Let’s talk about drinking

Here’s a question. How often do you have Friday (or any day) drinks at the office?

Drinking is such an integral part of Kiwi culture, whether it’s beers by the barbecue or beers in the boardroom after hours. Any excuse for beer’o’clock, really. I’m constantly getting alerts notifying me to the fact that someone I know has joined the I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a New Zealander Facebook group. Sad, but telling.

Epic drinking stories are a sign of pride, to be told and retold and elevated to legendary status. We had drinks this week for a colleague on his last day. Out came a story about literally crawling home after a particularly raucous evening at work (not long after joining the team…) I’ll admit I’ve had a few benders in my time, but not for a looong while, and me falling asleep at the end of it is about as exciting as it gets – I don’t get rowdy, I just get incredibly drowsy. I’m the most boring drinker EVER.

I actually kind of dread work drinks, because after a couple I’m hammered enough to call it a night. That’s why I generally stick to juice or something similar…because it’s REALLY obvious once the alcohol takes effect.

But sometimes it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable being the odd one out, you know? Sometimes people think you’re uptight or boring, and it’s ten times worse if you’re already feeling awkward. I tell myself that choosing not to drink really doesn’t affect how others perceive me, or my career, but it feels like sometimes being a team player means being a drinker.


10 thoughts on “Let’s talk about drinking

  • Reply SP February 6, 2010 at 19:20

    I like this. Drinking with coworkers is not a big part of my work culture, but I do think there is a bit of… a boys club when it comes to it. Maybe I am just silly.

    Anyway, once or twice i’ve had a couple (ie, 2) beers with coworkers, but i have not been drunk with them before.

  • Reply Revanche February 6, 2010 at 19:49

    Drinking at lunches and dinners out with work was always mandatory — and anyone who declined was definitely given the stinkeye in a myriad of ways.

    Like you, I just get sleepy so I’ll accept my glass of wine as they’re poured and completely don’t do any justice to it.

  • Reply The Asian Pear February 7, 2010 at 04:48

    maybe it’s just where I work but we separate after work. no drinking. it’s just not my office culture. no one drinks when at lunches either. the only time we’d really go drinking is after a big party at work or some sorta event.

  • Reply Amber from Girl with the Red Hair February 7, 2010 at 06:05

    I’ve heard that’s what the culture over there is like! Crazy,

    I’m not a big drinker AT ALL and Eric doesn’t drink alcohol. So between the two of us, we barely drink.

    For me, being 21 and in my last year of college, this can be kind of awkward sometimes because EVERYONE is constantly drinking. And if I want to hang out with my friends, I pretty much have to drink too. It’s annoying!

    To be honest, I don’t even like the TASTE of most alcoholic beverages. I like red wine, white wine and some cocktails. I HATE beer and most martinis. I also find drinking to be a HUGE waste of money and I hate the way it makes me feel the next day.

    So ya, not a big drinker over here either! Haha

  • Reply Tasha February 7, 2010 at 21:44

    I am such a boring drinking company myself. I had my days back when I didn’t have any responsibility and was younger. I even heard such a shocking story about people who’d spend almost their entire salary going out drinking/partying. That’s nuts!

    Don’t worry about what they say. Your lifestyle and choices are just different from theirs. I bet if the culture was the other way around, they’d find themselves in an uncomfortable situation and possibly evaluate their choices. 🙂

  • Reply Stephany February 8, 2010 at 02:50

    This is something I would definitely see as a problem once I get into a more “grown up” job. And I see it in my internship already. It’s tough because I’m not a drinker and cannot stand the taste of alcohol. I’ve tried and the only drink I can stomach is a margarita, and even then I don’t really like it. It’s OK but not something I say, “OH, MY GOSH. I HATE SUCH A BAD WEEK AT WORK. MARGARITAAAAAAAS TONIGHT!” Not. Me.

    So while I’ll probably go with the flow and have a drink with coworkers if I have to, I will. I’m just not going to get drunk (never have been, never will be!) and do things I know I’ll regret.

  • Reply Rubee February 9, 2010 at 01:17

    We have a big drinking culture here in Australia too and I’ve had my fair share of drinking stories over the years. I’ve mellowed out heaps over the years but I don’t mind the odd drink here or there so will go out for a drink once in a while but leave after a couple of drinks before I get too smashed. 🙂

  • Reply SeeJaneGetRich.com February 10, 2010 at 14:37

    When I was working at a law firm this past summer, drinking was a big work culture thing. We all would be invited by the younger attorneys to go to a bar on Friday’s and we would all go even though what we all wanted to do was go home and hang out with our actual friends.

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