There are certain types of people you don't want to get cornered by at the pub, especially the hawk-eyed boss or the new parent who's desperately chugging their way through a bottle of Blossom Hill.
1. The Caner
For the Caner, the only memorable nights are the ones they can’t remember. In the office they wouldn’t say boo to a photocopier; now all of a sudden they’re a shit-faced, shirtless menace hurling abuse at the barman because there aren’t any steak McCoys left. Our advice: peg it out the door as soon as you hear: 'Hey guys, who's up for shots?' It’s 6.30pm on a Tuesday, you maniac, no one! Go home, Caner (accidentally via Cockfosters and a £60 Uber) - you’re drunk.
2. The Over-Sharer
Since when did after-work drinks turn into a chronic blubfest? Since your colleague’s wife ran off with a gym instructor, that’s when, a fact he tearfully divulges before the head has settled on your first pint. Okay, so you’ve sat next to each other for 14 years, but there’s a limit to your sympathy. You’re British, man. Keep things bottled up until they develop into a gnarly bowel complaint: it’s what we do. Feelings are for kittens and Americans. Oh God, he’s talking about his sex life now. I wish it was the 1950s.
3. The New Parent
Since having kids, the New Parent’s social life has dwindled to the extent that Friday drinks down the Slug seem like the social event of the season. 'I can only stay for a couple - the kids,' they chirrup, glugging freely at their third glass of wine. Cut to Saturday, 6am: they wake suddenly, dry-mouthed and broken. Something is sitting on their bladder. It’s human and very, very loud. Enjoy your hungover trip to the ball pit, my procreative friend. It’s karmic payback for all those smug office visits with the Bugaboo.
4. The Hawk-Eyed Boss
In theory, drinks with your boss should be fine: you get a couple of free Stellas; they get to show their 'human' side ('At the weekend, sometimes I throw on a pair of old jeans and just, you know, chill'). In practice the two-house bastard is watching you like a hawk. Not that that stops you. Emboldened by drink, with tie and tongue suitably loosened, you slur a list of everybody in the office who deserves to be axed. Later, on the train back to his Surrey mansion, your boss compiles his own list - with just one name on it.
5. The Social Smoker
It’s always the same sad refrain: 'Mate, I hate to be that person, but can I nick a fag?' For the gasping amateur, the desire for nicotine trumps all. Including office beefs. That creep from Accounts with the wandering hands? That dickhead contractor who keeps undermining them in front of the boss? Mortal enemies during work hours, but come 10pm, as they whip out a shiny pack of B&H, they’re the Social Smoker’s new BFF. They may hate to be that person, but not as much as the actual smokers hate them.
By Michael Curle, who owes Geoff in HR about six packs of B&H.
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Images: Nathan James Page