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elmwood
07-19-2007, 10:03 AM
A scene I recall from many television shows, and a few movies, from the 1950s: the boss or a hard-working Madison Avenue management-type reaches into a desk drawer, pulls out a bottle of Johnny Walker, pours a glass, and drinks away. A visitor to an office may be offered a drink. I even recall scenes where executives have mini-bars in their office.

A serious question: were these scenes just someone's perception of an idealized work environment from the era, or was drinking at a desk job really common in the 1950s and 1960s? Was it a New York City-only thing, or was it something seen nationally?

friedo
07-19-2007, 10:07 AM
Lots of bigshot executives still have wetbars in their offices, though it isn't anywhere near as common as it used to be.

Giles
07-19-2007, 10:11 AM
A long time ago I saw offices in Australia in the 1960s that had liquor supplies in them. The idea wasn't that you spent all day drinking, but that you had something ready to entertain visitors.

vetbridge
07-19-2007, 10:23 AM
I keep some vodka, scotch, rum, and mixers as well as a case of beer at my office. It is not consumed during work hours, but there are some days when we sit around after work and knock back a few. My employees are all over 21, and I view recreational consumption of alcohol as therapeutic under certain circumstances.

Sean Factotum
07-19-2007, 11:18 AM
Watch the new TV series "Mad Men" on AMC. The very things happen that you describe.

Times were a lot different then. It was acceptable for businesses to provide drinks to visiting clients during the workday. That doesn't mean that the girls in the steno pool were knocking back at 10 in the morning.

engineer_comp_geek
07-19-2007, 11:25 AM
Up until the late 1980's, the office I work in used to have beer in the fridge. It wasn't socially acceptable to pop open a cold one at say 10 am, but if you were working late on a project you could have a beer or two while you were working, and there were huge parties whenever a project was completed.

Shagnasty
07-19-2007, 11:25 AM
We had this exact question a while ago and some people didn't believe it but it is true. People used to drink more hard alcohol in general in the late 1940's - the late 1960's. People actually used their liquor cabinets both at home and sometimes at work casually when any guests came over. Have you ever heard a "3 martini lunch"? Variations on that theme were real as well. The tradition hasn't totally died out. Some tech companies in the Boston area have beer parties on Thursdays or Fridays and then people often go right back to work. This was more common in the .com era but it still happens. My mega-corp seems unusually lax about its official policy. The employee handbook says that alcohol consumed during work hours must be moderate.

Tastes of Chocolate
07-19-2007, 11:35 AM
In the late 80s, it wasn't unusual for people in my office to have a couple of drinks together, over lunch, in the middle of the week. No clients or special events involved.

As late as about 2002, we still had a beer frig. Like someone else mentioned, you didn't pop open a beer at 10am, but Friday afternoon, when it got slow? Sure.

control-z
07-19-2007, 11:37 AM
I know the manager/head broker/whatever of a local Century 21 franchise has a small selection of liquor in his office, and drinks a little during work hours. He's a character.

Santo Rugger
07-19-2007, 12:05 PM
I was at the auto salvage yard this weekend, and the guy there was drinking vodka with sprite at noon. If the guy at the salvage yard does it in the 00s, I'm sure they did it in offices in the 50s. :D

gotpasswords
07-19-2007, 12:06 PM
Our employee manual is similar to Shagnasty's - you're not allowed to be impaired at work, and there's a whole section dealing with how to get approval to obtain and serve alcohol for company-sponsored events.

Bankers can really slug it back at 5:01, I tells ya! A few years ago, when I was at a different bank, you could tell it was 5:00 on Friday as the sound of pop-tops and corks filled the building. Once in a while, somebody would break out the blenders for margaritas.

Balthisar
07-19-2007, 12:16 PM
I don't know what happened to society to cause me to feel so guilty as to not order beer at lunch on the occasions that we go out. What the hell use is eating in a restaurant if you can't have a beer with your meal?

At my previous company, it was the rule that when on the road and charging expenses, you couldn't claim for alcohol, not even just limited, personal consumption. Nothing's said about that at my current employer, though. Now that I think of it, we had a special function at a nice place fairly early in the day with free beer, wine, and booze.

Man, if we don't go to Middle Eastern place next time we do lunch, I'm gonna get me a beer!

Oh, another thought -- I remember know reading that we're not allowed to have alcohol on company property. I remember one time when someone came back from a vacation in Mexico this someone had to sneak in a requested bottle of tequila under the radar.

Oh, also at my previous employer it was dangerous to stay near the aisleways after lunch. I can't tell you how many fork truck drivers I'd see rush in for a quick shot and rush out at the restaurant literally right in front of the main plant entrance. That's kind of like in the workplace.

Exapno Mapcase
07-19-2007, 12:25 PM
It's not exactly as if everyone was drinking on the job in the 1960s, though. Drinking boiled down to three major categories.

1) Top executives. It was perk of the job to have a bar in the office. However, the liquor was mostly brought out to serve to guests, whether to make an impression, to soften them up for negotiations, or to butter them up with their importance.

2) Sales people. Liquor made sales calls easier. You bonded with the person, drank whatever the client drank, and generally tried to slip one over after the other was soused.

3) Creative types. It's no coincidence that the show Mad Men is about the advertising world. For about the first and only time in its existence, advertising was glamorous in the 50s and 60s. The best theory I've heard for this is that the stock market and the accompanying money markets were in a prolonged slump for that period. Today the most creative minds are siphoned off to create billions with incredibly complex financial deals. Without that incentive they went where they could make the best money and have the most interesting career, which was advertising. Liquor was seen as essential to creativity.

Although alcohol was much more widespread generally in the workplace than today, it wasn't everywhere. You probably didn't see much of it at IBM, for example. You saw less of it in smaller cities than in bigger ones. You got away with much less of it the lower down the totem pole you were.

Being able to drink on the job was a symbol of power in a time when a CEO made 20 times the average wage. Today that symbol of power is executive salaries and benefits in a time when a CEO makes 400 times the average wage.

Money always triumphs. It's only when money isn't available (as in politics) that other symbols arise.

Meurglys
07-19-2007, 12:53 PM
As an office worker in the UK in the 70s and 80s, it was common to go out to the pub for lunch for a couple of drinks and no one batted an eye. As we had a busy reception desk, whoever had to man it usually stuck to soft drinks. Some people went occasionally, some virtually every day...
An independent bookshop I also worked in at the time was right beside a pub and they used to let us take pints through so we could have a drink while serving. (Usually on hot summer days.) Our customers were jealous, rather than critical. Especially when the boss got champagne for us! :)

Lunar Saltlick
07-19-2007, 12:56 PM
If you want the straight dope about workplace boozing during the golden age of hard liquor, go to moderndrunkardmagazine.com, scroll down to the bottom of the intro page and click on Juicing on the Job (possibly NSFW).

kopek
07-19-2007, 01:16 PM
We usually had some vodka handy and there was always a carton of smokes on the fridge; just leave your 55 cents (or whatever it was) in the box. And this was in a teachers lounge circa 1975. I kid you not. If we were doing that I don't even want to think what advertising places or newspapers were doing.

The times they are a-changing!

Lanzy
07-19-2007, 01:28 PM
I was watching NCIS the other day and wondering how many directors of agencies keep as much liqour around as she seems to.

But then, I remembered a few years back. A Gov agency I was a contractor to kept a case of beer in the fridge pretty much at all times. And I never went to lunch with them that most of them didn't have a couple of beers.

Phlosphr
07-19-2007, 01:39 PM
Well let's see Alcoholics Anonymous was started in 1939 by a doctor and a lawyer....It's interesting that in the Big Book - the AA book - the stories talk about employers in the 40's and 50's talking about giving people breaks for having too much drink etc...etc... back then it was a stint in an asylum, no programs or anything for alcoholics. There's chapters to the empoyer, to the wives to the family...and they all start with phrases like: When you man/husband goes on a bender you should take close care of them so as not to embarrass them in their place of work or in social situations.etc...etc..
It wasn't until alcoholics Anonymous type programs started to bring to people's attention things like alcoholism in the work place and home...that paradigm changes actually happened.

Sassy
07-19-2007, 02:23 PM
Mid 80's in San Francisco - I was fairly new on the job and chatting with one of the old-timers while getting some tea. He commented on the cold I was obviously treating, then offered me some whisky to add to the tea. Just a courtesy!

Same office took years to deal with one person who was obviously impaired every day after lunch - and dealt with it by telling him he couldn't work/get paid after he went out. (He was disabled - in a wheelchair - as a result of an accident, so it may have seemed harder to confront him than others.) Other offices, same industry, it was accepted that some people would be "unavailable" after lunch.

Duke of Rat
07-19-2007, 02:45 PM
My last boss was OK with some drinks/beer for an office party or special occasion, sometimes there would be leftover booze in the fridge that could be discretely consumed after 5. Any booze on the clock had to be consumed at the party, he didn't like to see you at your desk with a beer, for example. He'd sometimes take me to lunch and a beer or 2 with lunch was OK. He always had a few bottles of booze from places like Korea and Japan in his office that customers would send, but never a fifth of regular booze in his desk drawer.

silenus
07-19-2007, 02:46 PM
It was in the early 60's that an ad exec instructed his people to drink bourbon or scotch instead of vodka. The reasoning being when they screwed up a presentation in the afternoon, he'd rather the client think they were drunk rather than stupid.

Sounds like drinking on the job was pretty widespread.

Rhythmdvl
07-19-2007, 02:54 PM
Submitted for debunkification:

I thought that there was a major change in IRS rules back in the eighties or so that severely tightened up write-offs for dining/entertainment expenses. Something along the lines of no longer allowing or limiting the amount of liquor that could be written off--hence the beginning of the end for the proverbial three-martini lunch.

Did I make that up?

Did I read it in a cartoon somewhere?

Anyone?


Thanks,
Rhythm,
Who works at home, and in honor of this thread is about to pour himself a glass of scotch :)

Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party
07-19-2007, 02:54 PM
I did a few months work with a company a few years ago where going to the pub was a fixture every Friday. The company was only small, but everyone in the office went, had a few, then went back to work.

Zebra
07-19-2007, 02:58 PM
You see what life was like without the SDMB?

Jodi
07-19-2007, 03:04 PM
I keep some vodka, scotch, rum, and mixers as well as a case of beer at my office. It is not consumed during work hours, but there are some days when we sit around after work and knock back a few. My employees are all over 21, and I view recreational consumption of alcohol as therapeutic under certain circumstances.

Are you hiring? Do you need a lawyer?

Harriet the Spry
07-19-2007, 03:20 PM
Submitted for debunkification:

I thought that there was a major change in IRS rules back in the eighties or so that severely tightened up write-offs for dining/entertainment expenses. Something along the lines of no longer allowing or limiting the amount of liquor that could be written off--hence the beginning of the end for the proverbial three-martini lunch.


This cite references such tax reforms in 1986 and again in 1993.

http://waysandmeans.house.gov/Legacy/fullcomm/106cong/6-23-99/6-23woly.htm

Hypno-Toad
07-19-2007, 03:37 PM
2) Sales people. Liquor made sales calls easier. You bonded with the person, drank whatever the client drank, and generally tried to slip one over after the other was soused.


I thought I read it on the Straight Dope that the drink known as the Gibson was created for this purpose. A guy named Gibson had rather weak martinis made and marked with an onion rather than an olive. The client would be getting soused while Gibson stayed steady on his lower-powered cocktail.

Exapno Mapcase
07-19-2007, 04:29 PM
And the slogan for Smirnoff Vodka was Smirnoff leaves you breathless.

As a kid at a time, it made no sense to me but later I learned they were pushing vodka so you didn't have the telltale scent of alcohol on your breath.

And the Gibson story, while widespread, is almost certainly a UL.

This one (http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0308c&L=ads-l&D=1&P=6735) is more likely:
The Gibson Cocktail. The most cosmopolitan person, the only boulevardier I ever knew was my good friend, the now-departed Walter Campbell Gibson. Walter was a partner in the firm of H. Hentz, through which the master speculator, Bernard Baruch, traded in the 20s and 30s. Walter lived much of his life in Europe, particularly in Paris and knew everyone there. A moderate drinker, he favored the cozy, small Ritz bar in the rear of the Ritz Hotel on the Place Vend˘me.

His favorite drink was a dry martini, straight up. In those days there was no such thing as "on the rocks". One day Walter asked for a pearl onion in his cocktail instead of the customary olive. Although probably not a usual staple in a prewar Parisian bar, the usual Ritz efficiency produced a small white onion with a little effort. Thus the Gibson was invented and named after the man who preferred an onion to an olive.

Rhythmdvl
07-19-2007, 04:37 PM
I thought I read it on the Straight Dope that the drink known as the Gibson was created for this purpose.

Unless/until Cecil comes in with a definitive answer, the origin is in doubt. Some stories from Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martini_%28cocktail%29#History_of_the_drink):

Although Charles Dana Gibson is most likely responsible for the creation of the Gibson martini (where a pickled onion serves as the garnish), the details are debated and several alternate stories exist. In one story, Gibson challenged Charley Connolly, the bartender of the Players' Club in New York City, to improve upon the martini's recipe, so Connolly simply substituted an onion for the olive and named the drink after the patron. Other stories involve different Gibsons, such as an apocryphal American diplomat who served in Europe during Prohibition. Although he was a teetotaller, he often had to attend receptions where cocktails were served. To avoid an awkward situation, Gibson would ask the staff to fill his martini glass with cold water and garnish it with a small onion so that he could pick it out among the gin drinks. A similar story postulates a savvy investment banker named Gibson, who would take his clients out for the proverbial three-martini business lunches. He purportedly had the bartender serve him cold water, permitting him to remain sober while his clients became intoxicated; the cocktail onion garnish served to distinguish his beverage from those of his clients.

Another version of the origin story, included in The Good Man's Weakness by Charles McCabe, states that the drink was created in San Francisco by Walter D. K. Gibson (1864-1938) at the Bohemian Club around 1900.

Small British Shop Owner
07-19-2007, 05:02 PM
Bankers can really slug it back at 5:01, I tells ya! A few years ago, when I was at a different bank, you could tell it was 5:00 on Friday as the sound of pop-tops and corks filled the building. Once in a while, somebody would break out the blenders for margaritas.

I don't know what kind of bank you were in where the Bankers stopped working at five!

But yes, we could drink. A lot.

There are still remenants of this culture in the UK, and I am sad to see it go. I partly blame stronger beers: I haven't seen a pint of mild for donkey's.

Small British Shop Owner
07-19-2007, 05:05 PM
Well let's see Alcoholics Anonymous was started in 1939 by a doctor and a lawyer....It's interesting that in the Big Book - the AA book - the stories talk about employers in the 40's and 50's talking about giving people breaks for having too much drink etc...etc... back then it was a stint in an asylum, no programs or anything for alcoholics. There's chapters to the empoyer, to the wives to the family...and they all start with phrases like: When you man/husband goes on a bender you should take close care of them so as not to embarrass them in their place of work or in social situations.etc...etc..
It wasn't until alcoholics Anonymous type programs started to bring to people's attention things like alcoholism in the work place and home...that paradigm changes actually happened.

Disgusting, really. A few people who couldn't handle their drink spoiled the fun for ninety nine percent of us. And said people still can't handle their drink.

But this is always the case with the nanny state culture when it discovers a good yet treacherous thing.

Mr. Slant
07-19-2007, 05:19 PM
My conservative large corp employer's policy is 'no drinking at company events, property, etc' and has a single exception.
Salesmen entertaining customers can use alcohol as they see fit.

cher3
07-19-2007, 05:23 PM
Disgusting, really. A few people who couldn't handle their drink spoiled the fun for ninety nine percent of us. And said people still can't handle their drink.

But this is always the case with the nanny state culture when it discovers a good yet treacherous thing.

A little more treacherous than you think, maybe:

From a recently published study:

"About 42 percent of men and about 19 percent of women reported a history of either alcohol abuse or alcoholism during their lives. Whites and Native Americans were more likely than other ethnic groups to report drinking problems.

Alcohol abuse was defined as drinking-related failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home; social or legal problems; and drinking in hazardous situations. Alcoholism was characterized by compulsive drinking; preoccupation with drinking; and tolerance to alcohol or withdrawal symptoms."

http://sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=030000MUKM4C

Small British Shop Owner
07-19-2007, 05:25 PM
A little more treacherous than you think, maybe:

From a recently published study:

"About 42 percent of men and about 19 percent of women reported a history of either alcohol abuse or alcoholism during their lives. Whites and Native Americans were more likely than other ethnic groups to report drinking problems.

Alcohol abuse was defined as drinking-related failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home; social or legal problems; and drinking in hazardous situations. Alcoholism was characterized by compulsive drinking; preoccupation with drinking; and tolerance to alcohol or withdrawal symptoms."

http://sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=030000MUKM4C

Note the crappy definition that makes someone who calls in sick one day with a hangover as having an alcohol problem.

Athena
07-19-2007, 05:38 PM
Note the crappy definition that makes someone who calls in sick one day with a hangover as having an alcohol problem.

Not to mention "tolerance to alcohol."

If definitions like these are applied, just about everyone is an alcoholic.

Duke of Rat
07-19-2007, 05:49 PM
Note the crappy definition that makes someone who calls in sick one day with a hangover as having an alcohol problem.

I drink quite a bit and I don't call in sick because of a hangover. If I have to go to work the next day, I just don't drink as much. If you drink to the point that you can't go to work, I'd say you did have a problem. Now that's not to say I don't tie one on if I don't have to work, but it's been a good 20 years or so since I've called in sick because of being hungover (not to say I haven't gone to work hungover).

Interestingly enough, I hardly drink on the weekends. I don't want to feel even the least little down on my free time :D

cher3
07-19-2007, 05:52 PM
No, that's not what it means. It just means that alcoholics aren't by any means the only people to have significant problems related to alcohol use over the course of their lifetimes.

They're actually quite specific about the definitions. I've just observed that a lot of people write off a pretty chronic problems related to alcohol use just because they aren't, clinically-speaking, alcoholic.

I'm not trying to hijack, I just objected to the notion that 99% of drinkers were just fine thank you and it was those few alkies that ruined everything.

Someone in another thread mentioned that they knew someone who was fired because her boss found out she used a sick day to go the beach. How would using a sick day to nurse a hangover be any more acceptable?

Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party
07-19-2007, 05:52 PM
Now that's not to say I don't tie one on if I don't have to work, but it's been a good 20 years or so since I've called in sick because of being hungover (not to say I haven't gone to work hungover).


:confused:

So you did have an alcohol problem, twenty years ago?

Freddy the Pig
07-19-2007, 05:55 PM
I thought that there was a major change in IRS rules back in the eighties or so that severely tightened up write-offs for dining/entertainment expenses. Something along the lines of no longer allowing or limiting the amount of liquor that could be written off--hence the beginning of the end for the proverbial three-martini lunch.

Did I make that up?No, the government limited tax deductions for "business entertainment" as part of the tax reform act of, I believe, 1986.

The issue was first raised by Jimmy Carter during his 1976 campaign. Carter coined or at least popularized the phrase "three-martini lunch". The gripe at the time, with respect to three martinis, wasn't so much that they were alcoholic but that they were extravagant. Businessmen (and it was usually men at the time) were treating themselves to expensive lunches at company expense, for which neither they nor the company would pay taxes.

Carter failed to get a tax reform law enacted during his administration, and the issue remained to be mopped up during the Reagan years. By that time, however, the literal three-martini lunch was already in decline, due to the reasons mentioned in this thread--social disapproval of heavy drinking, liability concerns, more women in the workplace, and a more rigorous and competitive business environment.

Duke of Rat
07-19-2007, 06:19 PM
:confused:

So you did have an alcohol problem, twenty years ago?

I tended to not give a fuck back then, I'd call in sick for any number of excuses including staying up all night drinking. Then I grew up.

Tripler
07-19-2007, 07:33 PM
I'm an Executive Officer for a General and a Colonel (a double whammy), and I keep Johnny Black on hand for late-night work at the office. The Goddamned problem is that being an Exec for a MAJCOM, I'm so damned busy, I never have time to drink it. . .

So my six-month bottles sit full. I relish the day I can break that seal, flip off the secretary, and have a Scotch in the office.

Tripler
Okay, most of that was untrue, except the part about flipping off the secretary and having a scotch.

dalej42
07-19-2007, 07:58 PM
Here (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=351707&highlight=office) is my similar thread from a couple of years ago.

Mister Rik
07-19-2007, 08:36 PM
I drink quite a bit and I don't call in sick because of a hangover. If I have to go to work the next day, I just don't drink as much. If you drink to the point that you can't go to work, I'd say you did have a problem. Now that's not to say I don't tie one on if I don't have to work, but it's been a good 20 years or so since I've called in sick because of being hungover (not to say I haven't gone to work hungover).

Interestingly enough, I hardly drink on the weekends. I don't want to feel even the least little down on my free time :D
Back in my 20s, when I was a drunk (I never had to go to those damn meetings ... :D ), I was drinking, at minimum, a 12-pack every single night. Usually more. It wasn't unusual for me to get off work, start drinking, and keep drinking until I couldn't drink any more. At one point during that time, I had to be to work every day at 4:30 AM. I'd get off work at half past noon, go to the bar next door, and drink until midnight. Then I'd go home and pass out in bed, pop back up at 3:00 AM, and start it all over again. In all that time, I showed up for work every single day, on time, and put in a good day's work.

Which is why I have no tolerance for people who make a habit of calling in sick because they're hung over. (Also because the people who do that tend to always do it on my friggin' day off, and I get called in. Grr.)

Una Persson
07-20-2007, 09:07 AM
I'm in the "special class" at my company of people who are allowed to drink during work hours, because I entertain and sell to clients directly. There is even a secret "club" at my company on the top floor, where whales can be taken to relax in leather splendour with liveried servants to bring them whatever drink they want. Hey, if someone's going to dump a $100 million bit of work on you, do a lot of things. Shoot, my company would probably set up a hookah and opium den if they thought it would help sell. But yes, my drinks are reimbursable, so I don't even pay for them in the end (but I do have to expense them separately due to IRS rules).

Technically speaking, my company's rules say that you're on your honour not to be drunk while on work, and if you're in the construction side and have an accident, or even driving a rental car and have an accident, the boom comes down on you pretty hard, and your career will be over. It will then be time for an early retirement and blacklisting, punctuated by stints as a short-order cook at Burger King to make your house payments.

This apparently has changed over time - in the 1950's and such, my company was notorious in the industry as being a prohibitionist company in terms of alcohol, which, according to corporate legend, cost us several large projects when we refused to supply potential clients with alcohol. Part of this was due to the founders belonging to a temperance-oriented church, and part of it was due to a rigid system of almost brutal working conditions, where you could be asked to leave if you wore above an ankle-length skirt, or your tie had a design on it which was not paisley or striped.

This thread could also cover the issue of prostitution during working hours...some of our competitors are notorious in Eastern countries for providing prostitutes for clients, including a (reputed) scandal where a strict Mormon client ended up with 2 (likely) 12 year-old Thai hookers in his room... I've met one person, a VP at a competing company, who personally claimed in Japan they entered their room and thought they were in the wrong room because there was a nearly naked Russian woman in bed. Turns out she was his "welcome basket". He claims to have been horribly embarrassed and he finally had to call for the bellhops to remove her, as she claimed wasn't going to get paid until she did "something."

vetbridge
07-20-2007, 09:20 AM
This thread could also cover the issue of prostitution during working hours
Now that is one perk I do not offer my employees (who are all female, BTW). :p

Hypno-Toad
07-20-2007, 09:22 AM
(who are all female, BTW). :p

Not an issue as long as Fred Garvin: Male Prostitute is on the job!

Beware of Doug
07-20-2007, 09:26 AM
[...]you could be asked to leave if you wore above an ankle-length skirt, or your tie had a design on it which was not paisley or striped.Paisley was preferable to solid colors? Or eeensy pin dots? :dubious:

Maybe the 1950s was Silly Decade at your company, where people could be summarily fired for saying "Clamato" or "Abernathy" on Wednesday mornings, or failing to place Jujubes under their tires in the parking lot.

<clicks intercom> "Miss Kubelick, bring us two gin-and-scotches...oh, and the intestines of a freshly killed marmoset."

Phlosphr
07-20-2007, 09:56 AM
As a kid at a time, it made no sense to me but later I learned they were pushing vodka so you didn't have the telltale scent of alcohol on your breath.


And I assume you had the "Ah Ha" moment and realized that Vodka does in fact, smell on one's breath? I thought vodka didn't smell either, until Mrs.Phlosphr quite eloquently put it one night many years ago after an evening of Vodka Tonics..."You fucking wreak like alcohol...."
I haven't touched a drink in several years now...Quite happy about it too.
Disgusting, really. A few people who couldn't handle their drink spoiled the fun for ninety nine percent of us. And said people still can't handle their drink.
Is this a serious comment or are you intending to be snarky? If you are intending to be snarky, I'd urge you to sign up as a member to the SDMB to discuss this further.

chowder
07-20-2007, 10:27 AM
I don't know what kind of bank you were in where the Bankers stopped working at five!

But yes, we could drink. A lot.

There are still remenants of this culture in the UK, and I am sad to see it go. I partly blame stronger beers: I haven't seen a pint of mild for donkey's.
Are you serious? :dubious:

Most if not all pubs sell mild beers alomg with the rest, I suggest you get out more.

Also, what Phlosphr said in his closing

parsnip
07-20-2007, 10:56 AM
I went to work as an underliing at an engineering firm in 1978. There was a written procedure dated in the mid 60's as to how to set up the bar for board of director meetings. About 15 years later the facilities manager called me up and told me to dispose of inventory since that era was over. I dumped over 30 opened bottles of hard liquor down the utility sink. Some of it hadn't been touched for 10 years.

neutron star
07-20-2007, 11:12 AM
Is this a serious comment or are you intending to be snarky? If you are intending to be snarky, I'd urge you to sign up as a member to the SDMB to discuss this further.

I believe that this somewhat controversial guest has vowed not to sign up after his thirty days have expired, though he does seem pretty keen on posting an average of over twelve posts per day until that time comes.

I've met one person, a VP at a competing company, who personally claimed in Japan they entered their room and thought they were in the wrong room because there was a nearly naked Russian woman in bed. Turns out she was his "welcome basket". He claims to have been horribly embarrassed and he finally had to call for the bellhops to remove her, as she claimed wasn't going to get paid until she did "something."

Damn! Interesting anecdote, Una. You'd think that if they were going to that much trouble to procure a client, they'd have some kind of handle on his personality beforehand. I'd have been just as embarrassed and offended as he was in that situation!

Common Tater
07-20-2007, 11:17 AM
When I was stationed in Europe, I noticed that the civilian contracters (germans) would drink a couple beers at lunch. This privilege was enshrined in their labor agreement. Clever, those Germans. American GIs used to be able to do this as well, a good and noble tradition.

I used to wonder how Prohibition could possibly have passed in the US, but not any longer.
Very much a "control freak" society.

Una Persson
07-20-2007, 11:27 AM
Paisley was preferable to solid colors? Or eeensy pin dots? :dubious: [/size]
Well, I don't know about a specific colour, but I do know that men were being sent home at my company, all time lost to be made up by them later, to change their ties if they were too "unconventional." One man did fight the system, though, and it almost brought the whole company to its knees. He started wearing WWF (World Wildlife Fund, not wrestling) ties, and was sent home several times because it was "unprofessional" to have animals on a tie. So he wore an American Bald Eagle one day, and that erupted into a massive debate where one manager wanted to send him home without pay, and another said that he was "god damned" if anyone was going to be sent home for wearing a bald eagle tie, the symbol of freedom, Jesus, and our fighting men and women...and similar dreck. That turned into a series of meeting among the upper management to discuss, with no resolution pending. Then, this rebel of a guy, he started wearing ties which had other birds on them. Endangered birds, raptors, owls, and again he was sent home. This time, however, he started to raise a fuss, since the ties were technically a charity thing, and other people were allowed, once a year, to wear their United Way (which is run by Satan) ties.

This turned into a massive debate which again shook the foundations of the company to the core, and he was not sent home, although he did get a "talking to" nearly every week about how "unprofessional" a Red Tailed Hawk tie was, or how "professional people do NOT wear a tie with a picture of an owl on it. This isn't the college dorms, you know." Finally, after a process which must have consumed hundreds of person-hours, a very painfully-worded memo was released, to the entire company, which was solemnly read out loud over the intercom, which said that the company was "loosening its restrictions" and would allow tasteful ties which depicted wildlife in a non cartoon manner, on a case by case basis. And from that time on, that man who wore the WWF ties was the Spartacus of the Department.

The year was 1995, and I personally witnessed it. Now that's old-freaking-school. And it wasn't until 2000 that women were allowed to not wear hose. Hey, got to get in touch with the new millennium, right...?

Elendil's Heir
07-20-2007, 11:28 AM
... the facilities manager called me up and told me to dispose of inventory since that era was over. I dumped over 30 opened bottles of hard liquor down the utility sink....

The horror... the horror! Would they have objected if you'd just taken the booze home with you? Or wouldn't you have been interested?

I've worked for both the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County (the greater Cleveland area), both of which prohibit any alcohol consumption by employees during the workday. Don't know if that's typical of American local government.

Una Persson
07-20-2007, 11:32 AM
Damn! Interesting anecdote, Una. You'd think that if they were going to that much trouble to procure a client, they'd have some kind of handle on his personality beforehand. I'd have been just as embarrassed and offended as he was in that situation!
Some Eastern companies are very, very out of touch with Western companies and practices, especially when they haven't dealt with them before. And some Western companies are out of touch with Eastern companies as well. In this case, the company in question was only used to dealing with a couple of big-name companies in the US (you'd recognize them immediately if I said there names) where the sales people fully expect underage hookers to be waiting for them. Nothing shows the good side of America like insisting on fucking 12 year old girls and burnt out Ukrainian whores to work off your jet lag. :rolleyes:

Beware of Doug
07-20-2007, 11:48 AM
... the facilities manager called me up and told me to dispose of inventory since that era was over. I dumped over 30 opened bottles of hard liquor down the utility sink....The horror... the horror! Would they have objected if you'd just taken the booze home with you? Or wouldn't you have been interested?And you did it on a lousy steenkin' PHONE CALL. No one breathing down your neck counting bottles and saying you have five minutes and you will show me all 30odd empties when I come back, plus walk a straight line on the carpet and allow me to smell you in a personally invasive fashion.

Were you perhaps gunning for Employee of the Month? Or Decade?

neutron star
07-20-2007, 02:18 PM
In this case, the company in question was only used to dealing with a couple of big-name companies in the US (you'd recognize them immediately if I said there names) where the sales people fully expect underage hookers to be waiting for them. Nothing shows the good side of America like insisting on fucking 12 year old girls and burnt out Ukrainian whores to work off your jet lag. :rolleyes:

Gotta love those pedophilic movers and shakers in corporate America who make ten times more than I ever will.

God, that's so depressing. :mad:

msmith537
07-20-2007, 03:45 PM
From my experience in management consulting firms, drinking during lunch (when one actually has time to take a lunch) isn't all that common, but drinking after work is fairly common. Often you are with a team out of town so you might go out to dinner with drinks or a bottle of wine. We frequently have organized open bar happy hours and socials which often escalate in some senior guy taking some of the folks out to a strip club or something. Many of the technology firms I've worked at have the occassional friday beer bash or whatever during the day.

DrDeth
07-20-2007, 08:25 PM
Watch the new TV series "Mad Men" on AMC. The very things happen that you describe.

Times were a lot different then. .

Well, just because it is seen on a (very unrealistic) TV show doesn't mean it was like that IRL. My Uncle was on Madison Avenue, and there was quite a bit of the old "two martini lunch" but anyone who drank during work hours was considered a "lush" and shunned. I am not saying that after work they might not pour one, but rarely during working hours (except for lunch).

Savannah
07-20-2007, 11:38 PM
Based on this thread, and the one that dalej42 referenced, I fully intend to bring in a small bottle of rye to keep in my desk drawer come Monday.

In my career, I have never seen anyone drink during 9-5 business hours, with the exception of Christmas lunch or a fancy farewell lunch for a longtime employee. And with the exception of a known alcoholic at my previous job, who was inebriated on the job, but never drank before witnesses.

In our office, there's a kitchen, and we usually have a couple of bottles of wine, and maybe some beer or ciders. However, those supplies are only used on Friday evening "wine and whine" sessions, and those have become less frequent in the last year. We used to have a fairly regular post-work-week gang with wine and nibblies, and I know the company was invoiced for the booze on occasion.

Cathartic, and enjoyable, I say.

missbunny
07-21-2007, 12:10 PM
From my experience in management consulting firms, drinking during lunch (when one actually has time to take a lunch) isn't all that common, but drinking after work is fairly common. Often you are with a team out of town so you might go out to dinner with drinks or a bottle of wine.

My experience in mgmt. consulting was the same. We had an office party with liquor almost every Friday starting at 3 or 4:00, and everyone would go and have a few and then go back to their desks and continue working. Or not even stay at the party but just bring their drinks back to their desks and keep on working. On dinners at night out with the client or the team, we absolutely drank anything we wanted. Very often a group (20-40 people) would go out for drinks after work and a partner would pick up the tab for everyone.

Re what Una said about dress codes. When I started in 1995, the rule against women wearing pants had only recently been abolished, because a female partner made a great big noisy fuss about it. Women still had to wear pantyhose as late as 1999, when I left.

F. U. Shakespeare
07-21-2007, 01:03 PM
I work for an intelligence agency where illegal drug use results in the swift loss of one's security clearance. In fact, it used to be the case that smoking grass even one time, years before applying, prevented you from getting a clearance.

So when I started work here in 1986, I found it amusing that there were beer vending machines in the cafeteria. They were around for a couple more years, and were removed around the same time as the sweeping bans on workplace smoking.

According to colleagues of mine who worked here in the 1970s, it was no big deal to keep alcohol in your desk. You didn't get sloshed every morning, but if you had an airline bottle of whiskey with lunch at your desk once in a while, nobody cared.

Small British Shop Owner
07-21-2007, 02:03 PM
Is this a serious comment or are you intending to be snarky? If you are intending to be snarky, I'd urge you to sign up as a member to the SDMB to discuss this further.

A serious comment, confrotationally phrased. Feel free to take it to Great Debates.

Small British Shop Owner
07-21-2007, 02:04 PM
Most if not all pubs sell mild beers alomg with the rest, I suggest you get out more.

I think it's you that needs to get out of Manchester! I promise you that in most parts of the country it's damn hard to find.

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