Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Hour

A generously poured $3.75 glass of house red

One of the most typical and persuasive aspects of D.C. culture is the happy hour. The after-work time spent decompressing with friends and colleagues over drinks, venting about your jobs, your bosses, and your colleagues who decided not to join you. Often happy hour centers around drink and food specials, but I've found that the time spent comparing stories of the latest "crisis" in your office and catching up on lives outside of work is more important than a generously poured $3.75 glass of house red.

Happy hours are great for folks who are new to D.C. (and there are almost folks who are new to D.C.) to "network." Find your affinity group - Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, college/grad school alums, Russian speakers, or people who are fans of Mad Men - and there will be a monthly happy planned especially for you and your like-minded future friends. But happy hours are also great for those of us who've made it over the 2-year hump - that magic amount of time as a transient resident of D.C. where it ceases to be a place to work and becomes a home. Us long-timers tend to get absorbed in our jobs and our routines, and coming back to the  trusty old happy hour allows us to reconnect and relax.

With an old job ending soon (just two weeks left!) and a new career beginning, I can look forward to plenty of happy hours in the coming weeks to commemorate life's inevitable transitions.

And of course, conversations over drinks are always "off the record."

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