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The Do's and Don'ts of Drinking With Co-Workers

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Beep. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeeeeep. You reach over and flail your hand around until you locate the snooze button and silence your ear piercing alarm clock. It takes all of your energy to lift your pounding, hungover head and peer at what ungodly hour it must be. Not only do you realize that you have exactly six minutes to get to work, but you're hit with a startling wave of panic. Last evening's "let's have a drink" happy hour with your work crew turned into a blurry, all night booze-a-thon. The last thing you remember is blabbing to your cab driver about how delicious your late night pizza was and then trying to unlock the door to your neighbor's apartment.

To avoid a morning after freak out session, try these dos and don'ts for drinking with co-workers.

DO: know your limit and stick to it. Binge drinking with Bob from Accounting rarely ends well.

DO: order something to eat! The last meal you had was lunch, so it's crucial to fill up on chicken fingers, sliders, pizza, wings and fries (to share with co-workers, of course). Gotta love a good happy hour menu. (PS: Be sure to take a cab home, get a ride or leave your car parked at work if you're feeling tipsy.)

DON'T: talk about people that report to you. If you're a manager, make sure to keep confidential information to yourself. Don't reveal employees salaries, whether they're up for a promotion, or if they royally messed up a huge project and are about to get canned. If you can't keep these things private after a few margaritas, you shouldn't be a manager.

DO: lighten up! Getting together with work buds after office hours is a great way to show them your fun, laid back side. Keep your deepest, darkest secrets to yourself (awkward, much?), and avoid talking badly about co-workers. But definitely kick back, relax, and freely discuss your favorite reality shows without worrying that the boss will walk by.

DON'T: make-out, hook-up or sleep with a co-worker... or worse, your boss! This sounds like a no-brainer, but it happens all the time after a few too many cocktails. On one hand, tons of great couples meet at work, fall in love and live happily ever after. But that's typically when both are unattached, have taken into account the numerous risks involved, and make a conscious decision to take a working relationship to the next level. Know the facts. Does your company have a policy you should be aware of if things get serious? On the flip side, could you handle seeing this guy everyday if things go South? Unless you both can laugh about it, in most cases, a drunk smooch leads to awkwardness, avoidance and regret.

DON'T: talk shit about co-workers (including your boss) that aren't there. Just because you're in a bar doesn't mean it's "no holds barred"! You never know how it could get back to them. If they find out, it could cause a very bad working relationship and/or really bad career consequences. Plus, you don't want the reputation of "office gossip queen."

DO: pick up an egg sandwich, a large bottle of water, a regular Coke (the syrup settles your stomach), Advil, and coffee on your way to the office to help cure your hangover. Text your equally hurting work friends and take orders while you're at the deli. Then, before the boss walks by barking orders, do a brief re-cap of the night to reassure each other that all is good and no one needs to resign.

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