FIRE Station Fun – Drinking On The Job

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When I resigned from MegaCorp early last year, I brought a bottle of fine Scotch Whisky into my boss’s office to toast my farewell. We didn’t crack it open because he wasn’t feeling well that day and he told me it would have been a violation of company policy. 

I suppose that makes sense on some level, but believe it or not, it came as a surprise to me!

The first MegaCorp I worked for (for 12 years) was a well-known branded food company owned by a British drinks & spirits conglomerate.  There was often beer and booze at company events.  We enjoyed our company brands and I never thought twice about it. 

A later MegaCorp (where I spent the next 12 years) would frequently toast success with champagne when we set a new quarterly sales record (which was often).  It was no Mad Men, but since we were responsible enough to run billion-dollar businesses, what was the problem?

So, this last MegaCorp banned alcohol of ALL kinds in the office.  I was later told there was even a restriction that if you had a beer/wine over lunch you weren’t able to return to the office that day.  I’m not admitting I ever broke the policy, but since I didn’t know it was a rule, I worked there 3 years, and I frequently went out to lunch – you can probably guess what happened.  

It’s easy for a MegaCorp to put out a policy like this.  It doesn’t cost them anything and probably saves them from a few headaches despite treating every employee like a child.

What has been your experience with this?  Valuable corporate rule or just another example of MegaCorp treating responsible adults like children?

13 thoughts on “FIRE Station Fun – Drinking On The Job

  1. In my old job, one of the major beverage company in UK was our client, and they had a free onsite bar in the office which opened at 5pm everyday. I heard that all staff got a free crate of beer everything month. I didn’t notice any issues at all when I went to their offices, and certainly nobody from the client side seemed tipsy after lunch.

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    • I worked with an ad agency that had a bar with beer and wine. We would schedule 3pm meetings there and enjoy a cold one.

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    • you name beer= the glass of liquid with 4% alcohol that I bought in London? neee, that was hydration or kidney treatment 😀
      (sorry folks, I come from Belgium where a good beer has 8-10% alcohol :D, the monasteries did well )

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve noticed in my 20+ years in the US that there seem to be unwritten (and sometime official) policies against lunchtime drinking. Far different from the UK, where it’s very common to go for a “liquid lunch”. One place I worked for made no fuss if some employees didn’t return to work after lunch on Fridays (but then we did have a statutory 37.5 hour work week)…

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    • Friday afternoons off are sometimes called “summer hours” in Minnesota, where we live. On group of colleagues had a semi-regular bar hopping event planned for some of those Fridays.

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  3. I think it’s sort of a sad reflection of the direction of our litigious society today. Toward the end of my teaching career, it was dictated that we not let children RUN on the black topped portion of the playground. Heaven forbid the little petunias should trip and skin something up while chasing after a basketball. Seriously??? We want to make kids NOT RUN? Looks like we got out at about the right time! ~ Lynn

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  4. My Megacorp had children working there, so it was appropriate to treat us like children. We used to play video games and basketball all day long. Part of the job, of course… worked at a video game related company hahaha

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  5. I used to get a “beer allowance” when I was working on projects abroad. Was about $3-5 per day to buy a beer or wine at the local bar/club/restaurant at dinner of during the evenings. And yes, I’ve seen some weird sh*t happening on those sites too. Probably not a good idea, not sure if it is still happening, has been a while. But if you are a responsible drinker, it’s a great little extra to get on top of your expat pay.

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    • Wow – a “beer allowance”. That’s cool. I traveled a lot when I was working, but was never tied to a per diem. I could pretty much eat wherever for however much I wanted.

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      • The places I stayed usually didn’t have any restaurants were we could (or were allowed to) eat. Got to think labor camps here, so the beer allowance was a “nice to have”.

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  6. there is no value for me to drink alcohol. But in my last holiday in France I noticed it was common to see “lunch offers” that contain:
    -a generous salad
    -small quantity of carbo
    -small quantity of protein
    -a glass of wine (150ml).
    And a lot of people enjoying this menu.

    I want to live French live, forever. With a glass of French wine, of course 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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