Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I found myself wondering the other day what it would be like to be a functional alcoholic...

Odd, I know...

But I think we've all seen the guy (or girl presumably, although rarely obviously) who is known to have a "fondness" for the jar...

The guy who takes a long lunch and leaves the lift smelling like a pub...

In modern Celtic Tiger 2.1 or whatever we are now, that kind of person seems to have disappeared, along with a glass of wine at lunch or the swift pint at 3pm...

Probably for the best - and I'm not trying to trivialise the very serious issue of alcoholism...

It all stems from the fact that I find myself in a situation where nobody else seems to care what happens... I wonder if they are all drinking secretly and are too blasted to notice the honest to god shambles that they work in?

Every time I turn around, someone else has dropped the ball, or missed the point, or just simply not bothered - and it is driving me insane...

I am so annoyed from the moment I start in the morning until the moment I close my eyes at night that I can feel the rage bubbling in my head like a pre-explosive volcano... Not healthy

And no one seems to get it... the absence of urgency, the awfulness, the sheer careless, lackadaisical attitude which pervades the place... It's scary...

I start to feel like Bruce Parry in the rather excellent Tribe on BBC2 - am I the outsider who has the weird customs? Does it make sense to everyone else in the village? Is my interpreter winding me up?

Anyway, all of that led me to the thought that maybe it would be easier if I just started drinking at work - after all, no one else cares, why should I???


  1. You 're not alone at all - I've had a similar conversation with my husband about the jobs he's worked in. In one case, one of the shambolic people WAS an alchoholic, often came in drunk - and they promoted him, apparently. Perhaps it would all make more sense to you if you kept a bottle in he desk drawer.

    I had alecturer in college whose lectures made no sense and who was always covered in sweat rings (notabley one day round his bellybutton, ugh). I thought it was just his subject - philosophy - and that he cylcled to school. Nope, my friend saw him filling his little water cup from a whiskey bottle in his brief case!

    People seem to value inefficiency
    and nonsensical behaviour these days. Is it just this country? I don't think so. My friend's had a a similar experience in England.

  2. Starting to drink at work won't solve anything for you---it'll just add a whole new layer of troubles.

    Stick with your work, and keep trying to do the best job you can. If the problem is riddled throughout the place you're working, that implise (to me) that you're probably not going to stay there for much longer.

    But if you expect that at least your boss, or their boss, is a level-headed human who doesn't need on-the-clock nourishment from the booze, then it can only help you. Your own performance will be in such a contrast to your more problematic workmates that it's got to help you get farther, make more, and be happier in your job.

    I've been in situations where the people running the show are not actually running anything. You can try to take up their slack---in areas where you know the higher-ups will see the effects. The more they see you doing the job, the more likely you are to be considered the best person for the job.

  3. When I drink I find I can stop thinking so much.....and for me that's a good thing, I think far too much. Those people who drink on the job still exist I just think you are moving in circles where perhaps perscription medication (or non perscription, down the laneway medication) has replaced the three martini lunch!

  4. Knowing you and your job C I feel your frustrations and have done for most of my adult life. The thing that saved me was managing the disconnect. Easier said than done.

    Managing to leave it at the door is the hardest thing to do, I used to be one of those 24 hour obsessives that ate, slept and breathed the job, but not any more. Life is too short for that. Family and friends helped me get perspective and to realise what was genuinely important, turned out it wasn't my job.

    But, knowing you as I do, and knowing that you may not take that path yet, then the only other option that will help you keep your sanity is to change jobs. Not easy to hear but true. To find somewhere where everyone is passionate and working towards a common goal. Again, not easy.

    As for the drinking I think I could easily become one if the circumstances were right, the glass of straight Jack Daniels beside me testifies to that. However drinking at work won't help unfortunately, it will only make your problem worse, not better.

    At home? That's another matter. I've hidden in a bottle a lot over the last while. Sometimes it's the only things that numbs the pain and makes you forget who you are for a while.

  5. I think Conformist no.2 and I work in the same place. Seriously.

  6. Sorry to hear the hassle C no2. Sounds like you're a 1 on the Enneagram. Wanting things to be right, but living in a world where it never is. I don't have that where I am now. Don't really have any answers.

    MW - I think you're right about medication taking over from alcohol. Is it good or bad though?

  7. Meant to say, WWRKD? I think Keano would take the head of all your work people and kick them in line and they would worship him forever.

  8. And we would carry him high on our shoulders through the streets as a result.