As a young professional, Thursday nights are a very gray area. In college, we all had an 11 a.m. class that we totally blew off. However, in work, casual Friday does not mean “show up to work hungover and get nothing done.” Transitioning from Thursday night pub crawls that seemingly never ended into a couple beers at happy hour is a tough road.
Haven’t figured out that transition yet? Don’t worry, here are the five stages of your Thursday night in order to be ready for work the next morning for your reference.
1. The Buzzkill “Cameron from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” Phase
You’ve had a killer day at the office and got off late. It’s 8 p.m. and the only thing you want to spend your night with are The West Wing reruns on Netflix. Guess what? Your buddies have other plans. They’ll call your phone constantly, bang on your windows and may even find their own way in to get you in a headlock until you decide to go out. A flurry of thoughts run through your head. How late will we be out? Shouldn’t I just save that money to go harder tomorrow? How hungover will I be tomorrow for work? What’s going to happen to President Bartlett next? Going out seems like such an ordeal at this point, and cuddling up to your computer with endless entertainment possibilities seems so much easier. You are going to succumb to your friends’ desires and go out, but you are going to be the Cameron to their Ferris Bueller at the beginning. Try not to resist too much.
2. The Tipsy Sorority Girl Phase
So you said you were going to have one to two drinks and be the caretaker to your shitfaced friends, but you’re going a little past your limit and having a good time. You’re happy you went out tonight. Getting somewhat tipsy won’t ruin you in the morning. At this phase, you can still be a functioning adult. You are feeling happy and you can stay content. However, your friends are moving into fourth gear and you don’t want to be left behind. This is where you have to make your final conscious decision of the night. Do you leave well enough alone and stay in this zone and be a functioning member of society, or do you put the pedal to the metal and join your friends?
3. The “Frank the Tank” Belligerent Phase
Congratulations! You didn’t go home and now you’re drinking like it’s Greek week during your senior year of college. Girls are all over you…you think? Your friends are entertained by your antics…you think? This is all going to be fine in the morning because you abided by the “liquor before beer, in the clear” rule…you think. Scratch that, you aren’t thinking anymore. You are that guy in the bar with their shirt off, ordering more shots and eliciting a whole mess of responses. No shame, dude. You’ll do whatever you want. You are the star of your own drunken show and the life of Thirsty Thursday.
4. The Bad Santa People Are Judging You Phase
It’s the morning. You woke up feeling as if your head was smashed by an out of control freight train. You pressed the snooze button on the alarm a few too many times and now you only have five minutes to get ready. You may be a guy, but you are going to need to pull one serious magic act to not look like that hobo you drunkenly shared a joint with last night. Nope, that wasn’t a dream. You go outside and smoke a cigarette. If you are going to be a degenerate, you are going to look the part. You stroll into work looking like Billy Bob Thornton on a bad day, but the extra Axe sprays and layers of clothes, hats and sunglasses all make you even more conspicuous. Your coworkers all stare at you as you make the walk of shame to your desk. Try and keep your stank to a low enough profile until you get yourself together enough to see your boss.
5. The Jordan Belfort Functioning Degenerate Phase
After a couple hours of holding back puke at your desk, some innate power in you kicks in. Only a full day of tasks stand between you and your bed to recharge for tonight. You kick into super gear and actually do your job really well. Don’t get too happy. You still will have a pounding headache, a stomach that can’t decide whether to upchuck or not and your hair still makes you look like Russell Brand. However, you will be good at your job…somewhat. As you walk out, you will do so with your head figuratively held high but literally in a trash can. It will feel wonderful. Through it all, you won’t regret going out Thursday night. You’ll find out what happened on that old The West Wing rerun later.
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