If there’s one thing recruiters excel at, it’s drinking. And I’m not trying to paint the industry in a bad light here, I’m just being honest. When it comes to letting our hair down, we’re all Top Billers.
Of course, the actual handling of said drink is a different thing altogether.
And, without you ever having thought about it previously, I guarantee you know every type of drinker in recruitment.
There’s a number of categories of course.
You’ll see them all in a normal week. You could probably tag someone you know in each category, so let’s see where your friends are in this list…
There’s a usual process with the crier in the company.
1) Get drunk enough to make sure tears are a forgone conclusion.
2) Cry in a place everyone can hear, but don’t tell anyone why.
3) Ignore everyone’s advice of going home and soldier on through watery eyes.
“Hey Emma, great effort this week, 3 placements huh? Good on ya!” … *tears*
“Oooh sorry hun, can you just pass me that wine bottle?” ... *tears*
“Em, I’ve just had a call from your client, they’re suing the company for gross misconduct” … *tears*
There’s an intriguing relationship between drunken resignations and seniority.
Weirdly, the higher up the food chain someone is, the more likely they are to quit on a night out.
Obviously, they don’t mean it.
You can tell that by the fact they tell everyone in the room, other than the people armed to make their request a reality.
“I’m going to quit, honestly, I’ve had enough. They don’t appreciate anything I do for this place. No, honestly Steph, there’s no point talking me out of it, I’m doing it. I’m going to get a drink, and then I’m pulling them to one side.”
Of course it never materialises.
Until the next night out of course, when you’ve got to have this sorry conversation again.
There’s a song in their heart, and sadly, you’re gonna hear it.
The biggest irony about drunken singers is anyone who can sing, rarely does.
“I’ll just keep out the way” you reason to yourself in the mirror, wondering whether there’s a bridge nearby.
But you can’t keep out the way. Because like flies round sh*t, numbers of drunken singers multiply as soon as they catch a whiff.
There’s a hidden treat in store too.
Because even if they’ve chosen a song you enjoy, they’re now going to ruin it for you.
It starts with a harmless hand on the arm as you hand over an invoice.
Then phrases like “Ooh if I was twenty years younger” creep into everyday discussion.
But now they’ve had encouragement from their two friends Pinot and Grigio.
Expect a whisper in the ear, loud enough for everyone to hear, telling you you’re more beautiful than Cinderella, smell like pine needles and have a face like sunshine.
This gem is always first one on the dance floor.
Despite the fact you’re in a plush, busy restaurant, no dance floor exists and there’s no music on.
You’ll be tempted to hum Bexter’s famous hit ‘Murder on the Dance Floor’ as you contemplate methods of extraction. Sadly, you’re not reasoning with a sane individual.
As dinner progresses, the shrieks get louder and drops get sluttier. Strangely, try to stop it and you’re labelled ‘joyless’… or a fun sponge.
The waiter’s taking a note of your company name, but that only stops half the problem. The drunken dancer will be back in a matter of weeks, weirdly working for another business.
You’d have thought tripping over the front step might have forced them to up their game.
Sadly, the bouncer thought they were inebriated and stopped your entrance to Paradise (other bars exist). And whilst ‘TWA’ wasn’t actually drunk at this point, they’re about to make up for it.
There are two degrees of end result here…
The likelihood of the mishap involving stairs is very high. If not stairs, it’s probably glass in the foot, which they won’t notice until they’ve pebble-dashed the floors, colleagues’ bags and a friendly reddish dog.
Whilst the above will mean the colleague in question has probably done themselves some damage, you’re unlikely to ever find out how much.
Is it that they’re playing on their reputation to fabricate some time off?
Did the accident genuinely involve a cat, a wheelie bin and a traffic light?
Is it true someone saw them steal a rickshaw about 1am?
All questions will remain unanswered as your colleague becomes nothing more than a story you tell Grads.
“Who fancies a shot?” booms the new Grad across the bar, harking back to their University days, a month previous.
This new starter thinks they’re still at Uni and hasn’t come to appreciate the laws of the Director’s bar tab just yet.
But it’s OK, because you’ll be treated to some new gaffs and jokes to keep you young and cement all ill-feeling about their employment.
Like the hilarity of tapping a beer on the top to produce an explosion. Never gets old that one does it?
Or the gun fingers as they shout which shit club they’re going to this weekend.
“When did you leave? I can’t remember saying goodbye?” You’ll ponder to your colleague the next morning through the haze of coffee fumes and regret.
“Oh I left just before you I think” they lie.
“Great night though wasn’t it, did I miss anything at the end?”
There’s enough sincerity to be filled in on events, and just enough ambiguity to make the trick available next time.
Well, yes. Everyone still foolish enough to still be out at 3am, is highly likely to want to come back to yours.
The drinks are free.
The mischief is rife.
“We could all say we’re working from home tomorrow? Or the Doctors? Maybe something happened to us on the way home?”
As you rattle through increasingly terrible ideas, 2 hours before you’re supposed to be at work, no one in the room will recognise the futility.
“It’s 5am. It’s a school night. You said you’d stop doing this. Why are you like this?” you say to yourself as you catch your reflection in your phone.
(Try saying this after a pint)
Let’s be honest about this. There’s one reason for going out for a pint or two in this job.
And yet, as you sit there, looking at the wall, wondering what life is, there’s one person who will just not STFU about recruitment.
Could be something as trivial as a phone call, they just can’t get off their mind.
Of course, the kindness in you will hear them out. And the intrigue will carry the conversation on, until you’ve made your mind up about their skill level.
After that, to genuinely relax, you’re going to need to move tables.
You don’t need me to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway…
1) Don’t shave anyone’s eyebrows off, if they’ve got a meeting the next day.
2) Always have a sober buddy, if you talk to the boss
3) Don’t get into an unlicensed cab to a squat rave, if it’s only Tuesday.
Director of Interim Recruitment at Ernest Hunter Green
Graduate Consultant in our Manchester office at Better Placed
Senior Consultant- Accounting & Finance at Charterhouse Hong Kong
Business Development Manager - EMEA at Emerald Technology
Recruitment Consultant - BOSS Medical at BOSS Professional Services