The Pros and Cons of Getting Drunk at Work, and Others Ways to Deal With Stress Like an Adult

Dirt of the Day

It doesn’t really matter in what sector of the business world you work — you’re going to have bad days. Stressful days, pulling-out-your-hair days, days where you want nothing more than to go home, kick your shoes off into the living room, pull back your hair, take off your pants, and pour a big, big glass of wine. Until the wine runs out, and then you’re left alone with your problems.

Drink in hand, you either collapse on the couch to watch Netflix, or maybe cry frustrated tears over the sink, desperately dabbing tears from your mascara because it’s just too expensive to waste. Or, if it’s like mine, because it burns like the steering wheel of a car on a fiery hot day in Arizona the second it gets into my eyes.

Maybe you work in an office. Maybe you’re a student, maybe you’re a CNA watching other physician assistants working away and flaunting their authority while you sit seething in your jealousy. That probably sounds a little specific, but my stepmom is a CNA, and I only speak from experience.

Some days, most days, maybe every day, we all just need a drink.

Honestly, we could all save a lot of time if we just got drunk at work.

There are the goods and the bads that come with drinking on the job, though. Obviously, if you’re something like a nurse, or someone operating heavy machinery, you shouldn’t do that. Drinking, I mean. Don’t drink and drive. This information is not for you, please move along.

But for the rest of us — the writers, the stay-at-home parents, the office workers, the retail managers, the telemarketers of the world, it’s time to speak up for ourselves, and request a daily open bar in the free corner of the room. The corner that usually has a dirty old couch, or some bean bags, or maybe some broken office chairs, but it’s where you’d go on breaks to nurse a hangover, anyway — so putting the new bar there just seems right.

There would have to be rules that come along with the bar, however. First and foremost, the company must hire a real, full-time bartender, who knows how to make more than just the basic mixed drinks. Obviously this might be pushing it for smaller businesses and start-ups having to decide between providing alcohol for all employees or actually making a profit. But in what better situation is there a need for drinking on the job than when financial woes hang endlessly over your head?

Maybe drinking on the job isn’t actually all it’s cut out to be.

At least for the people who can’t handle their booze, or can’t cut themselves off when it’s time. Chances are, something unruly will eventually end up on social media, which is no good for both the individual and the company, especially when the entire company is tagged.

Rather than taking it out on alcohol, maybe we all need to find other ways to fight the stress of the job. People always offer the same advice on this subject, suggesting things like taking a hot bath with some sweet-smelling essential oils. Reading a book. Exercising. Petting a cat. None of those things are any more work-friendly than drinking is, though, unless you work from home, and live the life coveted by everyone else.

For the rest of us: What can we possible do?

There’s more to reducing work stress than just the opportunity to get a little buzzed. It can improve your performance, your attitude, and even help you live longer. Life Insurance won’t even be based on singular health screenings after long, and instead on a person’s lifestyle — so if you’re stressed the hell out all the time, drinking a bottle of wine a night, what do you think is going to happen when you sign up for a plan that’ll give your family lots of money when you inevitably kick the bucket? It’s going to cost an arm and a leg while you’re still breathing, that’s what.

Dealing with stress is more about dealing with yourself.

Dealing with your job, your kids, your friends, your life, the annoying comments people leave on your Facebook statuses — one thing strings all of those together, and that’s you. You can drink all you want, cry over romantic Korean dramas, squeeze the life out of the stress toys at your desk like an energetic dog with a chew-toy, but none of that is going to help unless you help yourself, first.

So, here’s what I’m suggesting: if you can, quit your job. Just quit.

Even if you shouldn’t, and it would be risky, but it’s causing you so much mental and emotional and physical harm, damn it all to hell. You can work somewhere else, make less money, be less dignified, or whatever, in your career — but does any of that really matter, if every single day you want nothing more than to go home and forget the previous 8, 10, 12 hours ever happened?

Do what makes you happy. If that’s quitting your 9-5 job and pursuing a dream, even at 30+ with a kid on your arm, just do it, damnit. Buy all the essential oils you want, take lots of hot baths. Get a cat, or a dog, or a bird. Move somewhere else, go live in a city you’ve always wanted — or a city you would have never expected. Go back to school. Try something new. Fight off your stressors with a baseball bat, more confident and satisfied than ever. Actually — if your stressors include other people, maybe ignore that last bit of advice.

Reel yourself back in. Take control of your life again. Even if you can’t quit your job, or move away to a tropical island. Even if you need a glass of wine at the end of every day just to get by — just make sure you’re doing what you can to be happy. Make your life yours, and no one else’s.


Kelsey Morgan is a freelance writer from the Northwest US, whose writing interests range anywhere from blogging tips, pets, small business, and paranormal hauntings. When she’s not writing for the web, she’s probably drawing, snapping photographs, or snoozing with her cat. You can follow more of her work on Twitter!

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