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Old 01-27-2010, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Jobs at which you can DRINK while you EARN?

I know this doesn't seem very plausible in the horribly healthy and responsible five-a-day cardiovascular bullshit science fiction year of 2010 but please bear with me...

I reckon there must still be a few jobs out there that you can work, well enough not to get fired, and drink at the same time. It was watching old movies that got me thinking about this: apparently everyone was drinking, drunk or amusingly alcoholic at work in the 30s, 40s, 50s and most of the 60s: lawyers, cops, criminals, judges, newspapermen, politicians, bums, women, private eyes, explorers... Everyone. I realise that even back then the movies were not real life but it seems like anyone could get drunk at work, still do their job and nobody would give a fuck. It's not so ludicrous: remember 20 years ago you could smoke at most workplaces without anyone caring. I have a fairly normal 21st century job, and while I can drink a lot the night before, go to bed late and come in still a bit wasted, and do my job without any grief, that doesn't counts. Most people whose jobs are not really tricky can do that.

So what I want to know is: what jobs are there now that you can break open the tinnys, hipflask or brown bag at (or even a bit before) lunchtime, carry on drinking whilst working through the PM until it's time to go home at five - and not fuck shit up so bad that you get fired.

Gardener, music teacher, tour guide, actor, cowboy - are my off-the-cuff ideas. I welcome other suggestions and also I'd be interested to hear about real life anecdotes of how anyone who got caught drinking at work were dealt with, like: was it a big deal or not? Instant dismissal? Did anyone know anyone who took a drink at work for ages and got away with it? Any works where they knew about it and tolerated it with a nod and a wink and a chuckle? Much thanks for all contributions.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I been to quite a few sushi bars where the Su Chief was drinking sake the whole time. Many would often get sent some from a happy customer, and do a sort of toast. Some were just up there drinking.

Also at this German restaurant, here in SF. The waitress drank a lot of beer at the request of the patrons, as well as the guy behind the bar. It was quite fun, she would get up and dance on the tables, and try to get everyone to do it too. I loved that they had 2 liter boots of beer, and the best schnitzel anywhere.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How drunk are we talking? Some of the guys on the maintenance crew back when I did landscaping drank a bit and so long as they weren't driving and it didn't impact their work, no one really said anything. All they had to do was mow in a straight line, rake, trim a few bushes, etc. Was I comfortable with it? Not really, but they weren't my responsibility and the guy who was responsible for them didn't care. Had they been my responsibility, though, I would have fired them on the spot.

Drink on your own time.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willravel View Post
Had they been my responsibility, though, I would have fired them on the spot.
That's a good example you described and I'm interested to hear about your reasoning for this comment, that you'd have fired them guys if it was your call - even though it didn't impact their work. So why fire them? Because it was a potential danger - with heavy tools and so on? Because of the potential for drinking to impact their work? Or purely because of the principle, that they should drink on their own time - even if nothing was affected when they were drinking on their employer's time?
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would imagine if you know how to hide it well enough you could do most any job while you drink. I used to drink while I stocked shelves in the back of a convenience store...but the manager often hung out and drank with me. When I take live bookings to play bass I'm usually 9 sheets to wind before I ever take the stage. In some places I'll just drink right on stage while I play, others frown on that so I drink in the parking lot or hit the bar between sets or something. I wouldn't want to teach music while I was drunk though, trying to explain theory and technique to a five year old piano student while nipping from a flask and slurring words might not go over so well.

But again I have to say its really dependent on how the person in question can handle alcohol and how conspicuous are when they drink it.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I used to run a Pub crawl tour back in the 90's. Tourists would pay 10$ each and I would take them around to 5 or 6 different spots - had deals with the bars where they would have snacks out for us. I would be hammered by the end of it.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Every job I've ever had.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver9184 View Post
That's a good example you described and I'm interested to hear about your reasoning for this comment, that you'd have fired them guys if it was your call - even though it didn't impact their work. So why fire them? Because it was a potential danger - with heavy tools and so on? Because of the potential for drinking to impact their work? Or purely because of the principle, that they should drink on their own time - even if nothing was affected when they were drinking on their employer's time?
The risk was the problem, and eventually that risk did catch up to one of the guys. He was just a little too hammered and the homeowner (or yard owner) called and cancelled our contract with her and even reported us. It was exactly what I warned the maintenance director about. It was stupid to allow them to be drunk or even buzzed in the first place.

It's not about principle, though I would question anyone that wants to work buzzed, it's about risk. The risk just isn't worth tolerating.

Look, I'd understand if a bartender was to drink a bit while he or she was working, simply because that's often part of the job. What I can't understand is why someone would want his or her inhibitions and reasoning skills decreased while trying to earn a living. Would you want a drunk accountant doing your taxes? Would you want a drunk firefighter trying to put out your house? Would you want a drunk, grabby salesman blatantly flirting with your 16 year old daughter while you were trying to buy her prom dress?

Madmen is just a show on television about a bygone era where people were still too naive about things like alcohol, tobacco, and parenting.
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Old 01-27-2010, 02:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telekinetic View Post
If you get into sales, you can do coke while you earn!
maybe you'll end up as successful as Scarface.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Unsurprisingly, I agree completely with Will.

With the exception of a caveat about Mad Men not only being "just a show on television about a bygone era where people were still too naive about things like alcohol, tobacco, and parenting" but also added emphasis on the fact that it is fictional. Real-life ramifications don't exist.

And it's all beside the fact that I don't know why anyone would want to work while inebriated. Nothing like work to ruin a good buzz, and nothing like being wasted to ruin work. They're mutually exclusive as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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WOW, this seems so very sad. Very sad.

Get thee to AA. And Fast.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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hmmm - I have a beer fridge in my office. Am I in trouble? (seriously, though, I hardly ever drink during the work day - I have to put the fridge somewhere!!)
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:03 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm a jazz musician. I'm allowed to drink while working.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm a salesman for a steel company. My work day often includes taking clients golfing, to a sporting event, or out to restaurants.

I wouldn't sit at the office in the afternoon drinking, but it isn't uncommon to take someone to lunch, have a couple drinks, and come back to the office. :shrug:
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Every job I ever temped at in SC that was a German company. Seriously...their coke machines were full of beer and the fridge was stocked with liquor.

My first day on one of these jobs they brought me so many drinks that at the end of the day I had to have my grandmother come get me cause I was too drunk to drive....and I was 19 lol (this was back in 1987)
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I play the viola for orchestras who do not have enough musicians. You can drink all you like on the job, in fact the viola section has enough rests in some pieces to justify having a cup or glass or hip flask with you during the parts where you don't have to play,
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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One place I worked we would have post work beers once a week. The Upper Canada Brewery was a block away, so someone would go snag a two-four and that would be that.

Drinking on a regular basis while on the job? Not so much.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I drink pretty heavily everyday, and I am usually flat out trashed by the time I go into work, but my job isn't too stressful, and no one has ever said anything about it.

I drive elementary school buses.

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Old 01-27-2010, 04:54 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Another reason why I'm so glad that I don't have kids! (Like I needed more than 2 reasons...)

Thanks Crack. -- Bet you're feeling like The Big Man...eh?
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:04 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunnychile View Post
Another reason why I'm so glad that I don't have kids! (Like I needed more than 2 reasons...)

Thanks Crack. -- Bet you're feeling like The Big Man...eh?
It's always a good day when I can contribute to people not having kids. It sure beats the hell out of sneaking in their houses when they have sex and taser-ing the guy.

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Old 01-27-2010, 05:05 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telekinetic View Post
If you get into sales, you can do coke while you earn!
Ha. I'm in sales, and that is a very true statement...
______________

I sell better when I'm drunk.

Not shitfaced, but with a good buzz...

I don't have to worry about risk too much. I sit in an office chair and run my mouth to people over the phone. The worst that could happen is I might offend somebody...
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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In Prague, -every- job qualifies. If you -don't- have a drink or two at work, or at least a few beers with lunch, people look at you funny and switch to a competitor. This can get somewhat complicated when you have several meetings with multiple clients spaced over a long working afternoon.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:43 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loneviolist View Post
I play the viola for orchestras who do not have enough musicians. You can drink all you like on the job, in fact the viola section has enough rests in some pieces to justify having a cup or glass or hip flask with you during the parts where you don't have to play,
This explains so much about violists.

(I HAD to. You KNOW I had to.)
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Again it depends on the how and why. Theres a HUGE difference between having a drink at lunch or a nip or two at your desk and drinking so much you're naked and pissing on your bosses carpet.

Most people I know drink to some extent at work. Some of my lawyer friends discuss contracts and cases over drinks at the bar, some people I know in business or sales often take clients out for a drink or two while discussing business or making a sale. They do it in moderation, know what their limits are and how others will react to it.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:28 PM   #26 (permalink)
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In my days as a restaurant manager, it was pretty much a requirement of the job. Tasting new drinks, sampling new wines, educating staff and customers, and so on. In Baltimore I did a lot of wine tasting with Robert Parker (The Wine Advocate). Good times. Now I'm a college prof, and the high I get from teaching far surpasses any of that.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:44 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Outside of the obvious like wine/beer tasters I have only one. When I worked for a roofer we occasionally subbed under a homebuilder with a 6 man crew. The foreman brought a 24 pack in the morning and someone else usually ran out to get one in the afternoon. You do the math.

Maybe it was just actors who used to drink on the job.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:38 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Maybe it was just actors who used to drink on the job.
You're onto something here. Maybe the reason movie characters were always drinking was that the actors were in real life were drinking! Like Richard Burton, who drank between two and three bottles of liqueur per day at one point, and couldn't act without it. That would explain his spectacular performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Or Humphrey Bogart, whose explanation for the reason he was the only member of cast and crew who never got sick during the African Queen shoot (in the real Africa) was that he never drank any water, preferring, of course, the spirits in his hipflask! These characters need to be drunkards because the actors were - these two examples prove beyond all doubt that drink need not lessen the workmanship of certain practitioners of one line of work, at least. I think that the same could be proved about musicians but I don't have specific evidence. Surely someone can cite something?
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:08 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punk.of.Ages View Post
I sell better when I'm drunk.

Not shitfaced, but with a good buzz...
I hear that's what the coke is for...staving off shitfacedness long enough to make the deal.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:59 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by World's King View Post
Every job I've ever had.
WK is right. Want to drink on the job? Go work at a restaurant. I've only worked at one restaurant in 8 years that people in the kitchen didn't drink while on the job. Especially bartenders.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:49 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I knew a bloke who worked for a brewers, got paid to travel the country, visit pubs, taste the beers then stay in hotels to work off the hangover.

Had to quite when he got liver damage, had fun until then though.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:11 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Location: ....a state of pure inebriation.
When I was a cook I used to bring a 12 pack in just about every night and keep it under the grill.

At the last restaurant I worked at, it was pretty much a nightly routine to sit around for a couple hours after close and get trashed.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:20 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Why would you even want to?
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:18 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Own your own business. You can make your own rules.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:08 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by World's King View Post
Own your own business. You can make your own rules.
Or be unemployed! I drink all day long!

Kind of a vicious circle, now that I think of it...
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:29 AM   #36 (permalink)
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In my day as a bartender in Mayfair in the '80s it got to be a habit, a chore and then a full blown 'ism. Still, it was a lot of fun along the way.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:02 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Once every week or two, when my brother and I go out to lunch at one particular pizza place (I work at the University, he's a student, so we have plenty of time to hang out,) we split a pitcher or two because they have Stone Ruination on tap and the bitterness complements the "kicker" pizza's hot peppers beautifully. If I were visibly impaired at work, union rules state that I would have to be evaluated by a doctor for substance abuse and offered treatment, so I'm careful about it. I also do support for outside events here, and as long as our director of operations isn't here it's OK for me to accept when the people running them offer me a drink.

Overall, I wouldn't get drunk or even heavily buzzed at work because I wouldn't want to risk it impacting my performance. I could do most of the job falling down drunk, but not as well and as efficiently as I usually do.
Quote:
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Would you want a drunk accountant doing your taxes
My yearly ritual is to have a stiff drink while TurboTax installs, then switch to beer while I'm entering data. I end wouldn't want a drunk accountant to do my taxes because that would cost more and I can do my own taxes perfectly fine while drunk.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:15 PM   #38 (permalink)
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A work at home job would be a good place to start. There are plenty of them out there these days.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:59 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I live in WA and work as a bartender. We are not allowed by law to drink any alcohol while working. And that's not just for us bartender's, that goes for everyone working anywhere. But, when I was working in Minneapolis Minnesota I could drink behind the bar. People would buy me shots all night long. Granted if I drank them all I would have been housed and not able to do my job. But by the time I had 2-3 in me, I'd just act like I took it and then spit it out in the trash behind me. Or I'd just say thank you and set it on the counter below me depending on how drunk they were. haha.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:08 AM   #40 (permalink)
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I work in a brewery. One of the great perks of my job is that I am required to do taste samples.
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