I recently returned from a corporate retreat to an island destination and was completely shocked by the inappropriate behavior displayed by my management team. At no point during my four years of college did I ever witness such debauchery. Middle-aged men and women were smacking each others’ asses, taking shots in the resort’s hot tub and making racial jokes left and right.
What would possess normally respectable, work-minded individuals to act this way? I hypothesize that many of the members of my management team were not the coolest kids growing up and have resultantly grasped their fat paychecks, impressive titles and taken on the Van Wilder-eque persona to capitalize on their lost years of coolness. Based on my week of observations here is a list of how to be considered “kewl” in Corporate America:
1. Talk About Alcohol: Talk about how much you drank, how much you are drinking and how much you plan on drinking. The more outrageous and detailed the better. “Yeah Mike from Department X and I were slugging back tequila shots until 2am last night” or “Back in the day my buddy and I used to crush a keg just the two of us”.
2. Perfect the Back Slap: The most effective tool when you are trying to peer pressure someone to drink more, dance more or make a regrettable decision is the firm and swift back slap. “Come on Katie let’s see you funnel a beer!” [followed by overly aggressive back slap].
3. Talk About Sex: Make innuendo about any and everything. Throw in a couple “that’s what she saids’” and bonus points if you talk about having sex with people other than your significant other. Also, make bets on who you think will hook up by the end of the night. “Married coworker X is totally going to bang engaged and 15 year junior coworker Z!”
4. Do Not Call People by Their Names: Do not use the person’s proper name. Either call them by their title, “Hey HR get over here” or a nickname you made up on the fly “Hey Wets-the-Bed-After-Vodka-Shots can you grab me a beer?”
5. Talk About How “Wild” Everyone is: Emphasize to everyone how wild and fun the company is for being able to party so “hard”. When you return to the office, continue to reminisce by saying things like “Remember how much we drank man!” Upon return set up a slideshow of pictures in the lunch room or conference room of everyone getting wild and crazy so you can relive the extremeness.
6. Curse: Curse like a f-ing sailor. Didn’t you know it’s almost as cool to swear as it is to smoke? Drop F-bombs like you are trying to destroy the f-ing universe.
7. Over-Emphasize Your Hangover: Do what you need to do to look like the person that partied the hardest the night before. Beat yourself up, brush your teeth “with a bottle of jack”, put Vaseline in your hair - anything to look like hell crusted over.
8. Talk About Video Games: Make sure that you let your friends know that you love to play old-school video games. None of these new, fancy games, but I'm talking about old-school games like tecmo super bowl for the original Nintendo.
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