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How often do you drink at lunch during the work week?

PaulF Apr 13, 2011 04:29 PM

I'm just wondering if other posters on Chowhound like to take a drink at lunch.

The reason I'm asking is that among my co-workers, only myself and one other person I sometimes eat lunch with has a drink at lunch. For me, it's a beer or two. If I had more than that or had a couple of cocktails I'd have trouble doing my job well after lunch. My occasional lunch companion drinks beer or wine and he always drinks alcohol when we have lunch together -- I get the impression he has a drink at lunch every day. I drink at lunch sometimes, not all the time.

I'm wondering if it's just my circle of friends/co-workers, the city I live in (L.A.), or what?

So, to repeat the question:

Do you drink at lunch during the work week? If so, what and how much do you drink? Does it matter if your lunch companion is drinking or if you're alone?

I guess that's more than one question.

Interested in hearing the responses.

  1. k
    KTFoley Apr 29, 2011 03:22 PM

    Never ever. A firing offense.

    Times change from when my father advised Dubonnet on the rocks as a good option for getting through a business lunch.

    . I work in an industry where wining and dining clients to close deals is now prohibited, so the people who used to partake as part of their work milieu no longer do so.

    . It's a part of daily life to hear about companies being held liable for their employees' behavior. Alcohol is not permitted at our company-sponsored events, not even celebratory dinners out, partly in response to that liability.

    There are still places that break out the beer for all at 3:00pm on a Friday, but my company went with a fitness center, mini-clinic, bank, coffee shop & day care facility on site instead. I don't miss the suds.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KTFoley
      HillJ Apr 29, 2011 03:32 PM

      Most of the high pressure commission sales people I know generally fall into two cats: totally off the booze now or still nursing their drink at the last call of the evening. I agree about recent company liability and new policy/new position but in some professions what is said on paper and what is happening week wide can be diff.

    2. r
      Raids Apr 29, 2011 01:04 PM

      Never. Ever. I am an attorney with the federal government. I believe I would get written up for doing so. However, I could completely function if I had one beer or glass of wine at lunch, so I'm not defending the culture, but no, totally no.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Raids
        HillJ Apr 29, 2011 03:29 PM

        Hi raids, not that I'm doubting your firm no on this subject (and I respect it) but during the course of my work week I see an awful lot of attorney's fed & otherwise drinking at lunch. The courthouse crowd is always at the watering hole a few days a week. Some of the DEA guys I know def. drink during the work week.

        I know the stigma associated with drinking during the work week have changed considerably in the last decade (for all sorts of reasons) but I think the type of work we do can play a part. While I'm not a big drinker, if I turned down a celebratory drink with clients, I'd be looked upon as the odd gal out for sure.

        1. re: HillJ
          Raids Apr 30, 2011 10:57 AM

          It's really funny - my office is full of raging lushes at happy hour, and that's no problem, but truly hardly anybody drinks anything at lunch. I've seen it once, when it was the person's birthday. Again, it's not a policy I really agree with, but it's definitely there.

          And I get you - no way could my sister, in sales, turn down drinks with her clients either.

      2. HillJ Apr 29, 2011 12:44 PM

        Office celebrations only; like new business accounts, promotions, retirement parties, even new baby announcements and golden birthdays. Otherwise, no booze @ work.

        1. GraydonCarter Apr 29, 2011 12:08 PM

          I think because of this very topic, I was influenced to order a drink at lunch yesterday. It has probably been 15 years since I've had a Chivas and soda and it was deslish; I don't know why I ever stopped. Just the one drink wasn't enough to make me sleepy, and whatever buzz it gave me went away with the meal. In fact, I was surprised that I was even more productive in the afternoon.

          5 Replies
          1. re: GraydonCarter
            silence9 Apr 29, 2011 03:58 PM

            I'd heard anecdotally that Sir Winston Churchill 'dosed' himself and administered micro-increments of scotch throughout the day, for maximum efficiency. Taken like aspirin, when the world is one's headache :-). My apologies to our british friends, if I've erred in this retelling...

            1. re: silence9
              porker Apr 30, 2011 08:00 AM

              I would question the validity of "micro-increments" - hehe.

            2. re: GraydonCarter
              PaulF May 2, 2011 07:19 PM

              Graydon -- your post made me happy.

              This thread was somewhat depressing to me until I saw your post.

              Thank you. I'm truly happy you enjoyed your drink..

              1. re: GraydonCarter
                mariacarmen May 2, 2011 07:23 PM

                Good for you GC!

                1. re: GraydonCarter
                  rockandroller1 May 5, 2011 10:28 AM

                  Hooray! This is my experience, exactly.

                2. jboeke Apr 27, 2011 05:53 AM

                  Never for me. I'm a 30-something marketing manager at a big company in Atlanta, and it's an immediate firing if you're caught. Just not worth it , as much as I'd love a glass of wine or a beer some days when I'm out for a good lunch. I've seen people walked out for lesser infractions, so it's not even worth consideration. And that's been the policy everywhere I've ever worked except for a small German company where there was beer in the breakroom fridge...however we never partook until "Feierabend" (happy hour), which commenced at 5:00 on the dot.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jboeke
                    NYCkaren Apr 28, 2011 10:05 AM

                    Not even applicable since I eat lunch at my desk. Sadly, I have so little tolerance for alcohol these days that if I have a drink at lunch on my day off I have to go take a nap.

                  2. buttertart Apr 26, 2011 12:26 PM

                    Now, only very occasionally, one or at the absolute max 2 drinks (say, at a celebration) and then I'm mad at myself when I do because I always ALWAYS get a headache and feel cruddy for the rest of the day. It seems to hit way harder in the afternoon.
                    Back in the day (my first serious job was in SF in the mid-80s), every chance I got (and believe me, there were chances).
                    On weekends/vacation, almost always.

                    1. twyst Apr 23, 2011 06:36 PM

                      I work in sales, so pretty frequently. If a customer who is in town to tour our plant wants to have a cocktail, we have a cocktail. My workday is mostly finished by lunch anyway though, I handle european accounts and they are closed for business by the time I get back from lunch anyway.

                      1. cosmogrrl Apr 22, 2011 09:24 PM

                        Yes i have. Depends on where I'm working at and what my schedule is like. I work in computer software and gaming (engineering). So rarely have meetings and never meet with the public. One job was very boring, so we had a group of people that would eat lunch out together and we'd always have a drink or two. Some jobs were to hectic to even have lunch.Some jobs were so frustrating we'd sneak out for a "coffee" break, or have a drink at lunch.

                        All of the places I've worked at have had a beer fridge for all. Usually the beers were drunk after 4-5 when you knew you'd be there for awhile working late and didn't want to feel like you had some sort of life.

                        But never when I have a busy schedule or meetings.

                        1. l
                          Leonardo Apr 22, 2011 08:38 PM

                          Being a mental health & addictions counselor at an inpatient treatment facility, no, I do not drink at lunch on a workday! I don't even ever go to the bar across the street after work either, lest my clients see me.

                          1. EM23 Apr 22, 2011 10:53 AM

                            Thought this news piece interesting and relevant - Riot police in France are threatening to strike over a new government ban on drinking alcohol while on duty.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: EM23
                              Veggo Apr 22, 2011 12:14 PM

                              Maybe inspector Clouseau wasn't a fool after all, just a clumsy drunk?

                              1. re: Veggo
                                EM23 Apr 23, 2011 12:16 PM

                                LOL - case solved Inspector Veggo!

                            2. Veggo Apr 16, 2011 09:55 PM

                              I have retired twice for about 8 years, in Mexico, Provo, and Florida, and a breakfast beer in my hammock was fairly common. Even little veggo (my avatar, with update to come) looked forward to a few licks.
                              Alas, I have been lured back into the working world again, and mid-day tippling would be WAY, WAY unthinkably out of bounds.

                              1. p
                                pasuga Apr 16, 2011 09:52 PM

                                Back in the 80s and 90s alcohol in the workplace wasn't uncommon, but I can only remember a couple of times it made an impression. (I'm 52.) Once when I was in my late 20s and a very-much loved boss took two of us out to lunch to tell us she was leaving the start-up company we worked for. It was a very stressful work environment, the three of us split a bottle of wine and between being very upset and slighlty tipsy, I was pretty much useless the rest of the day. Years later a similarly great boss got forced out because of corporate re-org and I took the folks who worked for me out to tell them what was going on - and I had a glass of wine just to calm down.

                                One of my favorite drink/work memories: The first company I mentioned used to get a case of beer in most Friday afternoons around 5. (This was back around '86.) A bottle a person, there was no possibility of anyone getting wasted. One Friday I had a huge backlog of work and I took the beer back to my desk, drank about a quarter of it, and got back into the project - left about 8 that night.

                                Next Monday, I'd just gotten in, found the stale beer on my desk. My office was right next to the front entrance. I was just walking out to go to the kitchen to get rid of it when the owner walked in with a hugely important client he was trying to pitch. Having an employee walk smack into her at 9 AM with a beer in her hand did NOT make a great impression.

                                1. h
                                  hamboney Apr 16, 2011 08:33 PM

                                  Once; went to a local sportsbar for lunch w/one of my employees. We each had 1 beer w/lunch. Unfortunately, my boss and cohorts flew in that day around lunchtime and chose the same place for lunch...BUSTED, but not fired. I learned quickly and never done it since.

                                  1. t
                                    tracytrace Apr 16, 2011 04:53 PM

                                    When I was teaching at a (public) high school in France, the teachers' tables in the cafeteria were supplied with pitchers of red and white wine, plentifully refilled. We also got baskets of lovely fresh bread, bowls of good butter, and ever-changing selections of cheese, all just there on the table, whether you actually ordered lunch or not. It was faaaaantastic, and no one's work seemed to suffer.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: tracytrace
                                      EM23 Apr 16, 2011 08:09 PM

                                      That sounds like the happiest place on earth (except the teaching in a public high school part).

                                    2. g
                                      gloriousfood Apr 16, 2011 04:21 PM

                                      In my experience, this was more common in the 1980s-'90s. We'd go out for lunch, people would order a glass of wine, and no one thought anything about it.

                                      These days, it's a semi-miracle if the people in my office actually leave their desk for lunch, let alone have a drink!

                                      1. i
                                        Island Apr 16, 2011 04:17 PM

                                        Never. Zero tolerance. I too am surprised people work where it is allowed.

                                        1. mariacarmen Apr 15, 2011 08:58 PM

                                          i worked for almost 10 years for 8 attorneys, all male, and it was a holiday when we DIDN'T drink at lunch. Alright, not every day, but there were many, many days where lunch turned into happy hour turned into cabbing it home at midnight (since we were all in the same boat it was ok to show up hungover the next day, long as you showed up), and we had a shot glass collection that was pretty impressive. This was not in the 50s, this was 3 years ago. I miss those days, but i couldn't do it now, have become unaccustomed. that said, if i were out with co-workers and someone else ordered a glass, i'd have no problem ordering one or two also. That would be my limit for lunch these days. but, sadly, it never even comes up. bunch of busy bees all working through lunch!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                            free sample addict aka Tracy L May 2, 2011 09:08 PM

                                            A lot of law firms are like that. I remember visiting a friend at his law office and picking up a coffee cup to get coffee for my self and it smelled like old tequila. Apparently, Friday afternoons were spent drinking in the office or offsite. I temped at law offices and there were always bottles of wine in the fridge. Whenever, my friend invited me to lunch he and his colleagues ordered more booze than I've seen ordered at dinner. Eventually, my friend ended up in rehab. As for me I am allowed to drink at lunch, but don't, too many bad memories for me.

                                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                              mariacarmen May 2, 2011 10:21 PM

                                              yeah, i've worked at probably 10 different firms in my lifetime, and that one took the cake. the one i work for now, the first day i opened the fridge and found it stocked with wine, and opened the cabinets and found them stuffed to the gills with quarts of booze i thought I'd come home again - but no, it was all leftover from their client holiday party. good thing, too, i probably couldn't take that lifestyle anymore. i still meet up with those guys 3-4 times a year (even tho everyone's gone their separate ways) and it's a ridiculous debauched fest of excess every time.

                                          2. Will Owen Apr 15, 2011 02:36 PM

                                            When I was working at a graphics shop in Silicon Valley in the early '70s, I'd have a beer at lunch almost every day. Then on Fridays we'd all go out somewhere, either pick up sandwiches, wine and beer and picnic in a park, or go to a restaurant or deli and get drinks or even jugs of wine. Then at 4 o'clock the boss would give one of us some money and we'd run to the store for a couple of six-packs. One Friday we were pushing hard to get a catalog done, so we had the briefest of lunches - just one beer each with the sandwiches - and didn't get any more until five o'clock. We continued working and drinking until about ten, when we wrapped it up … and then the boss took us out for pizza AND BEER. As a co-worker and I were driving home (!) we calculated we'd had about a gallon and a half each that day.

                                            But I was in my early Thirties then. Now I can have a glass of wine or two, if it's an Occasion, but if I were to drink like I did in my Sunnyvale days it'd kill me.

                                            1. m
                                              MonMauler Apr 15, 2011 09:29 AM

                                              I generally lunch alone so most often my lunch consists of me taking a stroll to a local eatery, grabbing something to-go, bringing it back and eating in my office. So I don't usually drink at lunch during the work week.

                                              That said I occasionally feel like having a leisurely sit-down lunch, and when I do I will almost always eat at the bar and have a couple beers or scotches with my lunch.

                                              Also, I do have a couple coworkers I sometimes go out with, and when we do "lunch" it is almost always a liquid lunch. Very rarely I will do solo liquid lunch, but those usually turn into half-days...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: MonMauler
                                                caseygirl Apr 15, 2011 10:15 AM

                                                Don't drink with people I work with EVER....something about "loose lips (theirs or mine) sinks ships"..
                                                When I drink I'm me -you may not like me, however, you will get to know me - this I dont' share in the workplace.
                                                Plenty of fun to be had elsewhere..where I can be free and have others feel free also.

                                              2. jmckee Apr 15, 2011 09:16 AM

                                                Never. Absolutely never.

                                                1. l
                                                  Lixer Apr 15, 2011 09:03 AM

                                                  I also work at a place where it's a big no-no to consume upon immediate return to work. That said, I recently had to run an errand at whole foods during my lunch break so I also ate there on the patio in the beautiful spring weather and picked up a glass of wine to go with. That was quite luxurious!

                                                  I agree with baseballfan though, it did get me into vacation/weekend mode a little too early!

                                                  1. rockandroller1 Apr 15, 2011 06:28 AM

                                                    I have one when I'm by myself and am having a particularly bad day, but it's not because I necessarily feel like I need a drink, but rather, on those occasions, I am treating myself to an unusually nice and expensive lunch, and the drink seems to go along with it in my mind. I do find that I try to go to places where I doubt anyone I know will be (and with the run out, grab a sandwich, return to desk and eat mode that most people are in these days, there's little danger of running into anyone at a table service place), but it's not because I feel like I'm in there getting hammered, I just don't want to get in trouble. I actually think if I were with several people and we were all drinking, that would look worse than if someone came upon me quietly enjoying my pasta with pork shoulder and tongue along with a glass of dry white. I mean, it's not like I'm sitting there downing shots and eating wings, and I really don't think anyone should object. I only do it when I know I don't have any meetings after lunch and I honestly haven't noticed any lack of productivity aftewards. If anything, I feel a little more relaxed and am less upset about the horrible day I'm having, and I feel like I can go back and tackle things a little better now that I have some great food and a good drink under my belt.

                                                    But it is rare. The big, fancy, sit down lunch with the drink is not only a calorie blowout but very expensive as well, so it's maybe a handful of times a year. I honestly wish people weren't so uptight about it and it wouldn't be a big deal.

                                                    I did have a beer when I went for mexican with a co-worker last week, and she was surprised I ordered a beer, but you know, I just don't think that kind of concern is warranted. I'm an office drone and it's not like I'm staggering back to work, it's just 1 drink with a meal.

                                                    1. c oliver Apr 14, 2011 04:49 PM

                                                      Bob and I have discussed the fact that in the 70s and 80s in SF (we didn't know each other then) it was a hard drinking town. It seemed like everyone drank at lunch - wine, beer, cocktails. And we all went back to work and functioned :) Now we're in our 60s and retired. If I have a glass of wine at lunch I know I'll be able to take a nap afterwards.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                        Rella Apr 24, 2011 07:50 PM

                                                        I lived in SF in the 70's and 80's. It was a hard drinking lunch crowd for some guys in some businesses. I wonder if it's still that way? Has no-smoking stopped a lot of the drinking?

                                                        1. re: Rella
                                                          mariacarmen Apr 25, 2011 01:24 PM


                                                      2. alliegator Apr 14, 2011 01:35 PM

                                                        I'll answer for mr. gator as I'm not working right now. He will often have 1 beer at lunch as do the rest of his co-workers. Not offering an excuse, but he works outside of our city in a small town in Texas and they frequent barbeque joints for lunch. People just drink beer.

                                                        1. southernitalian Apr 14, 2011 12:47 PM

                                                          In the early 90's, when I worked at large ad agencies in NYC, the creative teams always drank (or got high) at lunch. I was a suit and it was frowned upon. But occasionally we did, especially on Fridays so long as no clients were visitng. Now, I'd never imagine doing it. I can rarely even leave my office at lunch, let alone have a drink.

                                                          1. t
                                                            tzurriz Apr 14, 2011 12:40 PM

                                                            Almost never. I can think of maybe 5 times in the last 5 years that I've had a drink other than iced tea or water with lunch.

                                                            1. p
                                                              pine time Apr 14, 2011 11:55 AM

                                                              Two stories: while now retired, I used to work in health care, and one nurse's aide had behavior that seemed markedly changed after lunch. Upon questioning, she said she always drank 2 bottles of Bartles and James (do they still make that stuff?) and claimed not to know it was alcohol.

                                                              Second: while on jury duty with a particularly boring case, I treated myself to a great lunch and 1 glass of great wine. When I reported that to my fellow jurors, you would have thought I'd taken meth at lunch.

                                                              1. C. Hamster Apr 14, 2011 11:48 AM

                                                                Never unless it's a celebration lunch

                                                                1. KaimukiMan Apr 14, 2011 11:37 AM

                                                                  I am really surprised at the number of posters who say that they have events in the office where alcohol is served. Aside from whatever message (good, bad, mixed) that might send to the employees, in most places I worked it would have been grounds to cancel the firm's liability insurance. Again, back in the 80's (was that really so long ago?) an end of the workday office party would often include alcohol. Now, it never does.

                                                                  1. i
                                                                    Isolda Apr 14, 2011 09:19 AM

                                                                    When I first began working in the mid-80s in Boston, it was not at all uncommon for groups of co-workers to go out to lunch together and order mixed drinks. No one batted an eye. Of course, as a young worker just out of college, I could rarely afford to join them, so usually stuck with a Coke. By the mid-90s, there was a huge cultural shift, and drinking alcohol at lunch was really frowned upon. I haven't seen it change all that much, but I guess it would depend on where you live and what you do.

                                                                    Even one drink can affect judgment, so I wouldn't want my lawyer, doctor or financial advisor drinking before advising or treating me. My husband did catch the guy who painted our kitchen smoking a joint behind the barn on his lunch break, but chose to ignore it because the paint still went on straight.

                                                                    1. s
                                                                      sedimental Apr 14, 2011 09:00 AM


                                                                      But I work in one of the professions that you would never want me to.

                                                                      1. QuirkyCookery Apr 14, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                                        Never. I've only worked at places who have a zero tolerance alcohol policy and even if nobody would ever know, it's just not something I'm willing to risk.

                                                                        1. a
                                                                          Avalondaughter Apr 14, 2011 08:57 AM

                                                                          Sometimes if I go out to a restaurant with a group, we'll have a drink. It used to be quite common, but not so much anymore due to our being acquired by a large corporation that has much stricter rules. I rarely ever go out to eat in the type of place that serves alcohol.

                                                                          Before the acquisition we had on-site parties in the afternoon where everyone would get smashed and go back to work afterwards.

                                                                          1. e
                                                                            escondido123 Apr 14, 2011 08:56 AM

                                                                            I rarely have lunch away from the house since I am freelance, and I don't drink alcohol at home during the day. When I was working in advertising in the 80s back East, we used to often have a couple glasses of wine at lunch most days...but then the owner of the agency was usually sitting at the bar knocking back 3 Manhattans. I truly don't know how we got anything accomplished.

                                                                            1. l
                                                                              LeoLioness Apr 14, 2011 08:47 AM

                                                                              Very, very rarely. My company will have in-office celebratory/holiday lunches occasionally with beer/wine and I'll have one or two if my afternoon work schedule isn't pressing. That's about it.

                                                                              1. h
                                                                                hazelhurst Apr 14, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                                                Never on a workday...ever. Not even to keep someone else from feeling uncomfortable. This is an inheritance from my father who,in the 1950's and 1960's, lived amongst the 3-martini-lunch boys in Mahattan and very much dis-approved. I think that deep in his secret archives he had examples of family and friends during Prohibition, both National and State, who went over-the-edge If he had wine with dinner he never had a cocktail. He had two drinks at the most.

                                                                                I might have a noon martini if it is, say, Thanksgiving Day or some other holiday on which I am not working.

                                                                                1. MGZ Apr 14, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                                                  At the first firm I worked for, there was an unwritten rule many associates subscribed to that permitted drinking at lunch when the senior most partner at the table drank. One never drank more than than s/he did. Needless to say, this made a few of the old school guys quite popular. Of course, one would not drink at all if the afternoon involved meeting with clients, appearing in court, etc.

                                                                                  The lunches with clients who drank (sometimes a lot) meant doing the same - regardless of what else you had planned on doing the rest of the day. In fact, I recall one "lunch meeting" in the Oak Room that involved no food. A liquid lunch like that meant having to make a phone call to have the schedule cleared and travel arrangements changed. Sometimes heavy drinking was as much a part of the culture as heavy thinking.

                                                                                  Now that I no longer have a boss, am older, and work in an entirely different world, a drink at lunch is completely up to me. It still seems improper to meet with clients with alcohol on my breath, so I don't. Moreover, I am inclined to simply postpone lunch for a couple hours, drink as much as I choose, and simply head home when I'm done. (I guess now that I'm always paying for it myself factors in as well.)

                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                    Janet from Richmond Apr 14, 2011 07:16 AM

                                                                                    Nope....never been my thing and as others said it would only work if I was going to nap after lunch.

                                                                                    Funny story.....my husband's first job out of college (1971) was at General Motors at their Manhattan office.

                                                                                    His first day of work he is taken to the Playboy Club for lunch, where several martinis or Scotches were par for the course. He got completely wasted and didn't remember the rest of the day...was simply trying to keep up with his bosses and stay awake.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                                                      mamachef Apr 14, 2011 10:44 AM

                                                                                      When I waitressed in college, the tide about lunchtime drinking had turned to the extent that to my generation, it was a rarity, but to the previous generation it was normal and almost expected. (Y'all know the cliche about the businessman and the three-martini lunch.) So yep, I was suprised when three fellas who worked nearby came in and did exactly that; suprised enough that I remarked on it to the owner (who was certainly of the previous generation.) He not only let me know that I was suffering from a new way of thinking, but was almost affronted that I called the practice into question (that he was a lunchtime drinker also skewed his viewpoint, I think.) So, I served them and went about my business, but it did bother me, especially that they worked at the Ford plant on a heavy-machinery industrial line.

                                                                                      1. re: Janet from Richmond
                                                                                        BiscuitBoy Apr 14, 2011 12:30 PM

                                                                                        explains a few things...I think the team that came with the aztec had more than a few liquid lunches

                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                        beevod Apr 14, 2011 07:05 AM

                                                                                        Oh, the glories of the 3-martini lunch.

                                                                                        1. o
                                                                                          odkaty Apr 14, 2011 06:53 AM

                                                                                          Occasionally, mostly when traveling with work companions, and my husband does a lot more often. His work lunches often entails entertaining clients, some of whom are big drinkers. My husband's in the one and done crowd (as am I) ... I just drink a whole lot slower than him :-)

                                                                                          1. JungMann Apr 14, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                                                            I'll almost never tipple before dinner time. If others do, it always has the air of the forbidden to it, though really, what's the harm in a drink or two with your meal? So long as you're productive and not slurring your speech, no one will know. Unfortunately if you're me, your poker face turns red after a couple beers.

                                                                                            1. f
                                                                                              Floridagirl Apr 14, 2011 06:30 AM

                                                                                              We have a liquor cabinet where I work and anyone can have a drink anytime they choose to. I've been there for 20 years and it was that way when I got there, which surprised me at first. Employees who drive during the workday are restricted to the end of the day when their outside duties are over. Some people took advantage and they were restricted to start at 3:00. During work related travel, there are never restrictions on bar tabs and meal expenses, and we always stay at posh resorts. Love those work trips but we haven't gone in a few years because of the economy. That being said, I rarely drink during work because I don't drink and drive and I do like to go home at the end of the day. If we go out to lunch I'll have a glass of wine but that's it.

                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Floridagirl
                                                                                                GraydonCarter Apr 16, 2011 09:11 PM

                                                                                                I was surprised when I went on a sales call to Bacardi Headquarters in Miami and they showed me their liquors on tap in the reception area... for guests. I always wondered if they had rules about employees partaking.

                                                                                                1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                                  porker Apr 17, 2011 08:40 AM

                                                                                                  I live a stones throw from the Montreal Labatt brewery (well, you'd need a strong arm anyway) and know a few people who did an occasional odd job there (carpentery or welding, etc). They were given the choice of being paid in cash or beer.

                                                                                                  1. re: porker
                                                                                                    Veggo Apr 17, 2011 09:25 AM

                                                                                                    That's amusing, and reminds me of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, among the shrimpers who trawl by night and sleep by day. Industry custom is that any crew is fired for selling catch for cash, but boy could we get a lot of fresh shrimp in exchange for cold beer! We sometimes brought a spare cooler of beer just for that purpose.

                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                      porker Apr 18, 2011 03:53 AM

                                                                                                      I hear its now changed to gas: 12lbs of fresh shrimp for a quart of gasoline...

                                                                                              2. c
                                                                                                cleobeach Apr 14, 2011 06:29 AM

                                                                                                At a former job, we nearly always drank 1 or 2 beers at lunch. It was the culture and the boss would only go places that served booze. He also kept beer in the fridge at work for Friday afternoons. Problem maybe?

                                                                                                Now, I do not drink at lunch. At 40-something, two beers would put me into nap mode.

                                                                                                1. BiscuitBoy Apr 14, 2011 06:26 AM

                                                                                                  Wow, I need to come work at your place...never drink at lunch, n e v e r. I feel it's completely unprofessional, a good way to attract negative attention from your peers and supervisors, and a good way to get fired. After hours, I agree with porker

                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                    mpjmph Apr 14, 2011 06:11 AM

                                                                                                    I work for a public university, no alcohol sales on campus and no consumption except in residence hall rooms of students over age 21. I only get 30 minutes for lunch, and the nearest off campus restaurant is 10-15 minutes away, so I just don't have enough time to have a beer over lunch. If I had the time, I would probably partake on occasion, but not everyday, mostly for calorie/weight control purposes (caloric beverages don't fit into my daily diet plan). We do have a hotel with a very nice bar on campus and the alumni club. On special occasions (i.e. just submitted a grant proposal after months of work) we'll close up shop a few hours early and have a drink together.

                                                                                                    Sort of on topic - when I was in grad school (at the same university) a group of us went out for drinks after a particularly brutal midterm. The only hitch in our plan - the midterm ended at 10:30am. We wandered the main drag in town for an hour before we found a place open for lunch. Most of us enjoyed a beer + lunch. A few enjoyed too many and went to our afternoon class a bit tipsy.

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: mpjmph
                                                                                                      TheHuntress Apr 15, 2011 01:36 AM

                                                                                                      I learned how to suture wounds after a few cocktails. In fact I still maintain that I sutured better under the influence than I do sober.

                                                                                                      Just to clarify I learned how to suture on a piece of pork...

                                                                                                      1. re: TheHuntress
                                                                                                        porker Apr 15, 2011 03:25 AM

                                                                                                        ummmmm, pork.

                                                                                                        1. re: porker
                                                                                                          TheHuntress Apr 15, 2011 05:14 AM

                                                                                                          Ya, it's easy to make a cut in the skin so you can suture it up. No real-life patients required.

                                                                                                          1. re: TheHuntress
                                                                                                            porker Apr 15, 2011 10:06 AM

                                                                                                            Sorry, what I meant was Yummmmm, pork.

                                                                                                        2. re: TheHuntress
                                                                                                          Barbara76137 Apr 23, 2011 06:27 PM

                                                                                                          Chickens were my best friend when I was learning how to suture. I'm an equine vet tech and our resident surgeon was impressed when I'd find chicken on sale. I think she was even more impressed when most of my practice would make it to the dinner table!!!

                                                                                                      2. w
                                                                                                        wattacetti Apr 14, 2011 05:48 AM

                                                                                                        That's one of those "let's show you to the door" offenses where I work.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: wattacetti
                                                                                                          Isolda Apr 14, 2011 09:12 AM

                                                                                                          Yep, for me as well.

                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                            Roadpony Apr 14, 2011 02:36 PM

                                                                                                            Me too! A lot of companies have policies that prohibit this.

                                                                                                          2. re: wattacetti
                                                                                                            EWSflash Apr 15, 2011 05:52 PM

                                                                                                            Same here, and I have to say I agree. I work in a hospital also, and I like my alcohol, but the thought of drinking at lunch really grosses me out. I'm not a real high-energy person anyway, alcohol renders me pretty torpid.

                                                                                                            Besides, have you ever noticed how you can smell somebody who's been drinking any alcohol at all a mile away if you haven't been? I just don't want to give the impression that i can't wait until I get home in the evening to have a drink.

                                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                              Barbara76137 Apr 23, 2011 06:22 PM

                                                                                                              'Besides, have you ever noticed how you can smell somebody who's been drinking any alcohol at all a mile away if you haven't been? I just don't want to give the impression that i can't wait until I get home in the evening to have a drink'

                                                                                                              Yep, totally agree! Boss was in on Thursday and he stunk of alcohol. Not a good thing. Even when I was doing wine tastings I'd very rarely taste the wine I was pouring because I didn't want to smell of it. If I was pouring higher dollar stuff I'd occasionally have a taste since I wanted to make sure it wasn't bad, but other than that, no tasting for me until after the pouring was done.

                                                                                                          3. ursy_ten Apr 14, 2011 05:48 AM

                                                                                                            Rarely. Usually only if there is a work "thing" on and everyone else is (alcohol is often supplied at those things). I'll occasionally - like twice a year - have a glass of wine if we go to the campus bistro for afternoon tea, if it's been a tough day and I want to unwind a little - but only if my sweetie is driving me home.

                                                                                                            I'm a librarian at a university.

                                                                                                            1. mamachef Apr 14, 2011 05:37 AM

                                                                                                              If I'm working, never. It just doesn't fit in to the day. If I'm not working and I'm at home, again never. But if I'm not working and having lunch out, I might accompany my meal with whatever adult bev. of choice suits it.

                                                                                                              1. DuchessNukem Apr 14, 2011 02:34 AM

                                                                                                                I get a half hour for lunch (45 min if I skipped my morning snack break), and I'm not allowed to leave the campus.

                                                                                                                Plus, I'm an ICU nurse.

                                                                                                                Does anyone want me to have a beer or two at lunch? Anyone?

                                                                                                                My mom never drank at lunch either, and her last major gig was in banking. For the record, I'd prefer that my accountant, hotel parking valet, insurance agent, clerk at supermarket, and my own doctor, not drink at lunch. I'm with baseballfan, it's a signal for vacation. Maybe I'm just too uptight for the German model. ;)

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: DuchessNukem
                                                                                                                  linguafood Apr 14, 2011 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                  I wouldn't want my ICU nurse to drink at lunch either. But a regular desk zombie / office drone with not much responsibilities?


                                                                                                                  1. re: DuchessNukem
                                                                                                                    TheHuntress Apr 15, 2011 01:33 AM

                                                                                                                    I was about to reply in a similar manner. I doubt very much my patients would appreciate it if I had a glass of wine or two with my lunch. I don't drink on the nights before early shifts either - I went to work hungover once and learned my lesson. I doubt that there is any profession worse than nursing to rock up hungover for work. Bleh.

                                                                                                                  2. KaimukiMan Apr 14, 2011 01:54 AM

                                                                                                                    I think it is one of those things that has changed in the last two or three decades. I was born in the late 50's. Going past restaurants when I was young people inside were often smoking and drinking. The proverbial two or three martini lunch was a part of the business world for white collar people, and knocking back a couple over the lunch hour was common for a lot of blue collar guys (yeah... guys.) I'm not saying people got plastered, but they drank. These days, like several of the other posters have mentioned, I only drink if I am going to either have the afternoon off, or know that no one is going to expect me to get anything important done. The same for most of my friends. Water, tea, energy drinks, juice, sodas... thats what shows up at lunchtime. Rarely alcohol.

                                                                                                                    1. tracylee Apr 13, 2011 11:34 PM

                                                                                                                      When I worked and was able to drink alcohol, it was a definite no. When I'd see people drinking at lunch, I always figured that they had the day or at least the rest of the day off. I guess for me, it was just one of those things that was drummed into my head by my folks and company policy. I was a programmer at a health insurance company, so I worked in a cube farm, which may differ from other environments.

                                                                                                                      1. j
                                                                                                                        juliewong Apr 13, 2011 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                        Only if it is a celebratory lunch - however I work in health care so different.

                                                                                                                        1. porker Apr 13, 2011 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                          I think your polling sample might be skewed.
                                                                                                                          I rarely have a drink at lunch during the workweek - hell I pretty much make up for it the rest of the time. But I think in general, it might depend on your profession, position, and workplace. I've been around the construction industry (high steel) most of my life. For these guys, a better question might be "how often do you EAT at lunch during the work week?"

                                                                                                                          1. linguafood Apr 13, 2011 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                            In my old job, a colleague of mine and I would often have a weizen or two with lunch, especially in the summer. But this was in Germany, where alcohol is less stigmatized/demonized than here, and it's nothing out of the ordinary.

                                                                                                                            These days, I'm self-employed, start my day late & don't generally drink till the evening.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                              coney with everything Apr 14, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                                                                                              linguafood, I work at the US office of a British company. I know to never expect productivity from my London colleagues after noon GMT on Fridays.

                                                                                                                              Emails often are met with the response "pub.....Friday....."

                                                                                                                              As for me, if I drink at lunch I'm done for the day.

                                                                                                                            2. k
                                                                                                                              kevin47 Apr 13, 2011 05:33 PM

                                                                                                                              I never take a drink at lunch. Multiple drinks? Yes.

                                                                                                                              It does not matter if I am alone. I like beer regardless.

                                                                                                                              It does matter if my lunch companion is not drinking, especially if I work with said companion. This rarely comes up.

                                                                                                                              Do whatever you want, and whatever your work allows. It's time for America to get over it's passive-aggressive self-aware neurosis re: alcohol. You are at the dawn of a new frontier, which is the same as the old frontier.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: kevin47
                                                                                                                                Querencia May 2, 2011 01:42 AM

                                                                                                                                Well, my husband used to have a guy working for him that kept a bottle in his desk drawer and who once, sitting at the same table I was at an office party, drank five double whiskeys in about thirty minutes. To each his own.

                                                                                                                              2. mcf Apr 13, 2011 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                Never in a million years did I or anyone I worked with have a beer or other alcohol at lunch, much less two.

                                                                                                                                1. a
                                                                                                                                  akq Apr 13, 2011 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                  Wow. If I am going back to work, never. I am always surprised when a lunch companion orders a drink.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: akq
                                                                                                                                    PaulF Apr 13, 2011 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                    I sometimes feel people are surprised when I order a beer at lunch, too. In fact, every once in a while I've had a companion order their soft drink then after I order a bottle of beer they switch to a beer. It's almost as if once I ordered beer it was okay for them (even though they were seemingly surprised when I did it) and they figured they'd have one, too.

                                                                                                                                    I'm not old enough to know if times have changed, but when I was a kid my dad was part of the two martini lunch crowd (he didn't drink -- still doesn't drink -- his co-workers did).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: PaulF
                                                                                                                                      stopurmakingmehungry Apr 14, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                      Paul, What industry do you work in? I live in LA also and now work at a corporate office of a MFG firm, and nobody drinks here during lunch - ever. Prior to this job I worked in downtown at a couple of banks, and most people did drink during lunch, particularly the older employees. So I think it depends on the industry.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: stopurmakingmehungry
                                                                                                                                        mollyomormon Apr 22, 2011 08:41 PM

                                                                                                                                        I'm a lawyer based in LA and definitely saw people order drinks at lunch, although not all that regularly.

                                                                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                                                                    baseballfan Apr 13, 2011 04:41 PM

                                                                                                                                    Never--- although I would love to. I find that drinking at lunch says vacation to me and I have trouble being productive the rest of the day. Also, my wine with dinner is my treat to myself for making it through the day and it just wouldn't have the same feeling if I had drinks at lunch.

                                                                                                                                    Vacation is an entirely different story!

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: baseballfan
                                                                                                                                      PaulF Apr 13, 2011 05:08 PM

                                                                                                                                      For me, a beer at lunch totally depends on where I eat.

                                                                                                                                      Like I said in the OP, I eat lunch in a couple of different bar and grills near my office and get a burger or a steak sandwich -- bar food. And something about a burger or steak sandwich just suggests draft beer, not soda pop or iced tea.

                                                                                                                                      Oddly, if I go for Japanese at lunch, I rarely order a Sapporo (only if I'm with my one friend who drinks at lunch) -- a pop or plain water seems to suffice.

                                                                                                                                      So, I guess for me it's not about the relaxing nature of having a drink, it's more the right beverage for certain types of food.

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