I Discovered My Friends Wait Until I Leave the Room and Do a Communal Shot Without Me

Is this a sneaky snub or a gesture of care and concern?

Jim Farina
6 min readAug 16, 2022


"Whiskey Shots" by Kirti Poddar is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

I recently discovered that a couple of friends of mine did shots while I stepped away to take a leak. It was only 3 of us too, which made it odder. We were hanging out late at the office, bumping a robust Bluetooth speaker to a respectable indie playlist I'd just proudly unleashed.

We had some great conversations about music concerts, movies, and all things pop culture while enjoying some happy hour beverages. I already missed three trains to the burbs from our downtown Chicago office.

I'm okay with missing a few more trains at this point. I was having a great time with the guys. Isn't a round of shots among close buddies a representation of fellowship and brotherhood? I always thought of it as a communal expression of common kinship. Being excluded from a trio or any size group makes me feel like an outsider.

I recall once arriving late to our office cafe space for a small happy hour with another friend and co-worker. For a giggle, somebody cordoned off a section of the space to create the appearance of a VIP lounge. I know it was a playful joke, but seeing the group on the inside laughing at us on the outside made me feel noticeably uncomfortable.

Perhaps it stems from some traumatic childhood event where I was left out of play— who knows? I know it's stupid and irrational, but that's how I'm wired. I'm trying to rewire my brain. I believe in neuroplasticity wholeheartedly.

I suspected shots were had while I was in the restroom. It had to be accomplished quickly, as I couldn't have been gone much more than a few short minutes. My suspicion was later confirmed by one of the guys involved. I immediately thought it strange that I was excluded this way. The clandestine, underhandedness of the act made me feel uneasy and a little sad.

The moment I was out of range, my friends had to scurry up from their relaxed places on the cushioned bench arrangement. They had to open a cabinet to retrieve shot glasses and an adjacent cabinet where a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey is kept among various coveted…