There are a lot of legendary things at SpareFoot that demand explanations: our mythical LDR team; what goes on back in the sales pit (we don’t dare to find out); how our marketing guru Rachel Greenfield stays impeccably fashionable every single day; and, of course, our notorious happy hours. Then again, maybe “happy” is an understatement or, rather, a misnomer.
It started innocently enough: Every other Friday, two randomly chosen SpareFeet were charged with the daunting task of planning a fun and relaxing happy hour for the whole office. The first few happy hours were costume-heavy, with everything from superheroes to boxes. (Yes, we had a theme that was simply “Boxes.”) But, of course, our tagline of “Work hard, play hard” quickly escalated our biweekly rituals into just one regret shy of unruly.
We’ve had some truly crazy and innovative happy hours at the SpareFoot office, all with their own tales and unique destruction. Some of our past themes include Mardi Gras, School Spirit, Karaoke & Ritas, Viva Las SpareFoot, Fly Yo Freak Flags and a deceptively untame trivia contest. Our recent ’90s-themed happy hour featured Lazer Tag; a ’90s sing-off (which included our luscious CET rockstar Albert Hood breaking it down on the dance floor); and questionable candy, including Warheads, Baby Bottle Pops, Ring Pops and Jasmine-head Pez dispensers. Throw in a bit of our Warhead Punch, and you’ve got SpareFeet losing their phones … and their dignity. No diggity.
Find yourself invited to a SpareFoot happy hour and unsure what to expect? Here’s what we can guarantee.
6:30 p.m. Hungry and thirsty SpareFeet work diligently at their desks, eagerly awaiting an email from the intrepid happy hour organizers announcing that the festivities have begun.
6:35 p.m. “Hey SpareFeet, happy hour is happening on the fifth floor!” is usually as far into the team email anyone will bother to read, never mind the “Be responsible” or “Stay out of the hallways” warnings. Chairs roll backward, computers are left unlocked (much to the chagrin of their owners the following Monday, when they find Marky Mark greeting them on their computer screens), and masses of TGIF-minded SpareFeet flee to the fifth floor to unwind from their week through whatever creative debauchery their hosts have cooked up.
6:40 p.m. If a Songza playlist called “Friday night at the office with your favorite people who all appreciate the sacred value of TGIF mentality” existed, this would be the soundtrack to all SpareFoot happy hours. This typically includes Boyz II Men, old school rock and a healthy dose of Rihanna. Punch is flowing and crab racing might be happening. If you don’t have a drink in your hand, you’ll find one soon enough–even if it’s just to hold someone else’s as he or she throws down at a Beer Pong table.
6:50 p.m. You’ll find yourself gravitating to the spread of delicious who-knows-what laid before you. We’ve had incredible platters from Cazamance, shameless amounts of pizza from Hoboken Pies, and the classic standby of chicken wings from Pluckers to celebrate the Super Bowl. Whatever food ends up in your mouth, we guarantee that it will be delicious. You will be sneaking back up to the fifth floor on your way out, hoping to carry a few cartons of it home. (I am absolutely not speaking from personal experience.)
7 p.m. With food and drink properly integrated into your system, it’s time to get to know the people around you. See that guy with the wacky-but-cool Beer Pong technique? That’s Scooter Womack. And those two absolutely demolishing shuffleboard? They’re Kyle Shelton and Itzett Romero. Oh, and the weird guy lurking in the corner, that’s our social media maven, Matt Stites. Walk around, get to know people and be surprised when it’s way later than you expected.
7:30 p.m. In the meantime, the main event begins. Is it karaoke? Lazer Tag? Dancing? An epic ping-pong tournament? Good luck and be safe. Just a note, though: Do not challenge our co-founder Chuck Gordon to Lazer Tag. You might lose your life.
9 p.m. I was lying before when I said that 7 p.m. was the time to get to know people at happy hour. Now is the true time to get to know them, whether it be through a rowdy game of Beer Pong, a group sing-along to the Spice Girls or just an intense discussion about the new season of “Arrested Development.”
10 p.m. to 1:59 a.m. We’ll leave that up to your imagination.
2 a.m. It is physically impossible to resist Thai food at 2 in the morning. Physically. Impossible.
We’ll be honest–it’s a blessing and a relief that SpareFoot happy hours are only every other week … otherwise, we might not survive. But that’s what you get when you have the most amazing employees working above and beyond every single week. Sometimes, you’ve just got to let loose and embrace the Janet Jackson song that’s coaxing you into a dance-off.
Top image courtesy of David Eli R