Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Drinking at Lunch

What is the forum's opinion on light consumption of alcohol maverick04/17/18
Not an issue but you should be wary of the parties present t kickflipninja04/17/18
Spot on. This is applicable to many other social situations chicagoloser04/17/18
If you're a lawyer, it should be mandatory. therewillbeblood04/17/18
Some tech firms serve beer on Friday afternoons And/or peop trijocker04/17/18
Several years ago when I worked downtown Chicago I regularly chicagoloser04/17/18
Entirely depends on where you work. At my firm, a beer durin tdkerabatsos04/17/18
I don't see any problem with it and have imbibed many times pauperesq04/17/18
Don't do it. I've worked at several offices where it was acc trickydick04/17/18
It depends, are you going to court after? trollfeeder04/17/18
nobody at my firm drinks during work hours. Lunch would dietcoke04/17/18
Totally depends on who you're out with, what you're doing, w jd4hire04/17/18
Thanks everyone. I agree that drinking before Court or any maverick04/17/18
I don't do it. I'd have 1 or 2 and then end up having 5 isthisit04/17/18
This thread reminds of one of the best movie scenes ever. david6198304/18/18
Not in the era of #metoo. Can easily be used as a weapon. tedandlisa12304/18/18
Don't drink and work. In the real world it is easier to d unclebubba04/18/18
This issue ain't drinking but mostly social costs that will triplesix04/18/18
"it will be used against you for whatever reason" Sooner trickydick04/18/18
Amen bro! triplesix04/18/18
This personal/professional division rule must be unique to t employmentlawyer04/19/18
hey employmentlawyer, u r my hero. how are things going? i h whiteguyinchina04/19/18
Just to address certain points. 1. As far as the #metoo th maverick04/18/18
I think lunch is a bit too early to knock back. For me, tha parlance04/19/18
Don't you get judged for cigarettes? Cigarettes have been s jd4hire04/19/18
Prolly less than a person who gets judged for being a lil b1 triplesix04/19/18
Douche response. Given the thread, it was a legitimate ques jd4hire04/19/18
I will usually get a drink or two if my co-workers are drin tacocheese04/19/18
If you have work that requires thought in the afternoon, the midlaw04/19/18
Wow, some of these answers about it being unacceptable reall employmentlawyer04/19/18
its funny how opposite this is in small town china. NOT d whiteguyinchina04/19/18
I try to take the lead from someone else. At my current fir orange904/21/18
Avoid it. Unbeknownst to you, you'll walk back into the offi magellan05/02/18
Pretty simple rules. Don’t do it if you have court or clie jorgedeclaro05/02/18

maverick (Apr 17, 2018 - 10:46 am)

What is the forum's opinion on light consumption of alcohol (1 or 2 drinks) while eating lunch on a work day? I know that this may have been more prevalent back in the "good old days", but the culture is changing fast. I must confess that in the past I have snuck a beer or 2 with a coworker at lunch.

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kickflipninja (Apr 17, 2018 - 10:57 am)

Not an issue but you should be wary of the parties present to avoid the theatrics of
the 2-3% of coworkers who would make a stink.

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chicagoloser (Apr 17, 2018 - 4:01 pm)

Spot on. This is applicable to many other social situations involving a variable but diffuse group of people.

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therewillbeblood (Apr 17, 2018 - 3:08 pm)

If you're a lawyer, it should be mandatory.

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trijocker (Apr 17, 2018 - 10:52 am)

Some tech firms serve beer on Friday afternoons
And/or people keep bottles on top their desks of tequila or pricier liquors.

Personally, I might have a beer with coworkers as it heads towards the weekend, but no martinis at lunch on workdays.

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chicagoloser (Apr 17, 2018 - 4:06 pm)

Several years ago when I worked downtown Chicago I regularly attended developer/tech meetups after hours, and many small/medium size tech companies had beer on tap in their kitchens. I guess it's a tool to attract and retain tech talent in a labor-friendly market.

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tdkerabatsos (Apr 17, 2018 - 11:11 am)

Entirely depends on where you work. At my firm, a beer during lunch with colleagues isn’t uncommon. At my old firm, it would have been very much frowned upon. If you work in state government (at least in my state) you would be automatically fired on the spot.

Generally I think it’s ok in most places, just don’t do it all the time or in front of superiors who might disapprove. Obviously, don’t get wasted.

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pauperesq (Apr 17, 2018 - 11:11 am)

I don't see any problem with it and have imbibed many times with coworkers at lunch. I have a few clients who insist on having a drink at lunch when we get together.

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trickydick (Apr 17, 2018 - 2:19 pm)

Don't do it. I've worked at several offices where it was acceptable and most coworkers I've had would probably not have seen a problem with it. That said, drinking during the work day looks bad in an era of increased public scrutiny.

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trollfeeder (Apr 17, 2018 - 2:51 pm)

It depends, are you going to court after?

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dietcoke (Apr 17, 2018 - 3:05 pm)

nobody at my firm drinks during work hours.

Lunch would be more fun buzzed (as is true in every situation).

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jd4hire (Apr 17, 2018 - 3:20 pm)

Totally depends on who you're out with, what you're doing, what day it is, what you have after etc.

I normally don't drink at lunch, but will have a beer or two dependent upon the circumstances. If I'm taking out clients and schmoozing them, I always let them order first. If they get a drink, I definitely do.

Sometimes you can pick up on hesitancy from a lunch attendee. If I see that or feel the vibe I'll say "I'll get a drink if you want to."

My old firm used to have going away and welcoming parties for coming and going staff/ attorneys. I'd always have a drink then, as would the vast majority of everyone else. Come end of the year for billables, my firm was cool with associates having an adult beverage while working later.

I will say that I rarely would have a beer even if I felt comfortable with the situation if I had work to do after. No matter how lame it sounds, a beer zaps my motivation and makes me sleepy (or at least adverse to perfroming legal tasks).

I do pop adderall like tic-tacs though...Just kidding.

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maverick (Apr 17, 2018 - 7:07 pm)

Thanks everyone. I agree that drinking before Court or any interaction with opposing counsel would be improper. I’m talking about a situation where you are hitting billing, things are going OK, and you are just doing office work. I agree with trickydick though that it seems that now you have to be on absolute guard at all times and you should never be relaxed in the modern office environment. I am cordial but it’s hard to tell who will become hostile.

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isthisit (Apr 17, 2018 - 10:14 pm)

I don't do it.

I'd have 1 or 2 and then end up having 5 and telling the waitress to name her price for a lap dance and if there are extras. I spend too much time in strip clubs and bars on the weekends.

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david61983 (Apr 18, 2018 - 1:19 pm)

This thread reminds of one of the best movie scenes ever.

https://youtu.be/wM6exo00T5I

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tedandlisa123 (Apr 18, 2018 - 2:29 pm)

Not in the era of #metoo. Can easily be used as a weapon.

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unclebubba (Apr 18, 2018 - 3:45 pm)

Don't drink and work.

In the real world it is easier to drive buzzed than work buzzed - and look at how society treats drunk drivers, how they're frowned upon, when they crash into something or someone.

Drunk workers are pretty much the same thing. Maybe you won't get an DWI at your desk, but you will eventually crash your career, your job and then your life.

You should never go to work, if you're too drunk (or hung over from yesterday) to operate a motor vehicle.

And NEVER EVER get too plastered to show up for work.

I would not be able to drive after having a reasonably sized craft beer or one martini in my jurisdiction, and it is not that I'm a small man and work in a dry county.

Also you'll be amazed at how fast you can get an undeserved reputation for being a drunk, and how it will stick through years of dour sobriety.

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triplesix (Apr 18, 2018 - 4:20 pm)

This issue ain't drinking but mostly social costs that will come with it, some deserved but most are underserved. Same people who were drinking with you will impose them when you get a promotion or do well on something to knock you down a peg or two. Or you just clown and earn it. Tricky upthread is on point: modern employment sucks, it will be used against you for whatever reason. If you dont care for that, then roll with it. But most people ain't got the money cushion, so they should stay careful.

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trickydick (Apr 18, 2018 - 4:35 pm)

"it will be used against you for whatever reason"

Sooner or later.

As a general rule, keep your personal and professional life as separate as humanly possible. It's a tall order, but it'll pay off in dividends if you can manage it.

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triplesix (Apr 18, 2018 - 4:51 pm)

Amen bro!

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employmentlawyer (Apr 19, 2018 - 11:14 pm)

This personal/professional division rule must be unique to the law firm or maybe government job world, although, I never followed it while I practiced law and never had any problems. The people I socialized with and were friends with and even dated were lawyers at my firm or other colleagues - I thought it was just where people met people. I had other issues with practicing law but none of them stemmed from mixing work with my social life. That was probably one of the more bearable parts of it, since all of us commiserated together over a beer or whatever.)

My husband is in tech and works for a start up and they are really big on forcing employees to do bonding activities with other other employees, including making them bring family members for their work outings, etc. I find it all rather annoying as I don't have much in common with tech nerds and don't want to hear about their coding problems over dinner or a trip to a museum or park etc., but, it seems to help their firm culture and my husband (who is way more social than I am and can relate to his co-workers more than I can) is genuinely friends with everyone he works with, including his bosses.

Although I happily worked alone for a while after leaving the law, I fairly recently started hiring people to help me, and I don't force them to do firm outings or anything but we all get along and hang out together after work sometimes and I consider them friends and vice versa, and they have made friends with each other. I know people say bosses shouldn't be friends with their employees but I don't think I could stand to work with people or manage people who I don't personally like and whose company I don't enjoy. Then again, I could be naive but I truly think that all of my employees are really passionate about the area of work they're doing (I publish books and they all applied for the job/got the job because they love reading, writing and anything book-related) and so they naturally relate to each other, much like my husband does with his co-workers and like I did back when I related to other lawyers who disliked practicing law. I think people are prone to gravitate towards others like them and that in some workplaces it is more natural for people to become friends and hang out together etc. Then again, I live in a really laid back place where no one really cares that much what other people do... I think that lawyers can be a judgmental and competitive bunch compared to some other professions and I also think that the region or culture that a lawyer works in can influence this as well.

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whiteguyinchina (Apr 19, 2018 - 11:30 pm)

hey employmentlawyer, u r my hero. how are things going? i hope to quit my jerb within next several years and follow your footsteps.

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maverick (Apr 18, 2018 - 6:50 pm)

Just to address certain points. 1. As far as the #metoo thing, I am redpilled to the point where I would not ever say anything that could be interpreted in any way to be a reference to sex, even if I had a drink or two. People should be able to control their behavior even after having consumed a reasonable amount of alcohol. Voluntary intoxication is a defense to nothing. 2. I would never fraternize or have drinks with any subordinates under any circumstances. 3. Anything can and will be used against you if they want to fire you, whether it be drinking at lunch or some deficiency with work product. Frankly, we all work "at will" and we can be fired at any time and for any reason. 4. There are some tasks that one could perform even after having consumed alcohol, such as reviewing your e-mails and entering billing, provided you have sufficient motivation. 5. It seems like tech has a permissive attitude about alcohol which is funny because my perception of big tech is that they are ran like Orwellian fascist states.

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parlance (Apr 19, 2018 - 12:27 am)

I think lunch is a bit too early to knock back.
For me, that sort of thing is best for after hours when no judgment calls are needed.
I have my own ways of getting through the insanity of the day, so help me, cigarettes!

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jd4hire (Apr 19, 2018 - 8:54 am)

Don't you get judged for cigarettes? Cigarettes have been significantly frowned on at every office I've worked at. No attorneys have smoked them and I think only two staff have and they were treated terribly because of it.

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triplesix (Apr 19, 2018 - 8:59 am)

Prolly less than a person who gets judged for being a lil b1tch that fails to stay in his lane.

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jd4hire (Apr 19, 2018 - 9:22 am)

Douche response. Given the thread, it was a legitimate question. I've smoked plenty of cigarettes and don't judge those who do. The bosses I've had, however, definitely do.

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tacocheese (Apr 19, 2018 - 9:33 am)

I will usually get a drink or two if my co-workers are drinking. Sometimes I'm the prude not drinking if we're out somewhere that's charging too much. If the boss is with us he's paying, so I'm having like 4 drinks at lunch to keep up with him.

I've worked in federal and state government, and a beer with lunch was never a problem. To be fair, I only imbibe at lunch maybe once per month because most of the time I'm eating a salad alone at my desk.

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midlaw (Apr 19, 2018 - 12:51 pm)

If you have work that requires thought in the afternoon, then best not to. If you’re just working the phones, no reason not to.

Bartleby’s coworker is an excellent example.

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employmentlawyer (Apr 19, 2018 - 11:02 pm)

Wow, some of these answers about it being unacceptable really surprise me. I worked at 4 law firms before going out on my own and it was quite common in all of them for people to drink while out to lunch and sometimes even in conference room meetings in the office. Maybe I've become an old geezer (geezette?) and things have changed; this was back in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

One firm I worked at was a boutique commercial litigation firm formed by men who had left much larger/high status firms in the area, and, they were all a bunch of alkies. Working lunches were the norm and on Friday afternoons they'd crack open bottles or make everyone go down to the hotel bar (the law firm was in a hotel building) for happy hour with them - even putting big pressure on employees who didn't want to go, basically implying that it was part of the firm culture and they'd be party poopers and miss out on important things if they didn't go. Honestly all they would miss out on is crazy drinking and rehashing of old trial stories again, etc. This was also a firm where they cheated on their wives with underlings so I guess it was still quite Mad Men-esque. Maybe they could get away with it since they owned their own firm and it was quite small compared to large firms. Maybe #Metoo has changed their philandering ways and maybe now it's not cool to drink at lunch anymore, but, that would really surprise me.

Even at the large and rather snobby firms I worked at, day drinking was not unheard of and didn't seem frowned upon. One firm even had a bar with craft beer fountains installed in the conference room/cafeteria area, and hired someone to bartend on late Friday afternoons. I honestly thought that drinking and practicing law went hand and hand. (Now I no longer practice law and I no longer drink... there is probably a big correlation, and I've also noticed a correlation in my general health going up and my stress decreasing, etc. Perhaps I just always worked at the wrong law firms or something because it seemed to me that everyone who practiced law, including myself, was always drunk or at least tipsy, or else they were stressed and downright miserable.)

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whiteguyinchina (Apr 19, 2018 - 11:34 pm)

its funny how opposite this is in small town china.

NOT drinking at lunch is definitely frowned upon and can severely limit your career prospects

there are some positions which have drinking as an implied work task

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orange9 (Apr 21, 2018 - 10:18 am)

I try to take the lead from someone else. At my current firm, every so often on a really nice day we will get a call during the afternoon to come meet him for lunch and he will usually be sipping a vodka and soda when we get there, and he tells us to get drinks, and one time an intern ordered water and the boss made fun of him and told him to get a real drink. Also, a new hotel opened next door to our building a few weeks ago and he happened to walk in out of curiosity, and find a seat at the bar, and called me and another lawyer to come meet him to check out the bar. As far as ordering a second drink, again, I just follow the lead of others.

When I worked for a different firm, I was often on the road going from court to court and would need to eat at some point. I would often stop off at an applebees or fridays and sit at the bar, and if I had enough time on a hot day, I would order a beer. I was not drinking to get drunk, I was having a drink with my lunch- no different than people who have a glass of wine with dinner.

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magellan (May 2, 2018 - 5:02 pm)

Avoid it. Unbeknownst to you, you'll walk back into the office like you're Mr. What's Up Hauss...they smell it on you and POOF, you're all over some tattle's somewhat anonymous photo feed; or, suck on a penny for about two minutes. Worked in the 90's.

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jorgedeclaro (May 2, 2018 - 5:38 pm)

Pretty simple rules. Don’t do it if you have court or client meetings in the afternoon. Don’t do it if the office has a policy prohibiting it. If you’re doing it everyday you’ve got problems.

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