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April 8, 2010 3:27 PM   Subscribe


 
Lighten up, Carlsberg. I drink 3 beers on the job all the time. And I'm a lifeguard!
posted by battlebison at 3:29 PM on April 8, 2010


In related news from the Carlsberg brewery, deaths by accidental drowning have fallen 32 percent.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:32 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't use the word "Hero" very often, but....
posted by Floydd at 3:34 PM on April 8, 2010 [13 favorites]


There should be no on the job drinking, period. Especially at a brewery of all places. These folks do indeed need to lighten up. Nobody wants a drunk running potentially dangerous equipment.

I don't see too much wrong with firing all those who are striking over something so petty and hiring on people with a bit of responsibility. Sorry, you should not be drinking ON THE job. A beer while your out to lunch? Sure. But while you're working? No way.
posted by deacon_blues at 3:35 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, the good old days, when drinking on the job wasn't just for "Mad Men." I remember how impressed my father was after a tour of the Utica Club brewery: "They have a drinking fountain that has beer come out!"

The first job I had after college was at a small TV station, the GM had a deal with the local Genesee brewery. Cream Ale on tap in his office. Only for after work... or lunch... or slow afternoons... good times.
posted by Marky at 3:35 PM on April 8, 2010


Furthermore, these people had the luxury of fully stocked fridges to pick beer out of as they choose and they strike just because they can only drink at lunch?

Heroes? No, greedy people who don't seem to understand how many people are out of work and would gladly, soberly, take this job.
posted by deacon_blues at 3:37 PM on April 8, 2010


Yeah, but how much on the job beer drinking can you do if you don't go to work? I hate to see a strike that can't stick to its ideals.
posted by Hoenikker at 3:38 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Heroes? No, greedy people who don't seem to understand how many people are out of work and would gladly, soberly, take this job.

Denmark has an employment problem?
posted by Max Power at 3:43 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Working Drunk's Guide to getting Crocked on the Clock.
posted by gman at 3:44 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


There should be no on the job drinking, period. . . . But while you're working? No way.

Thanks Dad. Can I be ungrounded in time for the prom?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:44 PM on April 8, 2010 [13 favorites]


Finally, a labor dispute I can get behind!
posted by tommasz at 3:44 PM on April 8, 2010


Heroes? No, greedy people who don't seem to understand how many people are out of work and would gladly, soberly, take this job.

Lessee, Denmark's unemployment rate is around 4.3%, so, maybe a few. But then again, they're Danes, so "gladly, soberly" maybe not so much.
posted by Floydd at 3:48 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


He added that the company's trucks have been fitted with alcohol locks so that drivers would not be able to drink too much and drive.

Oh... Well. Then what's the problem?
posted by Splunge at 3:48 PM on April 8, 2010


Alcohol Related Accidents

Alcohol testing in the workplace has been shown to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from on-the-job accidents. The testing also reduces sexual harassment, employee theft and turnover.

Accidents from Alcohol

Alcohol's involvement in work-related accidents varies greatly by type of industry, but the proportion of those testing positive for blood alcohol following a work-related accident is considerably lower than for other kinds of injuries, particularly in the United States, since drinking on the job is not a widespread or regular activity. Among work-related fatalities, an estimated 15 percent has been found positive for blood alcohol, and a range of 1 to 16 percent has been estimated for nonfatal injuries, according to Giesbrecht et al. (1989).

I'm not a prude by any means. I drink occasionally and enjoy myself. But a brewery is not the kind of place you should be allowed to be drinking at if you're dealing with heavy machinery, chemicals, and drastic temperatures.
posted by deacon_blues at 3:50 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


deacon_blues said: "There should be no on the job drinking, period."

Who died and made you deacon?

HIBT?
posted by sidereal at 3:52 PM on April 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


according to Giesbrecht et al. (1989).

Your citation is of legal drinking age.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:54 PM on April 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


If people have trouble not drinking for the 6-8ish hours a day that most people work, then it's probably safe to assume that they have a deeper problem.

There's nothing wrong with enjoying a drink after a long day of work. Its a reward to yourself. But sipping on brews throughout the day, and this is my opinion, is highly unprofessional and irresponsible.
posted by deacon_blues at 3:55 PM on April 8, 2010


Floydd: Lessee, Denmark's unemployment rate is around 4.3%, so, maybe a few. But then again, they're Danes, so "gladly, soberly" maybe not so much.

The current rate isn't bad compared to most countries, but it's up from 1.5% two years ago. Pretty good for a world recession, though.
posted by Kattullus at 3:55 PM on April 8, 2010


No way, drinking at work is awesome. At my old job we did it all the time. Ahh, Friday afternoons with a fridge full of beer and what's that now Apache just went down? Piss off we're playing Quake 3 Arena
posted by threetoed at 3:56 PM on April 8, 2010


You're all just jealous, admit it. Not only do they get free beer, but they're unionized and paid a living wage.
posted by mek at 3:56 PM on April 8, 2010 [18 favorites]


highly unprofessional

I'd say if I'm a factory hand it's virtually a professional obligation.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:58 PM on April 8, 2010


As an aside, the Carlsberg brewery tour admission (DKK 60 or so) includes coupons for two beers. As two beers in a local pub would be more expensive, many locals buy admission for the tour and head straight for the tasting room. It's very crowded.
posted by Morrigan at 4:03 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's something sober in the state of Denmark.

And it's the Carlsberg brewery. I'll be here all week. Remember to tip your server.
posted by hippybear at 4:12 PM on April 8, 2010


If people have trouble not drinking for the 6-8ish hours a day that most people work, then it's probably safe to assume that they have a deeper problem.

You must have a really nice job.
posted by jonmc at 4:25 PM on April 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


DeKooning, Pollock, Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns... All can be seen in photographs working, paintbrush in one hand, drink in the other...
posted by R. Mutt at 4:36 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]




If people have trouble not drinking for the 6-8ish hours a day that most people work, then it's probably safe to assume that they have a deeper problem.

You're right. It's called being European. Terrible social epidemic. Leads to socialism, which breeds a less than absolute, slave-like devotion to work at the expense of all else. Also long vacations, social cohesion, the dread joie de vivre, and a general sense of well-being. Denmark, in particular, is rife with this last quality.

There's nothing wrong with enjoying a drink after a long day of work. Its a reward to yourself. But sipping on brews throughout the day, and this is my opinion, is highly unprofessional and irresponsible.

I'd just like to say, as a frequent visitor to Denmark who delights each time in discovering yet another swatch of the country's fantastically well-woven social fabric - including but not limited to the total absence of puritanical sanctimony on the subject of when, where and how to consume alcohol - that I'm thrilled, truly thrilled, that the good deacon's values are in such short supply. Leaves more storage space for Carlsberg and especially Tuborg (my preferred Danish brew).

Striking to preserve free workplace beer. I fucking love the Danes.
posted by gompa at 4:49 PM on April 8, 2010 [45 favorites]


and i thought it was sort of gutsy when louisiana decided to shut down drive through daiquiri shops.* the big argument from the 'pro' side of the house was, 'but what about people who work all day and want a cold one for the drive home?' and they were serious.

*full disclosure: you can still get a daiquiri at the drive-through, they just changed the law so it's now required that the clerk put a piece of tape over the little hole in the plastic top where the straw goes.
posted by msconduct at 4:58 PM on April 8, 2010


I did some consulting for Agfa Gevaert, in Belgium. I was surprised to find that the free cafeteria lunch included a tapped beer keg. Then, one day I was invited to the executive lunch chamber, and that was a round table, in a mahogany paneled room, of about 10 people, with 10 waiters standing around the perimeter continuously filling the red, white, and champagne glasses.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:00 PM on April 8, 2010


Mystery solved. I wondered when I visited Denmark why everyone seemed so red cheeked and happy . . .
posted by bearwife at 5:03 PM on April 8, 2010


So my BF was in Denmark for a lecture and was surprised to find they had a whole beer table for the students. At 10 AM. When he asked, they just shrugged and said "It's in the charter, if you have an early lecture you must provide beer."


I thought this was immensely practical.
posted by The Whelk at 5:42 PM on April 8, 2010 [16 favorites]


There's nothing wrong with enjoying a drink after a long day of work. Its a reward to yourself. But sipping on brews throughout the day, and this is my opinion, is highly unprofessional and irresponsible.

Tccch. Protestant.
posted by The Whelk at 5:44 PM on April 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


I would so love to have these people's problem.
posted by tracknode at 5:46 PM on April 8, 2010


As (probably) the only UKian still up at this time of night I feel honour bound to point out:

The Daily Mail?! Really??!

'Night.
posted by i_cola at 5:52 PM on April 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


"It's in the charter, if you have an early lecture you must provide beer."

This is too fucking brilliant for words.
posted by Think_Long at 6:04 PM on April 8, 2010


I've had jobs where you couldn't drink at work. I've had jobs where you could drink at work. And I've had jobs where it was mandated that you drink at work. I'll give you three guesses which jobs I liked best, and the first two don't count.
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:09 PM on April 8, 2010


deacon_blues: Nobody wants a drunk running potentially dangerous equipment.

ooooh! I know! I know! because:

"Drink scotch whiskey all night long/and die behind the wheel..."
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:29 PM on April 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


Overheard on tour of Highland Brewery:

us: "Are there any problems with, like, people drinking at work?"

tour guide: "No. We drink at work. No Problems."
posted by milestogo at 6:51 PM on April 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


Not only do they get free beer, but they're unionized and paid a living wage
Amen.

On the other hand, I recall hearing a story written by an ex-journalist who crossed the picket during the Wapping strikes in the 1980s, who went in to write for the evening deadline. About 10.30 the management came around with a trolley full of sandwiches (one each) and small cans of Heineken. Thanks boys! He said he was so disgusted never scabbed again.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:51 PM on April 8, 2010


"It's in the charter, if you have an early lecture you must provide beer."

mathowie, I'd like to propose a change to the MetaFilter TOS...
posted by armage at 6:55 PM on April 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


In Umberto Ecco's very funny light romp "Baudolino", there is an amusing bit where his mother implores him not to try to save money by refusing a bowl of wine and milk at lectures cause otherwise he'll fall asleep and be groggy.
posted by The Whelk at 7:00 PM on April 8, 2010


deacon_blues: Nobody wants a drunk running potentially dangerous equipment.

Surely This...
posted by R. Mutt at 7:37 PM on April 8, 2010


"There's nothing wrong with enjoying a drink after a long day of work. Its a reward to yourself. But sipping on brews throughout the day, and this is my opinion, is highly unprofessional and irresponsible."

Personally I'd prefer an employee who spaced a couple beers out over an eight hour shift over an employee who slammed two beers at lunch. The former is going to have BAL that would let them drive most places, the latter is going to be impaired for much of the after noon.
posted by Mitheral at 7:37 PM on April 8, 2010


Maybe this is just about the beer, but more likely it's about a long standing list of tiny grievances, possibly (just guessing here, as one example) having to do with management trying to change the balance of control in the workplace, and this was just a symbolic issue that set them off.

Having known people involved in bitter strikes, there's often a chasm between the actual reasons for striking and the reasons that get cherry-picked by the press (which the Daily Mail only barely qualifies as) for sensational copy.

Or, hey y'know, maybe they just like beer. Beer is pretty great.
posted by regicide is good for you at 8:04 PM on April 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Re: the daily mail
The other link was WSJ and seas behind a pay wall.
posted by nestor_makhno at 8:06 PM on April 8, 2010


i work in a factory where they won't even let you have BOTTLED WATER on the shop floor

i'm not feeling sorry for them
posted by pyramid termite at 8:22 PM on April 8, 2010


If people have trouble not drinking for the 6-8ish hours a day that most people work, then it's probably safe to assume that they have a deeper problem.

Huh? Who are these "most people" you know that can make a living working a 6-8ish hour day?
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:00 PM on April 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


My job is difficult enough while sober.
posted by planet at 9:55 PM on April 8, 2010


I love beer.
posted by fartknocker at 10:41 PM on April 8, 2010


I used to work for a Dane. He gave me beer. At like, 2:30. Sometimes hard stuff. I know whose side I'm on.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:21 PM on April 8, 2010


My friend's office has a few dozen bottles of wine under the conference table, and a fridge full of beer in the kitchen. 2 or 3pm is generally a fine time to open your first, though lunch is okay as well. You sit at your desk, have a sip, and carry on working.

They're adults. They can make decisions. This shouldn't be an issue.
posted by twirlypen at 12:03 AM on April 9, 2010


See, this is one of those threads that really makes me wonder where all the people who spout inane DRUNK DRIVING IS A HORRIBLE OFFENSE AND YOU SHOULD BE KICKED IN YOUR BALLS rhetoric in every drunk driving thread hide when we're not discussing that particular subject. It's like this community has subcommunities with their own principles specific to a given topic
posted by tehloki at 12:12 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


To clarify my point a little better: where is the legion of people condemning these people for driving home?
posted by tehloki at 12:13 AM on April 9, 2010


This labor battle isn't about drinking on the job; its about management being able to change the rules that exist in the workplace.

I know its hard for a lot of you to understand when you see "labor" "beer" and "strike" when all you're thinking about is "oh my god...my comment will be so funny for the others".
posted by hal_c_on at 12:42 AM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe this is just about the beer, but more likely it's about a long standing list of tiny grievances, possibly (just guessing here, as one example) having to do with management trying to change the balance of control in the workplace, and this was just a symbolic issue that set them off.

This labor battle isn't about drinking on the job; its about management being able to change the rules that exist in the workplace.


The workers strike because the management are changing the rules, and because they want free beer at work.

Copenhagen Post:
"Dennis Onsvig, union representative for the Terminal East employees, said the strike wasn’t just about the workers’ right to three beers a day.

‘We’ve actually stopped working because Carlsberg’s management violated the bargaining agreement by making a policy change without our input,’ said Onsvig. ‘There was no dialogue over the issue at all, and that’s just not good enough.’

He added that Carlsberg’s drivers are still allowed to drink three beers during the course of their shifts. (...)
Carlsberg’s management had previously tried to take away their drivers’ right to three beers a day but failed. Instead, alcohol locks were installed in all company trucks, meaning that the vehicles will not start if a driver registers an alcohol blood level of more than the legal .05 percent."

"Carlsberg spokesman Jens Bekke told Sky News: "We think times have changed and we need an alcohol policy that is accepted by society - 93% of Danish companies have an alcohol policy.

"There has been free beer, water and soft drinks everywhere. (On Wednesday), beers were removed from all refrigerators. The only place you can get a beer in future is in the canteen, at lunch."

Mr Bekke said Carlsberg drivers claim a "very old right" to have up to three beers per day outside lunch hours.

The warehouse workers say they share that entitlement - a claim the brewer disputes."
posted by iviken at 1:00 AM on April 9, 2010


I actually worked in a brewery during my undergrad degree. Four summers at the Molson brewery in Toronto. They had a similar beer policy. Our locker rooms/break rooms and cafeteria had stocked fridges and we were on an honor system that allowed 3 beers during an eight hour shift (one per break - we had no lunch break) and two after. Free.

It sounds crazy and it kind of is. After all these people are operating high speed machinery in a glass filled environment. Some are driving forklifts. But the other thing to keep in mind is that beer production is a seasonal business with the plant running hot in the summer. Football field sized pasteurizers are throwing off tonnes of heat. Beer is everywhere. You can grab a bottle and head to the can and drink it and nobody can stop you (the on floor toilet usually had about 5 guys in it at a time just sitting on stacked cases of beer talking or smoking) . In fact when Molson started bottling Kirin at the Barrie plant the fridge stocker would swipe some off the the trucks and put in our fridge even though we were not supposed to have it.

There were surprisingly few accidents. None that could be tied to drunkenness. There were however many many full-time employees who were alcoholics and quite overweight (5 beers a day is about an extra 1000 kcals per day = 2lbs of weight gain per week if you add it on top of your normal food intake).

So they can change the rule but good luck actually enforcing it. Unless they are going to watch their employees constantly it simply won't work. A better policy change would be to provide free cola and juice as well so that employees are not given an economic incentive to be drunk on the job.
posted by srboisvert at 3:13 AM on April 9, 2010


Who are these "most people" you know that can make a living working a 6-8ish hour day?

Europeans.
posted by ninebelow at 3:48 AM on April 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


deacon_blues : There should be no on the job drinking, period. Especially at a brewery of all places. These folks do indeed need to lighten up. Nobody wants a drunk running potentially dangerous equipment.

actually you are the one who needs to lighten up. just because that's not acceptable in ohio doesn't make it not acceptable in denmark. trying to ban beer consumption in denmark, where the beer often is so sweet you can't drink much without getting a pounding headache, is like outlawing guns in the states. no way they will get through with this and rightfully so. it's tradition.

also: denmark heavily taxes alcohol. saying they should just buy this on their own is disregarding the financial impact. we're not talking a dollar per beer here.

tehloki : To clarify my point a little better: where is the legion of people condemning these people for driving home?
most probably aren't. again, this is denmark. cars are expensive as hell and the public transportation system is excellent.
posted by krautland at 4:16 AM on April 9, 2010


greedy people who don't seem to understand how many people are out of work and would gladly, soberly, take this job.

again: you do not know what you're talking about. says wikipedia: As of June 2009 the unemployment rate is at 6.3%. that's nearly full employment for european standards. but hey, have fun getting all outraged.
posted by krautland at 4:18 AM on April 9, 2010


"To clarify my point a little better: where is the legion of people condemning these people for driving home?"

It's Denmark; they might all walk or take transit.

"A better policy change would be to provide free cola and juice as well so that employees are not given an economic incentive to be drunk on the job."

They already do this.
posted by Mitheral at 7:14 AM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't quite imagine personally having a beer and being able to continue working but I guess other people have more tolerance than I do. I have enough trouble concentrating and any alcohol would make that impossible.
posted by octothorpe at 9:11 AM on April 9, 2010


Carl: What do we want?

All: More equitable treatment at the hands of management!

Carl: When do we want it?

All: Soon!
posted by mikelieman at 10:26 AM on April 9, 2010


Reminds me of the Real Men of Genius commercials. Well beer-striking Carlsberg workers, I salute you.
posted by Carillon at 12:25 PM on April 9, 2010


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