Is It Ever OK to Drink During Your Lunch Break?
The return of AMC’s Mad Men for its final season brings about mixed feelings for a lot of viewers. There’s some sadness that it’s almost over, but it’s also a lot of fun to reacquaint ourselves with the characters, and culture, we’ve come to love. One aspect of the show that seems to have really made an impression, even with folks who don’t watch, is the drinking. In addition to introducing young people to old-timey cocktails like Manhattans and gimlets, the liquor fueled lifestyle of Mad Men left us in awe. For most of us, drinking during lunch is a rarity at best – a far cry from having wet bar in every office.
(Photo Credit: PhillipC/Flickr)
Still, even in 2015, some days the idea of having a drink during the workday can sound like a really great idea, but is it? The answer is, sadly, probably not. But, then again, it’s not completely out of the question. Here are some things to keep in mind.
1. It kind of depends on who you are.
Obviously, having a drink at lunch is completely out of the question for a lot of professionals. Depending on the job you do (teaching and nursing spring easily to mind) you might not even have the option of considering it. But, let’s assume the world won’t end if you imbibe (lightly) at lunch. As we all know, people handle drinking differently. For some, one drink would largely go unnoticed or detract from the work at hand. But for others, not so much. Don’t take your own word for it though – pay attention to the social cues around you to know whether or not having one drink (please stick to one) might be an OK-ish thing for you to do before heading back to the office.
2. Seriously consider the professional consequences.
No matter what job you have, chances are your boss won’t love that you had a drink during the workday. Remember that even if you’re off the clock – you can still get fired for drinking alcohol at lunch. The harsh reality of paying a serious consequence for this tiny indulgence might be pretty unpleasant to wade through.
3. Do what your client does.
For some, drinking during a working lunch is actually kind of polite. If you’re out with a client, let them order first. If, and only if, they order a drink, you should feel like you can order one too, at least in most cases. Again though – stick to just the one.
If you’re driving, ever, drinking should be totally off the table. But, having a nice stroll back to the office after a beer (and a meal – please don’t forget to eat) will do your head a lot of good and could help you transition back into work mode. In all likelihood though, you won’t get as much work done when you have a drink at lunch. Admit it; you know it’s true.
Have fun and be safe.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you think it’s okay to drink during your lunch break? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.
Gina Belli works as a teacher, freelance writer, and educational consultant, and lives in her beloved home state, Connecticut. She likes to write about education, work-life balance, and the economy. Given her arresting capacity to over-analyze anything interpersonal, her writing often tends to focus on some of the more emotional aspects of workplace connections and disconnections, as they relate to partnerships and teams, personality and communication styles, and leadership. In her free time, she likes to putter around her renovated one-room schoolhouse home, take walks in the woods, and eat as much guacamole as she can get her hands on.