BROOKLINE, MA—According to sources who felt professionally obligated to attend, minute three of a management-sponsored after-work gathering at Freddy's Bar and Backroom remains tortuous and almost unbearable for the seven employees of ProVantage Solutions present. "My God, I don't know how much longer I can take this," sales associate Peter Ronson said 122 seconds into the Friday evening event. "We got through the first minute and a half with stilted exchanges about office stuff, but now we're all silently facing the fact that we have absolutely nothing else in common. I know I should stay for at least one drink, but I really just want to go home. Or anywhere else at all, to be honest." At press time four of the coworkers had fabricated awkward excuses to leave while the remaining three had buckled down and determined to "drink [their] way through this thing."
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