdo, it's you.

When you do find yourself in the company of the company's hardest-working gossips, "it doesn't mean you have to be rude or make some dramatic, self-righteous exit -- just politely excuse yourself to the ladies' room ... " Broussard writes.

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