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Fun, Frivolity and/or Forced Conviviality?
June 24, 2008 4:03 PM   Subscribe

"One in five U.S. workers regularly attends after-work drinks with co-workers, where the most common mishaps range from bad-mouthing another worker to kissing a colleague and drinking too much, according to a study released on Tuesday."* And "why do workers go to happy hour? The majority (82 percent) of workers report that they attend happy hour to bond with their co-workers, while another 20 percent find it to be a great way to network. Fifteen percent of workers said they attend to hear the latest office gossip, while 13 percent only go because they feel obligated to be there. One-in-ten workers (11 percent) use happy hour as a way to bond with their boss"

A related survey found that "[i]f you are interested in dating co-workers....Greece, the Netherlands and Spain may be the best places for you to work.

Out of the countries surveyed, Greek workers (66 per cent) are the most likely to have engaged in an office romance, followed by workers in the Netherlands (51 per cent), Spain (46 per cent), the UK (40 per cent), Sweden (40 per cent) and the U.S. (40 per cent). Workers in Germany (28 per cent) are the least likely to have dated a co-worker."
posted by ericb (76 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Greece is for lovers!
posted by ericb at 4:06 PM on June 24, 2008


One in five U.S. workers regularly attends after-work drinks with co-workers, where the most common mishaps range from bad-mouthing another worker to kissing a colleague and drinking too much, according to a study released on Tuesday

So, wait, let me get this straight-- one of the most common mishaps of going out drinking is... drinking too much? That's crazy talk. I question these results, and demand to know their survey methodology. Which I will peruse as soon as I finish this drink.

Or maybe the next one.
posted by dersins at 4:17 PM on June 24, 2008


ericb, the post is not very good, but the tags are awful!
posted by Joybooth at 4:22 PM on June 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


At a previous job I didn't go to after-hour events because my female co-workers were married and/or spoken for. See, I wanted to drunkenly hook up with them, but I knew it wouldn't happen without breaking up some marriages and engagements.

Not sure if this makes me a good person or a bad person though. Hmm. Yeah, have to say that I'm teh awesome as a co-worker.
posted by bardic at 4:27 PM on June 24, 2008


I learned my lesson about after-work drinks with co-workers when i woke up on the beach, 50 miles from home, in my underwear and a quarter duct-taped to my wrist.

I was late for work that day.

I'm much more careful now.
posted by Artichoke Dance Off!! at 4:28 PM on June 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


There's like, 140 percent there.
Just sayin'.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 4:29 PM on June 24, 2008


I own my own business. I'm the only employee. So who am I going to make out with?
posted by Ironmouth at 4:30 PM on June 24, 2008


There's like, 140 percent there.
Just sayin'.


Either people are drinking with coworkers for more than one reason, or they only only surveyed subprime mortgage brokers.
posted by dersins at 4:33 PM on June 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


Lucky me that I'm a bartender.
posted by ZaneJ. at 4:33 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


In Japan, the whole society, and especially the workplace, is run by strict rules of seniority. But most salarymen all go out drinking together after work, and a junior lackey getting shitfaced drunk and calling the big boss a schmuck, dancing on the table, puking in the alley...is no big deal. It's all forgotten the next day. And drinking after work for most salarymen (or at least a large percentage) is mandatory. You just don't say "No thanks, I gotta get back home to my loving wife and daughter." Nope, you're out getting plastered.
posted by zardoz at 4:39 PM on June 24, 2008


I own my own business. I'm the only employee. So who am I going to make out with?

Temps.
posted by bardic at 4:43 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The majority (82 percent) of workers report that they attend happy hour to bond with their co-workers, while another 20 percent find it to be a great way to network. Fifteen percent of workers said they attend to hear the latest office gossip, while 13 percent only go because they feel obligated to be there. One-in-ten workers (11 percent) use happy hour as a way to bond with their boss"

what percent just wanted cheap drinks? and since when is kissing a co-worker a mishap? me and pips met as co-workers. the two girlfriends before her were co-workers, too. work is a great place to pick up chicks, man.
posted by jonmc at 4:47 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I own my own business. I'm the only employee. So who am I going to make out with?

"Oh, hey, HP Scanjet. I didn't know you came to these things. I thought you and Dell were, like... you know. Connected."
posted by katillathehun at 4:50 PM on June 24, 2008 [19 favorites]


Well, it's a serial connection, not parallel, y'know...
posted by jonmc at 4:56 PM on June 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Putting the fire back in Firewire.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:57 PM on June 24, 2008


Well, it's a serial connection, not parallel, y'know...

Hey, everybody needs to unplug now and then.
posted by katillathehun at 4:58 PM on June 24, 2008


Just avoid USB devices like the plague. Those little ho's will do anything, even daisy chains.
posted by jonmc at 4:59 PM on June 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


The majority (82 percent) of workers report that they attend happy hour to bond with their co-workers


"Hey Steve. What, the bar? Nah, I'm good. Why? Well, that shit you promised the client would be no problem is actually going to take half the fucking day, which throws my schedule outta wack, so now I have to scramble, so the only thing I want to do with you now is smash a beer bottle over your head and leave your frat boy body for 100 sex starved convicts, maybe some other time?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:08 PM on June 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


In related news, people like lightbulbs.

Grrrreat post!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:11 PM on June 24, 2008


In related news, people like lightbulbs.

Some more than others.
posted by jonmc at 5:13 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I dated a pretty SCSI co-worker once...
posted by Mcable at 5:14 PM on June 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


I own my own business. I'm the only employee. So who am I going to make out with?
Just tell the boss to go fuck himself.
posted by bunglin jones at 5:18 PM on June 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I dated a pretty SCSI co-worker once...

me, too. We were quite the twisted pair.
posted by jonmc at 5:23 PM on June 24, 2008 [18 favorites]


I went to work drinks once. I drank five bottles of wine, touched a coworker's boobs (by accident, honestly), got thrown into a taxi, vomited in the taxi, got thrown out of the taxi, gave all my money to taxi driver, couldn't get another taxi, staggered through the heat for two hours, fell over on a train track, couldn't get up from the train track, eventually got up from the train track, sat down next to the train track and smoked a cigarette, got up again, walked another hour through a busy mall with loads of people staring at this filthy sunburned guy with red wine puke all down the front of his shirt, called ten times for a taxi, an hour later eventually got a taxi, sat in the taxi, asked the taxi driver "SO DO YOU LIKE GIRLS?", taxi driver said yes, I said "ME TOO! WE SHOULD JOIN A CLUB!", taxi driver laughed, taxi driver took me home, I had no money to give taxi driver, staggered upstairs, demanded money from girlfriend, got money from girlfriend, went back downstairs, gave money to taxi driver, went back upstairs, took off clothes, fell into bed, girlfriend laughed at me but then felt bad and cleaned me as best she could and dressed my wounds, I fell asleep for a day. So, yeah, work drinks are pretty good.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:23 PM on June 24, 2008 [18 favorites]


Man, and I thought my reason for after-work drinks would be the number one: I go out for after-work drinks to get fucking drunk. Ancillarily, to forget the fucking retards I work with and the bullshit that I have to put up with. But mostly to get fucking drunk, and cheap because it's happy hour.
posted by klangklangston at 5:30 PM on June 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


On the other hand, close to four-in-ten workers (39 percent) who do not attend happy hours do so because they like to keep their work and personal lives separate.

*raises glass*
posted by jason's_planet at 5:33 PM on June 24, 2008


Ancillarily, to forget the fucking retards I work with and the bullshit that I have to put up with.

That's what getting drunk at lunch is for.
posted by jonmc at 5:33 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I had a job, I was there for the beer.
posted by autodidact at 5:35 PM on June 24, 2008


I have always observed proper conduct when with lady co-workers. My wife approves of this message.
posted by Postroad at 5:36 PM on June 24, 2008


"I own my own business. I'm the only employee. So who am I going to make out with?

Temps."


I thought that said Tempe, and I was all "Yeah, Tempe could use a little lovin'."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:38 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hell, one time I slipped out for a liquid lunch and a co-worker of mine, this chick LaTonia walked in. She saw me slurping suds with my cheeseburger and wagged a finger at me. "I won't tell if you don't," I said. "hey," she answered "have yourself a beer. have two, baby." I did, and then another.

Last week while I was out with bronchitis, she quit in a huff and walked out. I do not think these incidents are connected.
posted by jonmc at 5:39 PM on June 24, 2008


Social drinking with coworkers. There's no part of that sentence fragment I like.
posted by DU at 5:40 PM on June 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


We don't believe in happy hour where I live, we just pick up a 12 pack and drink it in the truck on the way home.
posted by nola at 5:50 PM on June 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


A couple of life event timing issues led to my current place of employment also housing a large percentage of my friends.

It's very hard for me NOT to go drinking with co-workers...
posted by flaterik at 5:50 PM on June 24, 2008


This needed a study?

I shoulda been a researcher.
posted by rokusan at 5:54 PM on June 24, 2008


I actually used to work next to a bar in Miami that had an 8-hour happy hour according the sign outside. The only time I ever went in there, was after a layoff meeting when I told my pal Jimmy that I needed a drink. The only other patrons were two middle-aged Cuban guys in Hawaiian shirts dancing to an old Sanatana song. The place smelled of nacho puke.

Be warned.
posted by jonmc at 5:58 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Work, the curse of the drinking classes.
posted by Abiezer at 6:08 PM on June 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


As an added bonus, when you're incontinently drunk and walking along through the hot Australian sun ("The Australian sun is like this, while the American sun is like this, amirite?"), what little water you have left in your body quickly gets sucked right the hell out, and you get drunker. If that's not profoundly economical and efficient then I don't know what to tell you. Disclaimer: You may actually die.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:11 PM on June 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, it's "after work" right now at my house, and I'm sharing a bottle of pinot with a former co-worker, who is now the spouse..

it all works out just fine.... we actually spend less time in bars now... :)
posted by HuronBob at 6:18 PM on June 24, 2008


The debauchery I have witnessed during and after "work drinks" makes me wonder...no, I better even not go there.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:18 PM on June 24, 2008


A sure sign that I'm old, or I'm a wuss, or both, but td's description of afternoon drinks makes me just want to sit quietly on my couch.
posted by maxwelton at 6:19 PM on June 24, 2008


No, go there, please.
posted by cashman at 6:42 PM on June 24, 2008


When I worked in Local Government in England the Union ran the bar that was located in the Council offices. After work my arse - the last place I worked had a bar with 3 snooker tables, a scattering of dartboards and a few pool tables. They were never so full after work - it was strictly lunchtime. Now that is how to drink.
posted by Sk4n at 7:07 PM on June 24, 2008


I can't be bothered to quit drinking long enough to leave work and go to a bar.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:13 PM on June 24, 2008


Am I the only one who goes to corporate fun events out of fear? My hope is that the current trend for belt tightening will lead to happy hour cut backs and fewer massive dinners.

HuronBob - the white or the red on that pinot? So few will admit to enjoying the specialness that is the right bottle of the non noir Pinot.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:19 PM on June 24, 2008


I could have missed another Mefite making the same point, but for god's sakes, I spend 8-plus hours a day with my co-workers. Why would I ever want to spend one more freaking minute in their presence. I'm no prude -- I've spent plenty of time hammered with my own friends -- and I actually enjoy working with the people I do, but I'll be damned if I subject myself to extracurricular hang-out time.

Ahem. Not that I feel strongly about it or anything.
posted by not_the_water at 7:23 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


that would be a white...
posted by HuronBob at 7:24 PM on June 24, 2008


Vote: What's the worst thing you've done drinking with coworkers?
posted by ericb at 8:01 PM on June 24, 2008


Greece Grease is for lovers!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:15 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't work in office and don't go to happy hour, however can relate story brother-in law told me. Go to happy hour so I don't have to go home to my fucking bitchy wife. I suppose that's a good a reason as any.
posted by brickman at 8:26 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


posted by brickcaveman
posted by katillathehun at 8:28 PM on June 24, 2008


Hun v caveman: let the cultural oneupmanship begin!
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:48 PM on June 24, 2008


You let him talk that way about your sister, brickman?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:51 PM on June 24, 2008


hey, maybe his wife's brother really did marry a fucking bitch.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:00 PM on June 24, 2008


I want to make a joke about how maybe we're talking about the same woman, but I don't know brickman well enough to diss him like that just for a punch line. So - yeah. Probably his wife's brother. Brockman.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:09 PM on June 24, 2008


I couldn't stand those weenies' after hours conversations sober, that's why.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:28 PM on June 24, 2008


I love all the deep concern about making out with a coworker. Do people not have sex anymore?
posted by naoko at 9:34 PM on June 24, 2008


Ok ok, wait - do the other people down the hall, but technically in a different lab, count as coworkers?
posted by porpoise at 9:38 PM on June 24, 2008


My dad was a pipefitter at a chemical rubber plant. He worked at that place for 30+ years, then the company offered him - and about 50 other guys - a pretty good early retirement package. They all took it, which meant they all had the exact same last day at work. That day, when the whistle blew, most of them headed over to the union hall.

Was there drinking?

Yes. Yes, there was.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:38 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love all the deep concern about making out with a coworker. Do people not have sex anymore?

You don't "have sex" with a coworker, dude. You "reassess synergies and shift the paradigm, moving forward".
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:00 PM on June 24, 2008


depends on your career. in sales, you nail your prospects, whereas in IT you probably just mess around with racks a lot.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:05 PM on June 24, 2008


Yeah, fuck that. I've avoided bars, gyms, and lunch places to keep my distance from coworkers. They're tolerable enough right now. A sure cure for that is getting to know them better.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:22 PM on June 24, 2008


But I have to go drinking with my co-workers. If I keep turning them down, they might realize how much I secretly hate them.
posted by faster than a speeding bulette at 10:33 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The only other patrons were two middle-aged Cuban guys in Hawaiian shirts dancing to an old Sanatana song. The place smelled of nacho puke.

Good lord that is funny, jonmc.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 11:14 PM on June 24, 2008


I spend 8-plus hours a day with my co-workers. Why would I ever want to spend one more freaking minute in their presence.

So you can fuck them. Sometimes, if you get them drunk, they will let you fuck them. It's usually problematic to get it on during the work day.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:21 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


So you can fuck them.

Oh lord, meatbomb. I wish you saw the people I work with before you said that...
posted by not_the_water at 11:45 PM on June 24, 2008


After work my arse - the last place I worked had a bar with 3 snooker tables, a scattering of dartboards and a few pool tables.

What, no strippers?

Some time ago, I used to drink in a pub by the docks that had lunchtime strippers -- you know the deal, they take a glass around the customers before they get their kit off. It was quite miraculous to watch the way the pub would be completely empty until a few minutes before their set, then all of a sudden, the place would be jam packed full of dockers. Then, as soon as the set ended, it would empty out again.

This ritual happened three or four times an hour between 12.00 am and 3.00 pm, like clockwork. How any ships ever got unloaded, I'll never know.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:46 AM on June 25, 2008


I wish you saw the people I work with before you said that...

What do you suppose the alcohol is for, not_the_water?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:51 AM on June 25, 2008


In my work place, a cabal of bakers makes bread every Friday to accompany drinkies at "Beer O'Clock." There is a server called "isitbeeroclockyet" which provides an intranet page that counts down the seconds to 4pm Friday, when the call goes out to all via email and IRC (the bakers lurk in #bakery). It is very civilised. By and large I like my co-workers, and I like free beer and wine, and it's all good.

I do know one person who founded a new firm with a strict no-work-drinkies-on-Friday rule, because under the bibulous influence of a bunch of Irishmen, several colleagues at his former workplace - no mean drinkers in their own right - required hospital treatment and their stomachs pumped.

My only qualm is that the practise is exclusionary for the teetotaller, but I suppose they are compensated by the ability to make sober observations while their colleagues are vulnerable.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:14 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


(Anecdote from my time living/working in London)
email to all from usual suspect: its almost 4pm, see you all down at the pub!

reply from all: hooray! see you there soon!

reply from new Portuguese manager: why is everyone so keen to get to the pub so early? You will all be absolutely legless by eight.

reply from sender: welcome to Britain.
posted by nudar at 3:50 AM on June 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I haven't "done" happy hours for quite awhile now that I've been MOB'd with the Army for nearly three years with no end in sight. But I've spent countless hours sitting in a bars and slurping on the latest popular concoction. What I remember most is how expensive inexpensive drinks are when you manage to stretch happy hour into four or five hours and add several appetizers on top. I made a point of not doing happy hour with coworkers, but instead with my friends who I did not work with, thus lessening the chance of my drunken anti-boss/coworker tirades getting back to the wrong people.

I had no desire to spend more time with people I was forced to spend time with all day. Although I did work at one law firm where the managing partner used to give the associates a credit card and send us out in the evening to "bond." We would go to the trediest and most expensive bars and order non-reduced priced drinks and loads of appetizers. I learned more than I wanted to know about my coworkers' lives. It did nothing to create a better work environment, but instead gave everyone the chance to gather amunition to use against each other. I am so happy I don't live that life anymore.
posted by Juicylicious at 8:54 AM on June 25, 2008


I'm torn on the happy hour thing in my office.. it CAN be fun, as long as you know when to duck out, and free booze on the big boss's card is never a bad thing.

then again, I just like booze.
posted by tj at 9:23 AM on June 25, 2008


I've attended many after work functions where I've seen co-workers get blisteringly drunk, say things they've regretted, and hook up with people that they've really regretted when the cold light of day forces them to recall what the night before had them doing.

One would think that this would inspire a level of sobriety in someone who has witnessed such embarrassing excesses.

Nope. Now I just stay drunk all day. That way I never remember and therefore, can't be held responsible.

That's how it works, right?
posted by quin at 9:38 AM on June 25, 2008


So you can fuck them.

Oh lord, meatbomb. I wish you saw the people I work with before you said that...


Or, maybe you have seen some of the people I've worked with.
posted by Zambrano at 10:39 AM on June 25, 2008


Greece is for lovers!

France would easily top this list...





if they actually went to work .
posted by Brak at 12:17 PM on June 25, 2008


Breaking news!
posted by nola at 10:09 AM on June 30, 2008


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