Monday, October 29, 2007

Drinking During the Workday

I don’t know how Darrin Stephens and Larry Tate did it. On most episodes of Bewitched they threw around advertising campaign ideas over 2, 3 or even 4 martini lunches, then poured a fresh drink in the conference room when the client arrived for the pitch.

Yes, I know it was just TV, but I get the impression that tossing back a drink or two during the lunch hour, and perhaps a snort in the afternoon, was a bit more prevalent in the past then it is now. The last couple of positions I have had required a signed statement included with the standard pages of agreements a new employee signs stating clearly that consumption of alcohol was strictly forbidden during the work day. A bottle of wine or cocktail at a business dinner was alright, but certainly not during the day.

After I started my own business I thought I would explore this freedom a bit. A week or so after I completed my work for my previous employer and started out on my own, I sat down to a light lunch at my home office. A nice plate of fine cheese, some fruit and a couple glasses of wine. It was a wonderful meal. When I woke up a couple hours later after what I thought would be resting my eyes while reading a proposal on my recliner, I realized it wasn’t such a good thing.

A month or so later I had a business lunch at McReary’s Pub in downtown Franklin. So of course, having signed no agreement with myself that I would not drink during the work day I enjoyed two fine pints of premium imported ale. And of course, when I got back to the office I could hardly function. Not that I was drunk- two ales over a 90 minutes with a big lunch and my body weight hardly moves the meter- but I was relaxed. Too relaxed. I found myself closing my eyes at my desk and generally unmotivated to attack the afternoon.

I have recently drafted an agreement between me and my company and I will not be drinking any alcohol during the workday.

Perhaps it’s just how alcohol affects me. Some people become animated and energized with a few drinks. I am totally the opposite. For the most part I am animated and energized WITHOUT anything to drink. A drink or two seems to shut off my brain, hyper-relax me, and cause me to sink deeper into anything I am sitting or laying in.

Once a year the perfect storm occurs. A mid-afternoon Thanksgiving feast with a few glasses of wine. I promptly pass out.