Forced bonding is hell. In the office, there are strings attached to your boozing. This is not just you hanging out in a bar, with your friends, ordering pickle-back shots, hailing a cab, falling onto your bed, sleeping and waking up in the morning. This is you in an office environment, full of computers and papers and books to trip over. This is you drinking near a bunch of expensive equipment that you have a good chance of spilling something on. But most of all this is you drinking in the office. Note, according to Amoroso, at one such place, "Each week, one or two employees are tasked with creating a cocktail and sharing a personal story behind the drink." Could anything be worse than having to be part of a sharing drink-circle? Get out while you can; avoid the pain of the "bonding beverage."
Why taint the joy of the non-office drink? The best place to drink is on a boat somewhere, the sun shining down on you, melting the ice in your plastic cup, the wind blowing your hair as you cut through the waves on your souped-up catamaran. You are alive with the very thrill of your own excellent existence. The second best place to drink is the bar, and the third best is your own home, or someone else's. So why would you want to drink in an airless environment surrounded by the sweat of your own toil, and yesterday's lunch crumbs? Not only does it undermine your drink to drink in the office, it undermines you. You are more than an office beer. And the next time you're drinking beer on your boat, do you really want to look at the label and remember the office?
Someone is not telling you the whole truth about drinking in the office. A bunch of researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago "found that slightly intoxicated participants were better and faster at creative problem-solving tasks compared to their sober counterparts," writes Amoroso. Surely these are very smart people. But if you've ever spent a whole day, starting out, say, at 10 or 11 a.m., with a warming whiskey and tonic, or maybe a sidecar, by your side, you know that there is a strong diminishing returns effect going on with drinking while working. Maybe for a brief blip around noon you'll be able to solve all the problems of the world, but after that, oh, it's a long course down a rocky hill that you may or may not remember the next day, but for the bruises. If you're me, a glass of wine at lunchtime will fill you with intense joy, so much joy that you are going to forget you even need to return to work, and then, whoops, well, that's not so great.
The day-drinking hangover is worse, and the in-office hangover is the worst of all. You know this well if you've ever been to a music festival or some other day-drinking extravaganza that does not involve the beach at a tropical resort. Day-drinking in the office has a particularly burdensome aftermath, largely because you'll have to stay awake and work through your hangover instead of lying in bed, or under your desk, or, again, in the sunshine on a beach, to take a much-needed afternoon nap. And, yes ...