Sunday, 4 September 2016

A swift one after work?

Jeremy Corbyn attracted a lot of flak last week for his suggestion that the practice of after-work drinks discriminated against mothers in the work place. On the one hand, it came across as an anti-fun and Puritanical pronouncement from a well-known teetotaller, while on the other it seemed to demonstrate an old-fashioned and sexist view of women’s role in society. And you have to ask where that leaves the bar staff who are working through from teatime to closing time.

It’s also the case that after-work drinking has greatly reduced in recent years, which has made a significant contribution to the overall decline of pubs. It’s one of the major aspects of the decline of casual drinking recently discussed by Boak & Bailey. Outside of major city centres, it’s largely a thing of the past now.

A distinction needs to be drawn between employees voluntarily getting together of their own accord, and quasi-official “bonding” sessions encouraged by employers. I have to say I’ve always found the latter somewhat objectionable, which may have proved over the years to be something of a career-limiting factor. You have to work with these people – the last thing you want is to have to socialise with them as well! Work should be a source of income, not the be-all and end-all of your life.

I’ve also written in the past how I’ve never remotely seen the appeal. On the occasions when I’ve had a pint or two after work, it’s always completely thrown me off my stride for the rest of the evening. Maybe you eventually get used to it, but I’ve always preferred to hold off until after I’ve had my tea.

So, while I’m certainly not going to undergo an overnight conversion to Corbynism, there may be a bit of a point lurking in there somewhere.

22 comments:

  1. Hyram G.Snotgobbler4 September 2016 at 19:42

    " I’ve always preferred to hold off until after I’ve had my tea. "
    Do people really still call dinner tea ?
    How quaint.

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    Replies
    1. Pretty general oop 'ere in't'North, at least for a meal eaten at home.

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    2. Yes, breakfast, dinner, tea, in that order (and supper an optional light snack later, definitely not a meal).

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    3. Professor Pie-Tin5 September 2016 at 14:56

      Lunch is lunch surely.
      I've never heard anyone say " I'm off for a long,boozy dinner " at lunchtime.

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    4. Neither have I ever heard of "school lunchladies" :p

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    5. Professor Pie-Tin5 September 2016 at 15:39

      When you take your squeeze out for a feed in the evening in the hope of a bit of afters is it a romantic tea ?

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    6. If I went out for a formal meal which was the centrepiece of the evening, if would be dinner. An informal meal at home before watching DCI Banks or going out to Beard Club would be tea.

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    7. In the areas where people still do go straight to the pub from work - as I do fairly regularly in Birmingham city centre - don't a lot of them eat at the pub this not needing to wait til after their tea/supper/dimmer or whatever?

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  2. I too have never been a fan of after work drinking, primarily because my commute involves driving home; but also because, like you say, it tends to waste the rest of the evening.

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  3. Sorry but you're missing the point. Corby wants to ban people from visiting the pub when they want to or when it's an organised "outing". Either way, it's none of his or governmen's business and symptomatic of the powers that be incursion into private life that has contributed to the decline of the pub. He has no point to makensure other than "do as I say".

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  4. My strategy as a manager has always been that if we're going out for 'a team drink', say to celebrate someones promotion or wish them well when they leave, we leave the office maybe 45 minutes early.

    That way staff can come along for a quick one, still feel a part of the occasion, but not have their usual routine delayed or disrupted. If others want to stay a while longer (typically for as long as the drinks are on the company!) that is their choice.

    This approach always works well. Except that personally I dislike the whole concept and try to avoid it unless absolutely necessary... in all honestly I'd rather be drinking on my own somewhere.

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  5. He's not a "well-known teetotaller", btw

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    1. So what is he, "a well-known arsehole", maybe?

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  6. There are very few people that I dislike so much that I wouldn't want to go for a pint or two with them. Life's too short to find fault with others.
    If you don't like your workmates, I suggest you change your job because you're stuck with them for 40 hours a week.

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  7. Although Corbyn drinks very little, he is not a teetotaller.

    Much of the press reported that he wished to ban after-works drinking, but that isn't what he said. He was stating that informal methods of self-advancement such as after-work drinking often exclude women because the nature of society still leaves the bulk of child care with them, so they are less likely to stay late for a drink. This observation does mean he has an old-fashioned attitude to women's place in society. Rather he was pointing out how certain practices in the workplace discriminate against women.

    I do agree we need to distinguish between friends in the workplace choosing to go for a drink after work and organised bonding sessions. The latter would be what Corbyn's comments were aimed at.

    As a former civil servant, I experienced plenty of the former, but none of the latter. Indeed, on our nights out talking about work was specifically banned.

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    1. Professor Pie-Tin5 September 2016 at 14:59

      I knew you had the whiff of the public sector about you.I should have guessed from your username.

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    2. That comment is meaningless.

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  8. I've not had a proper full-time job after which I could go out for a swift one with my colleagues for a long time now. Back when I did, it was fun to do so. But I/we used to eat out a lot back then, at places with good beer, so it wasn't such an imposition on the rest of my evenings then. I'd just ring the missus up and arrange that we'd meet to eat and drink somewhere after the session, or that I'd be home later than usual to make supper.

    Ah, youth...

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    Replies
    1. Professor Pie-Tin5 September 2016 at 15:42

      When I was a working stiff in that there London a pint or two every evening after work was an ideal way of avoiding the commuter crush on the train home.
      Particularly in the summer when standards of personal hygiene became noticeably lax.

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  9. When I was in the trade, lunchtime, teatime, evening and nightclub pints were all encouraged, to the point of getting much of the cost back on expenses. They were the days... Now, I usually have a couple of teatime pints two or three nights a week. It's a habit I would find hard to drop if I tried to.

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  10. Going straight out after work for a pint is, like the dinnertime-sorry lunchtime-pint, a thing of wonder. Not sure I`d bother if I went home for my tea first.

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  11. Always have a couple or three after work, that is my evening.

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