It’s a stressful time to be working these days – the Dow is down a zillion points, a recession looms, and that investment that you drunkenly made on Ostrich futures is looking like it was not such a good idea (who'd have known that the slogan The Other Brownish Meat wouldn’t catch on). Chances are that you’ll find that your lunchtime nourishment is lacking. Don’t worry, we don’t blame you for knocking back a few during work. They used to have three Martini lunches all the time back in the day and the economy did just fine (according to the recent historical survey we completed). After those 12 episodes of Mad Men, we feel that we can complete a dissertation on the subject.
The problem with taking the edge off at noon is that four more hours of fun-filled work remain. Yes, we know that 90% of your job is sitting there and pretending to look busy. But it is a challenge to press ‘send and receive’ every 3.2 seconds (yea! Daily candy!) while trying to appear sober. Here are our tips for staying on the right side of the unemployment line -
1.When you return to the office be sure to close the door and do not pick up the phone for at least 60 minutes. If you are forced to return messages – try doing so through email. Limit the response to three words and one emoticon. ‘Will advise shortly J’ and “Busy, talk soon L” are both acceptable responses, as no one can smell an emoticon’s breath.
2.Don't offer any ideas, advice, or solutions for at least 3.5 hours. If you are invited to a meeting– try your best to get out of it. If you are pressured to attend, cover by saying something that involves a Chipolte burrito, the 19 year old blonde intern, your bowels, and the word “Boo-yah”. Ladies – don’t hesitate to use your all purpose / gender specific wild card: “I’m sorry, I’m having feminine issue.” Frowny-face emoticon optional.
3. If you think the higher ups suspect that you’ve been hitting the sauce – it's time to release your countermeasures. There is a fine line between suspicions of misbehavior and firing your ass. Quickly create a diversion by starting a rumor about another employee, but be sure to make it seem casual: “What’s that thing that they do with the tin foil and the drugs and the inhalation? From that movie? Gosh – I really forget what it’s called. I guess I should ask George, he seemed to know about it the other day in the bathroom!”
4. If you plan on making a habit out of this, you should have a quick cure kit hidden in your desk. Stock it with toothpaste, a toothbrush, Visine, a tube of charcoal and a stomach pump. They will have NO idea.
5.If the downturn continues and you sense that your company is about to go under, don’t hesitate to have one too many on your lunch-hour. This will encourage you to head back to the office and collect your proper severance package. You can probably get at least $300 for those copper fittings that you rip out of the wall. When they come in and ask you what happened, you have the perfect out – “Oh my god – I don’t know what’s wrong with George! He was tearing apart the walls like a maniac. I think he was hopped up or something!”