How to Drink Like a Professional at the Office


Let’s be clear. This isn’t about treating the office like a freshman dorm party. It isn’t about illicit libations or the full bar you keep by the desk for entertaining clients. Or the bottle you keep in the drawer for when you’re pushing paper and burning the midnight oil.

This is more about condoned and sanctioned organized drinking in the cubical farm; drinking during a conference meeting, more or less. That meeting can be with your superior or with 10 other co-workers in the room.  This isn’t Mad Men and you are not Don Draper, who by the way would be classified as an incredible alcoholic in reality; not because he drinks a lot, but because he suffers little to no consequences for his drinking habits.

Believe it or not, drinking in the office is still prevalent today especially in places like Europe (UK for example) and in the more notably the recent popping-ups of thriving digital industries in New York City and Tech companies abound that are all about “the office bar”.

Every workspace should have a manly storage of booze. Presuming your workplace is not a daycare center, hospital, vehicle or any institution that is vital for maintaining the safety of the public and or people. We aren’t talking beer here ( it would be nice but you can stock the break room fridge with it), we are talking mainly booze of the dark variety ( Your Scotches’, Bourbons, Cognacs etc). The booze along with some tongs, ice bucket, Old fashioned glasses and decanters should be placed on a cart and stored in a closet. If it’s just you, your boss or 3 people, just caveman those glasses and bottle and bring them with you. If it’s a large group or meeting then be a class act and roll that cart in like a boss, and make sure there is a decent variety (3 most popular choices around the office) on the cart.

The drinking meeting should happen around/near the end of the day and should be vaguely goal oriented, and here is why.

Drinking in the office can be a strategy to make you stay longer. If you start throwing drink orientated meetings around in the morning like a sorority girl tossing her cat at every guy with washboard abs then you my friend will be f*cked for sure by noon. The trick is to have most of your work done before you start with the booze cart so that you don’t end up having to stay late and end up drinking even more since your now behind. It’s a different case when you are asked to come in on a weekend, by all means start as early as you want; your freedom is gone anyways.

You are most likely going to want to nap after. Most cubical offices/spaces are a dying breed these days with the onset of new HR plans that make for a more open floor plan for more bonding and conviviality. As stupid and moronic as this new initiative is the fact remains is that privacy is becoming a scarce commodity around the office when needing time to get some shut-eye or play some online poker. This means that you can’t even put your head down on your desk and grab a few winks of shut-eye. Unless you are very, very important, I suspect you don’t have a couch in your private office. Unless you are very, very brazen, you probably don’t want to waltz into the storage closet and risk getting ratted on by the office prude (everyone office has one) while they try to find the recent shipment of Tyvek envelopes that you just so happen to be crashing on top of.  This is why the drinking meetings at the end of the day are advised, so you can go home a shack off those office drinks before you have some more when your buddies come over for the game.

If you are going to drink at the office do it with panache and a touch of class. And if you have a slight drinking problem here are some ways to mask your tendency to over indulge and become a more refined fool around the bottle.

  1. The first pour says a lot about a person. The first pour should suggest restraint and enthusiasm at the same time. You don’t want to over pour and seem like the equivalent of a sex-starved sailor on shore for leave towards the bottle. You could have poured yourself more, but you’re just having this much. You could have poured yourself less, but you’re having this much. About two fingers if it’s neat. Halfway up the glass if it’s on the rocks. A three-quarters-full glass if you’re mixing it with tonic or club soda.
  2. Don’t drink immediately. Let it sit there and meander for a few seconds. Wait ‘til everyone has a drink in front of them. Anyway, you are not so eager here like the aforementioned sailor. You’re meditative — not just of the drink but at the topics at hand.
  3. Never drink more than your boss.Obviously. The hierarchy of intake should reflect the hierarchy of the organization: The boss drinks the most. The assistant drinks the slightest. It’s a sliding scale that everyone should honor.
  4. But drink like you mean it. Intent and congruence go hand in hand like cheerleaders and revealing attire. Take deep full sips. You’re drinking, not wine tasting in Cali, so drink. Just know when to take it easy and slow down.

The meeting will probably last an hour give or take.  People become drunk after an hour and a half of drinking. And you don’t really want to be inebriated. Besides, you have to go home or out to dinner or out to a bar. You have your life to go to. Perhaps your wife wants to be pounded hard and given the goods that evening; a whiskey-dick and sluggish forethought will not suffice. And you don’t want to be twisted when you get there. You just want to feel good when you get home — about your job and your work and the ideas you just came up with in a productive discussion at which you happened to drink.


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