Author Topic: Co-Workers and Drinking  (Read 14373 times)

MontanaMoneyMustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Co-Workers and Drinking
« on: February 02, 2015, 02:42:46 PM »
I've been wanting some opinions on this recently, and reading/responding to the "The Loneliness of Mustachianism" thread by cowbellfever123 got me thinking again.

I've been at my current job and new city for one year. My wife and I don't drink often, and have two small children at home. I have a strict policy for myself that I don't drive even after one drink. I do not live close enough to bike to work, especially during the Montana winters.

My workplace is very tight knit, I feel that many promotions are just as much WHO you know as what you know. Nearly everyone from the office goes out to a local micro brewery every Thursday. It is quite the event, with many unofficial company updates, people announcing weddings, expecting kids, and more. Many friendships are made and current friendships strengthened. I attended a few times last year, but found it awkward because I did not have a beer. I love a good micro brew as much as the next guy. I really feel like I'm missing out, but don't want to break my driving rule, or put the burden on my wife and kids to come pick me up at 8pm on a weekday (and have to drop me off at work the next morning since my truck would be left behind).

I guess my question is how would you deal with this? I won't drive after a drink, but I feel like I'm missing out with potential friends and getting to know bosses and supervisors.   

jmusic

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
  • Location: Somewhere...
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 02:46:40 PM »
It's probably in your head...  If you need the security of a drink in your hand, you could rock a soda and no one else will care.

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 02:48:11 PM »
Can you get a ride with a co worker?  Or like jmusic said, just drink a soda or water or something?

MontanaMoneyMustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2015, 02:49:16 PM »
It's probably in your head...  If you need the security of a drink in your hand, you could rock a soda and no one else will care.

I know it is. I'm a pretty quiet guy, so not drinking and being around a bunch of extroverts with a beer in their hand is quite difficult for me. Maybe this is my opportunity to improve on that!

MontanaMoneyMustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2015, 02:51:03 PM »
Can you get a ride with a co worker?  Or like jmusic said, just drink a soda or water or something?

Not that I know of. We live fairly close to town, but in a small development with not much else near by. Then I would have the issue of getting back to work in the morning.

Earthling

  • Guest
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2015, 02:51:27 PM »
How about ordering a non-alcoholic drink -- one that looks like a real drink? Then stay for a bit and head home?

I admire your discipline and good choices. Even if you kept doing what you are doing, there is no reason for shame or guilt. And if your employer ultimately punishes you for it down the road, it will be their loss, not yours. A guy like you (with good judgment and values, etc.) will always be a desirable employee somewhere.

My parents were teetotalers and, while his lack of participation in alcohol-fueled business events may have held Dad back at work in some measurable way over the decades long ago, he made it to retirement just fine. So I say hang in there and good luck.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8306
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 02:53:14 PM »
order a soda water on the rocks with a lime... people will think you're drinking gin and tonic or a vodka tonic etc. if the appearance of drinking is important to you. 

go by on your way to work and drop off a 6 pack of beer bottles you have refilled with water.  then ask them to bring them to you that evening so you can look like you're drinking

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8306
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 02:54:53 PM »
i mean seriously one beer and then driving isnt going to put you over the legal limit.  not sure i 100% understand the apprehension here but to each his own.

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 02:58:47 PM »
I thought having a few beers was a prerequisite to getting behind the wheel in Montana!

Josiecat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 310
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2015, 03:02:37 PM »
Drink what you want.  Doing a soda or other non-alcoholic beverage should have no impact on this at all. 

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2015, 03:10:38 PM »
I often go out with friends to a happy hour, but I never drink.  I just get a glass of water.  The first few times they asked about it, but eventually it was no longer conversation worthy.  Be confident in yourself and your decisions. 

MontanaMoneyMustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2015, 03:13:08 PM »
i mean seriously one beer and then driving isnt going to put you over the legal limit.  not sure i 100% understand the apprehension here but to each his own.

I had a DUI almost 6 years ago and it has affected every aspect of my life from finance to jobs. With my grades and work experience I had the potential for nearly 10 offers right out of school. With my driving records only two companies could guarantee me a position after the background check.

I thought having a few beers was a prerequisite to getting behind the wheel in Montana!

For most people, it is!

Drink what you want.  Doing a soda or other non-alcoholic beverage should have no impact on this at all.

I think we all know the debate about that one person who doesn’t drink. That aside, I mentioned above that I am very introverted so it makes not having a drink to loosen up difficult.

I often go out with friends to a happy hour, but I never drink.  I just get a glass of water.  The first few times they asked about it, but eventually it was no longer conversation worthy.  Be confident in yourself and your decisions. 

It looks like this is the route I need to go. I think I'm making the process too complicated. Thank you!

epipenguin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2015, 03:18:37 PM »
Can't you say "I got a DUI once and I vowed never again." I bet that would shut most people up.

I have drunk non-alcoholic beer on occasions when I wanted to blend in. Yes, it tasted bad, but to introverted me, it was better at the time than drinking water and the potential of having people ask about it. Now I would drink a sparkling water and not care if people asked. I know how hard it is to loosen up though, so that's a tough one.

RapmasterD

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: SF Peninsula
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2015, 03:26:57 PM »
You're a strong person. Stay strong and pull a nice and tall Diet Coke. It simply doesn't matter.

Glenstache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3019
  • Location: Seattle!
  • Target FI date 2027 (maybe?)
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2015, 03:31:00 PM »
"I've really been enjoying root beer lately." Comes in a bottle and is tasty. Many breweries have house root beers also.

As an introvert who likes people, I can also understand the lubricating effect a beer can have in social situations. There is a time-blood alcohol content relationship this is usually 1-2 hours per drink (varies by person and potency of the drink, YMMV).  Maybe front load, and plan on hanging out for 90 minutes.  I respect and support your rule on not mixing drinking and driving. It is responsible and you should do what is comfortable for you.

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1864
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2015, 03:40:16 PM »
The effectiveness of this depends on the group, but...order a plate of appetizers/snacks to share (or bring a bag of chips/pretzels/veg+dip if the establishment doesn't serve food but is ok with it). I've had this help me stay involved in a group gathering when I couldn't/wouldn't drink.

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2419
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2015, 03:41:11 PM »
Well if you're not happy with the current situation, I would do something. Try stuff out. Don't assume you're going to know the right answer when you hear it.

Confidence in a matter is something you can exercise and build up over time. You'll feel awkward the first couple times you don't drink, but you'll get over it. When you first set down your rules about no drinking and driving it probably felt a bit awkward because it's different from what most people do. But you got over it.

Personally, I like coke for when I'm not drinking because people assume it's a rum and coke. I don't know if that would be as acceptable for a dude in Montana. It also has the advantages of sugar and caffeine for us folks who have to put a bit more energy into socializing. Sometimes I also try acting a little bit drunk to match the behavior of those around me. It's important to keep yourself entertained.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6797
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2015, 03:42:02 PM »
"I don't generally drink" has always worked for me if I wasn't going to have anything.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15085
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2015, 03:50:37 PM »
I, too, work in a place where everyone goes out for drinks and lots gets said and done there that I don't want to miss out on.  I often don't go, but I go frequently enough to stay 'in-the-loop'.  When I do go I almost always limit myself to one pint, or sometiems just a coke.  I tell the bartender I'm the one driving and often the coke is free.

One question:  While I admire your "no drinking and driving" - how long does it apply for?  Certainly you can't have a beer today and then not drive tomorrow.  Based on everything I've read, one drink + 1 hour and everyone is fine to drive  - why not try that?  Limit yourself to a single drink, and then start your watch and don't drive for at least 60 minutes after your drink has been finished.  In the meantime, drink water, or a coke.  you'll get 1.5-2hours of important socializing in and you can be certain that your blood-alcohol level is effectively <0.02.

trailrated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Bay Area Ca
  • a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2015, 04:01:57 PM »
You're a strong person. Stay strong and pull a nice and tall Diet Coke. It simply doesn't matter.

+1 well said but I would go with a regular Coke

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3513
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2015, 04:06:29 PM »
I understand your reasoning -- several of my family members have DUIs, and it genuinely a life-limiting thing!  If you were ever to have a second one, it would be even worse. 

I also agree that sometimes you need to be social at work; that is, you need to play the game, show that you're one of the team.  I don't personally work in a place where that's an expectation, but my husband does. 

However, I agree with the person who asks, No driving for how long? If you drink one beer (or maybe don't even finish it, though that's rather wasteful), eat an appetizer, and then socialize for 1-2 hours . . . is that "enough time"? 

I also think the idea of getting one drink that LOOKS like alcohol could make you feel more comfortable. 

The one thing mentioned thusfar that I cannot agree with is the idea of simply stating the truth:  I've had one DUI, and I don't want another.  While truthfulness is almost always a good thing, I don't think that's something to spread around the workplace.  I'd want to keep that to myself, especially among people who could have a hand in whether you're promoted /get a raise.

FoundPeace

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 199
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2015, 04:16:03 PM »
I don't drink at all and I'm pretty introverted too. I don't feel as comfortable going to get drinks with coworkers as I might if I did drink. However, if it is something I think important, then I will go and try my best to be an extrovert. Being the one guy who doesn't drink can be a bit awkward, but I find that I get a bit more relaxed once things start.

So my advice: Go if you think it is important. You will stand out a bit, but that isn't really a bad thing for getting drinks with coworkers.

2ndTimer

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4610
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2015, 04:23:57 PM »
The Hub had a similar problem at a previous job.  Like you he absolutely never gets behind the wheel after a drink.  He would just order coffee and be the designated driver.  Eventually, they made him the boss. 
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 05:02:30 PM by 2ndTimer »

Earthling

  • Guest
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2015, 04:33:25 PM »
The Hub had a similar problem at a previous.  Like you he absolutely never gets behind the wheel after a drink.  He would just order coffee and be the designated driver.  Eventually, they made him the boss. 

+1

You are the boss. You just don't know it yet.

ltt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 752
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2015, 04:54:15 PM »
Club soda with lime. 

G-dog

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16622
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2015, 05:40:50 PM »
Have your wife drive you to work on Thursday morning, take a cab home  - you can drink

Volunteer to be the designated driver for at least one coworker - you don't drink but turn this into a positive, AND you get a chance to chat up someone after the event (one-on-one easier than a crowd for most of us introverts).

Good luck, networking is important, this isn't the only way to do so, but t,his is a good way to build relationships with various coworkers.

JeffC

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2015, 05:46:56 PM »
Is it the Blackfoot? 

I lived in Helena for 2 years and will say, business gets done at the "tasting rooms"(breweries with strict 3 beer limits to get around liquor license requirements) in Montana.  By the time I left town I felt well-connected to a lot of important people in town, mostly from my time at the brewery. 

Also worth noting, these places have sort of a family friendly vibe, They close at 8 pm and will not serve anyone more than 3.  I'm sure it would be fine to just have a soda or water.  If I drink I walk, so sometimes I don't drink and it has never been uncomfortable.  Social awkwardness could be solved by maybe bringing the wife and kids?  My friends' daughter requested that her 3rd birthday party be held at the brewery.  It is not your typical bar scene where that would of course be extremely inappropriate.  There are always kids running around in Montana breweries, it wouldn't be at all out of place. 

BTW I'm with you on the never driving after drinking.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 05:49:31 PM by JeffC »

AlwaysBeenASaver

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 444
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2015, 05:59:07 PM »
Finally someone else who has this rule - no driving after even one drink! I haven't had a DUI but I set this rule as soon as I had my first car, so I don't have to even think about whether I've had too much - if I've had anything to drink at all, I don't drive. I drank in college (didn't have a car) and I know from experience my judgement gets impaired and I wouldn't necessarily make a sound judgement regarding whether I could drive. Since I'm not much of a drinker anyway, this isn't a big deal for me to implement. As for social gatherings, I drink water. Most people don't comment and it's no big deal. Saves $$ too!

Hotstreak

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2015, 07:56:12 PM »
Finally someone else who has this rule - no driving after even one drink! I haven't had a DUI but I set this rule as soon as I had my first car, so I don't have to even think about whether I've had too much - if I've had anything to drink at all, I don't drive. . . .


Like nereo pointed out above, if you currently drive and have ever (in your whole life!) had a drink, then you are not following your rule. 


I wonder what behavior you both actually have.  If you drank a beer at night, could you drive in the morning?  If you had a bloody mary at noon, could you drive at 6pm?  How many hours is it exactly?  Measured from when you stopped drinking, or from when you reached a 0.00 BAC?


My suggestion to folks in your situation is to figure out for yourself what those answers are.  Set your rule to align with your actual values, then post it if you still need advice.

AlwaysBeenASaver

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 444
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2015, 08:04:42 PM »
RobbyJ: Since you asked, for me personally I don't drive if I've had a drink that same day, where I'm defining day as "haven't gone to sleep for the night yet." It works for me, I'm not asking anyone else to do this, this is just what works perfectly for me. I'm not really sure if you were ridiculing my choices since it's pretty obvious I didn't mean if I'd ever had a drink in my entire life, or if you were truly unclear on what I meant; I hope the later, although it felt a bit like the former. And since you wanted clarification, I'm guessing you may bring up "what if you had a bunch of drinks then only slept for the night for 3 hours, would you drive? The answer is no, I wouldn't. I've lost 2 family members to (their own) drunk driving and would rather be overly cautious.

Hotstreak

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2015, 08:21:07 PM »
RobbyJ: Since you asked, for me personally I don't drive if I've had a drink that same day, where I'm defining day as "haven't gone to sleep for the night yet." It works for me, I'm not asking anyone else to do this, this is just what works perfectly for me. I'm not really sure if you were ridiculing my choices since it's pretty obvious I didn't mean if I'd ever had a drink in my entire life, or if you were truly unclear on what I meant; I hope the later, although it felt a bit like the former. And since you wanted clarification, I'm guessing you may bring up "what if you had a bunch of drinks then only slept for the night for 3 hours, would you drive? The answer is no, I wouldn't. I've lost 2 family members to (their own) drunk driving and would rather be overly cautious.


I'm not trying to ridicule your choice, I am trying to understand.  I don't see how driving sober is any different than driving sober, where in the first event you were intoxicated four hours prior and in the second event you were not. 


I also don't understand how driving sober is different than driving sober, when you were intoxicated 7 hours prior to each event, but in the first you slept for seven hours and the second you did not sleep during that period of time.


It especially does not make sense to me given what is known about the speed at which a body processes alcohol, and being able to verify lack of intoxication by using a portable handheld breathalyzer.  If you wait an hour after finishing a single beer, blow a 0.00 BAC, hang out with coworkers for another hour drinking water then drive home, is there any real safety related reason that is different than driving the morning after an evening drink?

couponvan

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7346
  • Location: VA
    • My journal
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2015, 09:15:51 PM »
Sprite and a few drops of brown food coloring. Looks like pale ale.  Maybe test it in advance to get the color close.

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8887
  • Location: the woods
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2015, 09:52:18 PM »
I wouldn't bother faking anything, just get a water or soda and work on making conversation sober. Ask a lot of questions. In my experience, drunk people love to talk about themselves. When I first started working in an office I was incredibly shy, and it took a while to wear off. I made an effort at my current company to proactively meet people, so I started arranging happy hours. Even though I quit drinking last year, I still invite people out, and have become pretty close to some people in my department. When anyone asks why I'm not drinking, I usually say to save money, and I've gotten into some interesting conversations about early retirement from that. You have a good reason, all you have to say is you're driving home, or you're just not drinking that night. People won't think you're a weirdo like me. (A lovable weirdo.)

Another option is inviting some people out for a different activity on a non-Thursday. I recently suggested we start having picnics by the water instead of going to a bar, and everyone was on board. Juuust as soon as it stops sleeting. I've also gone on lunchtime walks with coworkers, it's a great way to get to know someone, especially if you're more comfortable one-on-one.

rmendpara

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 609
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2015, 10:31:24 PM »
As someone who has driven when it was not a great decision, I admire your solitude.

Sucks that you got caught with the DUI, but if it keeps you safe and the people around you, then at least something positive came from the experience... if nothing else.

Few thoughts.
1) If you really want to look like you are drinking, get a club soda with lime, coke with lime, sprite lime, whatever. There are numerous drinks that look like "drinks" but aren't.
2) Get over your issue of "feeling left out" by not drinking. Seriously.

Plenty of people don't drink for religious or personal reasons. Either be at peace that other people will drink, or don't, but the only person in this situation that is losing anything is you. There's no harm in telling people the truth... that you prefer not to drive after drinking. I have a friend who gave up drinking this year because he wanted to get in shape. People get on his case about it, but that's what he wants. If you know what you want, then you need to learn how to explain that to someone and not care if they disagree/disapprove.

Astatine

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3675
  • Location: Australia
  • Pronouns: they/them
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2015, 03:05:08 AM »
I'm not going to weigh in on the drinking vs not drinking, but yes, asking people open leading questions is a great way to deal with making conversation if you're shy and/or introverted (they're not the same thing).

For example, on Mondays or Tuesdays - what did you get up to on the weekend? Thursdays and Fridays - got any plans for the weekend? (and then you can ask further questions about what they're doing, like if they say they're going to a concert - who you are you going to see? what do you like about that singer etc etc). Or the very generic - how's your week been going? Watch how others start chit-chat conversations at your work and see if there's other good open questions that you could use (like about work-specific stuff, or local cultural stuff, or about their kids if you know you have them etc).

k_to_the_v

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2015, 06:49:41 AM »
I think you need to flip the perspective on this.

Alcohol and I are currently "on a break", lol. However, I am very comfortable socializing without it's affects. I drink club soda and lime because I like it, and I don't attempt to "fool" people that I'm drinking.

The problem, as I see it, has nothing to do with you not drinking. You don't need to explain why, and in my experience, most people won't care a bit whether you drink or not. The problem seems to be that you don't feel comfortable socializing without the lubricating effect alcohol has on most people.

As someone who doesn't have that issue, I don't have specific advice, but I do think one of the best things you can do is go to these events and try and push a bit out of your comfort zone. People love to talk about themselves, you don't necessarily have to be outgoing and charming - a good listener is always welcome in these crowds.

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3183
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2015, 07:19:57 AM »
In the spirit of not giving a fuck what others think, order what you want to drink (no alcohol) and drink it. You'll be surprised how few people notice what you're drinking anyway.

purplepants

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 97
    • My Journey - Purplepants' Journey From The 7th Circle of Hell
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2015, 07:55:42 AM »
In the spirit of not giving a fuck what others think, order what you want to drink (no alcohol) and drink it. You'll be surprised how few people notice what you're drinking anyway.

I was just coming on here to post this, and oldtoyota has made my link that much more useful.  The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck:
  http://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck

Drink what you want.  If that's a soda or a water, good for you.  It's nobody's business whether you choose to drink or why.  If someone asks, answer however you want - "I don't usually drink."  "I don't drink on weeknights."  "I never drink when I'm driving home." "Why do you care?"

Anyone who's worth a shit will respect that.  Anyone who tries to push you, tease you, or shame you into having a drink isn't worth your fucking time.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8202
  • Location: United States
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #38 on: February 03, 2015, 08:28:03 AM »
No one at work has EVER judged me for drinking water or soda. I've found that adults just don't care about this sort of thing.  And I'm everyone's best friend at the events where we get a limited number of bar tickets :)

When I went out with a pair of coworkers and they were actually apologetic about going to a bar when they found out I don't drink at all- I told them I just didn't care for alcohol, it wasn't religion or alcoholism so I didn't mind being in a bar, and it was quickly forgotten that I was drinking water and we carried on.

So grab a water and network away. 

MontanaMoneyMustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2015, 09:52:36 AM »
Wow! Thank you for all of the replies. I wish I could respond to each one but I don't think I have the time!

To clarify, I DON'T want to fool anyone into thinking I have a drink in my hand. It's not a big deal to me, and I have simply explained why I'm not drinking many times. There may be some residual shyness for not having a beer in my hand, but I don't see that as the case.

My biggest thing is the "social lubricating" factor that many of you have mentioned. I really open up after a few drinks. After my crazy high school/college party phase I really tuned into a homebody. 

I think the general consensus is I need to just go and have fun. Order up a water or Diet Pepsi (my preferred NA drink!) and push outside my comfort limits. My biggest struggle as of late has been socializing in large groups. This is the time to change that! I do fine 1 on 1, but most people don't get to see that because of my issues with large gatherings.   

To respond to a few other points mentioned:
I don't time myself after a drink and say it's okay to drive after a certain amount of time. I'm sure I would blow 0.00% but that's not the point. I never drink at lunch so that's not a problem. If I have a beer or two (or more!) at home in the evening with some friends, I usually sleep in the next morning and don't worry about it. It's rare that I will rage and drink 10 beers and get up the next morning and have to drive (I don't put myself in that situation). So NO, one drink and hanging out for 60+ minutes in not an option for me.

JeffC - No it's not the Blackfoot, but it is exactly the same concept. Tasting room only, 3 beers max per day. It is a very family friendly place (along with 5 or 6 other breweries in the area). The issues with Thursday nights at this particular establishment is it's very crowded and loud. Not the best scene for two small children. Sometimes me and my wife and kids will go to one of the local breweries at a less busy time. We enjoy getting out of the house and spending time with each other over a beer/root beer. She doesn't drink at all so she drives us home. The 4 YO loves the root beer and snacks. The baby has a nice nap.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3054
  • Location: Emmaus, PA
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2015, 10:00:27 AM »
I find that if I don't drink coffee for a while, it has a similar social effect to alcohol on me. YMMV.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15085
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2015, 10:08:37 AM »

To respond to a few other points mentioned:
I don't time myself after a drink and say it's okay to drive after a certain amount of time. ... So NO, one drink and hanging out for 60+ minutes in not an option for me.
Ok, so not to play devil's advocate here, but what about 120 minutes?  180 minutes?  I guess I just don't understand the logic here.  As someone who's lost two friends to drunk drivers, I absolutely applaud you for deciding that you won't ever drink and drive.  But science and biology can give the answer here.  Your driving simply won't be influenced by alcohol if you wait an appropriate amount of time.    If you prefer to drink a diet coke, great!  Less money spent.  But saying NO ... makes no sense to me.  (shrug)  Of course it's your choice, so do what makes you comfortable.

greaper007

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2015, 10:20:50 AM »
In college I used to have a breathalyzer.    It was a great way to meet people (everyone wanted to use it) and it prevented me from ever having a DUI.   There were times that I thought I was ok to drive but the machine said otherwise.    I'd wait for a half hour or so and take off when I was under the limit.   

If you had one beer over the course of an hour, I can't imagine there would be any left at the time you drove home.   A $25 (not accurate if you're near the legal limit, but accurate for one or two beers) would give you the peace of mind to drive home.

darkadams00

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2015, 10:48:34 AM »
Much of the latter portion of this thread has gone down the "if you use x as your rationale for why you don't do y, then family/friends/coworkers/forumites will spend a lot of energy trying to help you understand why x is not a valid reason." Decide what you want out of life for reasons that work for you. If it's religion, non-religious folks might not understand. If it's experience, folks who haven't had that experience might not understand. If it's personal taste/preference, folks with other tastes and preferences might not understand.

Would a boss hold back an orthodox Jew or a vegan who is an ace in the office because he didn't attend the company pig-picking? If so, I wouldn't think twice about moving on to a better work environment (I'm not a Jew or a vegan, just an example). For full disclosure, my wife and I don't drink alcohol for several reasons. My boss and I have actually discussed it in length while on a business trip. I work with people who may or may not understand. I socialize with people who understand. If a person is not an understanding person, then I definitely have no intention schmoozing with him/her after work just to get ahead in my career. My work ethic, habits, and output speak for themselves. If I have to play politics or worry about the color of the liquid in my glass, then that "opportunity of a lifetime" will just have to pass me by (and it hasn't thus far).

Life is too short and there are too many hoops to jump through if you try to please all people. Choose the right hoops, and you'll please the right people, yourself most importantly.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 10:51:14 AM by darkadams00 »

AllieVaulter

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 304
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2015, 03:03:51 PM »
Much of the latter portion of this thread has gone down the "if you use x as your rationale for why you don't do y, then family/friends/coworkers/forumites will spend a lot of energy trying to help you understand why x is not a valid reason." Decide what you want out of life for reasons that work for you.

+1

I'm an introvert too, so I understand how difficult it can be to hang out with a group, especially without the aid of alcohol.  I think though, that the more you hang out with your coworkers, the easier it will become.  You don't have to be the life of the party, but as others have said, try to ask questions to keep conversations going.  Drunk people don't generally need that much to inspire them to talk.  And they are funny.  I think you'll find the more you join this group, the more comfortable you'll be with them.

MontanaMoneyMustache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2015, 03:45:20 PM »

To respond to a few other points mentioned:
I don't time myself after a drink and say it's okay to drive after a certain amount of time. ... So NO, one drink and hanging out for 60+ minutes in not an option for me.
Ok, so not to play devil's advocate here, but what about 120 minutes?  180 minutes?  I guess I just don't understand the logic here.  As someone who's lost two friends to drunk drivers, I absolutely applaud you for deciding that you won't ever drink and drive.  But science and biology can give the answer here.  Your driving simply won't be influenced by alcohol if you wait an appropriate amount of time.    If you prefer to drink a diet coke, great!  Less money spent.  But saying NO ... makes no sense to me.  (shrug)  Of course it's your choice, so do what makes you comfortable.

I understand the science behind it and agree 100%. I work a technical job so I'm not stranger to that sort of thing. Still my policy, though.

In college I used to have a breathalyzer.    It was a great way to meet people (everyone wanted to use it) and it prevented me from ever having a DUI.   There were times that I thought I was ok to drive but the machine said otherwise.    I'd wait for a half hour or so and take off when I was under the limit.   

If you had one beer over the course of an hour, I can't imagine there would be any left at the time you drove home.   A $25 (not accurate if you're near the legal limit, but accurate for one or two beers) would give you the peace of mind to drive home.

We used to do that back in college, although many people (including myself) would still drive. It was more of a fun toy back then. If it works for you, then great!

Much of the latter portion of this thread has gone down the "if you use x as your rationale for why you don't do y, then family/friends/coworkers/forumites will spend a lot of energy trying to help you understand why x is not a valid reason." Decide what you want out of life for reasons that work for you. If it's religion, non-religious folks might not understand. If it's experience, folks who haven't had that experience might not understand. If it's personal taste/preference, folks with other tastes and preferences might not understand.

Would a boss hold back an orthodox Jew or a vegan who is an ace in the office because he didn't attend the company pig-picking? If so, I wouldn't think twice about moving on to a better work environment (I'm not a Jew or a vegan, just an example). For full disclosure, my wife and I don't drink alcohol for several reasons. My boss and I have actually discussed it in length while on a business trip. I work with people who may or may not understand. I socialize with people who understand. If a person is not an understanding person, then I definitely have no intention schmoozing with him/her after work just to get ahead in my career. My work ethic, habits, and output speak for themselves. If I have to play politics or worry about the color of the liquid in my glass, then that "opportunity of a lifetime" will just have to pass me by (and it hasn't thus far).

Life is too short and there are too many hoops to jump through if you try to please all people. Choose the right hoops, and you'll please the right people, yourself most importantly.

I don't think any of my superiors would ever hold back on giving me a promotion because I didn't show up. But personal interaction outside of work is always a plus. I really like the points you make, and i know my hard work will pay off no matter what I partake in outside the office.

Much of the latter portion of this thread has gone down the "if you use x as your rationale for why you don't do y, then family/friends/coworkers/forumites will spend a lot of energy trying to help you understand why x is not a valid reason." Decide what you want out of life for reasons that work for you.

+1

I'm an introvert too, so I understand how difficult it can be to hang out with a group, especially without the aid of alcohol.  I think though, that the more you hang out with your coworkers, the easier it will become.  You don't have to be the life of the party, but as others have said, try to ask questions to keep conversations going.  Drunk people don't generally need that much to inspire them to talk.  And they are funny.  I think you'll find the more you join this group, the more comfortable you'll be with them.

Agreed! I will most definitely be stepping up and attending next week.

Returnoftheyeti

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Co-Workers and Drinking
« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2015, 05:41:57 PM »
You're a strong person. Stay strong and pull a nice and tall Diet Coke. It simply doesn't matter.

+1 well said but I would go with a regular Coke

IMO - Reg Coke in a bar is WAY to sweet, and flat.  In a bar, Diet Coke FTW - every time...

/sober for 15 years.....