Thursday, March 13, 2014

Drinking on the Job

This morning I got a pleasant surprise. I was cited in an AJ Jacobs' article:

My initial answer, from which he pulled my response, was, "First, you're assuming the post was truthful. I lie all the time on the internet. Or do I? Second, three beers does necessarily equal intoxication. It could, but depending on their size, ABV, employee's biology, etc. it might not have done very much at all. Third (and really first), do you have a policy about being under the influence of drugs and alcohol in place? If you do not, you have no footing to punish for the drinking itself. If the employee is capable of doing the job, that should be the determining factor."

(I realize I left out the word "not" in "does necessarily equal intoxication". Thankfully, AJ was able to grasp what I was saying.)

I'm not advocating drinking on the job. At least not for most jobs or most people. But I've had menial jobs in the past, and I would occasionally sneak off for a drink or two before alphabetizing a box of books or sweeping the porch free of leaves. Don't drink and drive. But I'd certainly say you should consider having a beer before, during, and/or after digging holes for a garden. Also, some writers find that alcohol helps them write. 

In college I would mix Jagermeister and SoBe's No Fear (an energy drink) for what I called a "Don't Fear the Jager". The ratio was usually 1:2, but I discovered that it helped with my writing. I would mix it much weaker, like 1:8 and I called that a "Paperwriter". The caffeine kept me going, and the little bit of alcohol loosened my inhibitions. I wrote many college papers, usually getting a B/B+. Once I got a D, but that was mostly because that class was much harder than the rest. (A word of warning: if you're going to stay up all night drinking and writing a paper, remember that you've been up all night drinking. That means take a cab or arrange a ride from someone. Also: don't go to fencing class, like I did. Dislocated my knee.)

I'm pursuing a career in writing, and I've found that a glass of absinthe can put me in the state of mind I need to write. While brainstorming the next section of my book, I like to grab a beer and let my mind wander. This infographic talks about the benefits of alcohol on creativity. Mad Men was right about that thing.

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