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Old 12-23-2017, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Work and alcohol


Sorry for clogging the newcomers thread with posts, guys! But I honestly couldnít have gone 3 days sober without you guys. Helping me a lot and I have yet another query.

I work as a waitress part-time at a restaurant. The staff there is mostly young, and there is a culture of drinking, partying and drug abuse. The chef comes to work high on cocaine. Right now Iím home for the holidays but will be going back in the early days of January.

When I was taking my leave for a couple of weeks, I was drinking an entire bottle of wine almost nightly. Sometimes, after we locked up, weíd pillage the bar and get hammered. I donít really have friends at that restaurant Ė more acquaintances; drinking friends, basically. You wouldnít see us hanging out when sober, but we often meet to drink.

Iím on Day 3 of my sobriety. Early days yeah but I am feeling optimistic. I want to stay like this. However, I am dreading going back to work because I will be back in an environment that cherishes the very poison I am trying to boot.

No way I can leave this job. Iím a broke a$$ student. But I also need to sober up. Would appreciate advice on how to dodge the temptations when I am back at work.
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Old 12-23-2017, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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With that kind of crowd if you can’t avoid them, you need to be 100% on your game, yes?

First...after closing should be relatively easy. You gotta go, see ya.

Second, you need a lie. You’re on antibiotics. Or you’re still hungover from the holidays and can’t bear to look at the stuff. Or your stomach is upset. Or you’re on a January cleanse.

And look for another job, yes?

In a few months when you’re feeling more comfortable with it, you may just get tired of the dance and flat out say “I don’t drink.”

But I've worked in restaurants and I remember what it’s like. Holding forth on the benefits of sobriety isn’t going to be productive unless it’s a vegan health store.

Be strong, my girl. You got this.
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Old 12-23-2017, 11:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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With that kind of crowd if you canít avoid them, you need to be 100% on your game, yes?

First...after closing should be relatively easy. You gotta go, see ya.

Second, you need a lie. Youíre on antibiotics. Or youíre still hungover from the holidays and canít bear to look at the stuff. Or your stomach is upset. Or youíre on a January cleanse.

And look for another job, yes?

In a few months when youíre feeling more comfortable with it, you may just get tired of the dance and flat out say ďI donít drink.Ē

But I've worked in restaurants and I remember what itís like. Holding forth on the benefits of sobriety isnít going to be productive unless itís a vegan health store.

Be strong, my girl. You got this.
Thanks for such great advice.

Yes, I have certainly been thinking about looking for another job. My roomie is a bartender and he says there is an opening, but there's no way I would take that job!

I think I'll go with the January cleanse. The chef will probably think a bull kicked me in the head lol. I know these guys - even the excuse of a January cleanse isn't enough for me. They will continue to pester me. But I'm determined to say no.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I can't believe I disagree with Ariesagain. First time for everything I guess.

I don't lie about stuff like antibiotics. I just simply tell people, "I'm not drinking any more," or, "I'm taking a break," if they knew me as a drinker. "Taking a break," is not a lie, and I can continue to say that until 2097. Antibiotics only get you off for a week, then what? I don't agree that lying needs to be part of it, there are plenty of ways to say, "No thanks."

For the record, "No, thanks," is all you need to say. You can say it in three languages if you want.

Then - I quit drinking the first time in my early thirties. I worked at a busy chain restaurant for many years and it is known as a party bar atmosphere. The restaurant industry certainly has its share of partiers and, "after hours," is definitely a thing.

That said, I worked there for eleven years and didn't drink. It isn't a rule that you have to drink. I stayed after at the bar sometimes, not often. I ate there frequently, people tried to give me or buy me drinks and I didn't drink. It's not a job requirement.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can't believe I disagree with Ariesagain. First time for everything I guess.

I don't lie about stuff like antibiotics. I just simply tell people, "I'm not drinking any more," or, "I'm taking a break," if they knew me as a drinker. "Taking a break," is not a lie, and I can continue to say that until 2097. Antibiotics only get you off for a week, then what? I don't agree that lying needs to be part of it, there are plenty of ways to say, "No thanks."

For the record, "No, thanks," is all you need to say. You can say it in three languages if you want.

Then - I quit drinking the first time in my early thirties. I worked at a busy chain restaurant for many years and it is known as a party bar atmosphere. The restaurant industry certainly has its share of partiers and, "after hours," is definitely a thing.

That said, I worked there for eleven years and didn't drink. It isn't a rule that you have to drink. I stayed after at the bar sometimes, not often. I ate there frequently, people tried to give me or buy me drinks and I didn't drink. It's not a job requirement.
Another great post. My long-term plan is to get another job. But then again, I'll be done with school next year in June. Probably won't stay in the city I live in so part of me is just thinking about slogging through the 6 months and then leave. But then again, the temptations - I know they will be there. I'm at my aunt's place tonight and the house down the road is having a barbecue. There is booze there. Been invited but I have opted against it. But the temptation is still there, just like it will be at work.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another great post. My long-term plan is to get another job. But then again, I'll be done with school next year in June. Probably won't stay in the city I live in so part of me is just thinking about slogging through the 6 months and then leave. But then again, the temptations - I know they will be there. I'm at my aunt's place tonight and the house down the road is having a barbecue. There is booze there. Been invited but I have opted against it. But the temptation is still there, just like it will be at work.
Alcohol isn't going anywhere. You'll have this come up every day until you learn to deal with it.

If you have made a decision not to drink again, and have gotten past the first few hard days, then it's just a matter of reaffirming your decision each time it comes up. And it will come up. Be ready and have an answer or an escape plan.

I don't avoid places where alcohol is being served. People offer me drinks pretty frequently. It's not an option, so I drink something else.

I would go to the BBQ, eat and do a little holiday socializing and then leave. That's just me, some people would opt to stay away.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We gotta separate our work lives from our social lives, I can't remember a job I've had where people didn't go out for after work drinks, have nights out, even down to something casual as a Xmas night out or get together, and so the inevitable culture of drinking, or being asked to be part of certain activities involving being around alcohol, will crop up in some shape or form.

So it's how we deal with it is important, and that can be as simple as "I'm heading home" or "no thank you" . . . unfortunately though in our Sober journey at some point the rubber needs to hit the road and decisions have to be taken regardless of what other people think, eventually leading to those people realising there's a fundamental change in us, that we don't now drink or get involved in certain activities anymore, we can't hid the decision so fundamental in who we were forever.

But it does get easier the more we make those decisions, as we revolutionise our lives to one that embraces Sobriety!!

You can do this!!
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I remember those after-hours restaurant days well, and how it seemed like such a relief to FINALLY sit down and relax after being on my feet dealing with annoying customers for hours on end. Honestly, I would worry about that as much as the peer pressure, because the "I've earned it" mentality is tough too.

As far as workplaces go, there are definitely some where alcohol would not be an issue (US government, in my case), but service-industry jobs are a challenge. The only option might be retail, but no tips unfortunately.

P.S. I would not go to the BBQ, but I am in the very early days of sobriety (day 6).
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I remember those after-hours restaurant days well, and how it seemed like such a relief to FINALLY sit down and relax after being on my feet dealing with annoying customers for hours on end. Honestly, I would worry about that as much as the peer pressure, because the "I've earned it" mentality is tough too.

As far as workplaces go, there are definitely some where alcohol would not be an issue (US government, in my case), but service-industry jobs are a challenge. The only option might be retail, but no tips unfortunately.

P.S. I would not go to the BBQ, but I am in the very early days of sobriety (day 6).
You are so right about the "I've earned one drink" mentality after a long day! And as we all know, with us, one drink doesn't end with a single one. God knows how many times we stayed late at work after shutting up, and I go home when the sun is rising. I really hate that. Going home from a drinking venue while the sun is coming up and the world is waking up. Makes me feel really bad.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I own a wine bar/restaurant, it can be tough being at work. I no longer socialize with guests and try to leave asap if I don't need to be here.

I used to bartend but had to give that up when I gave up alcohol. Corporate serving jobs discourage employees hanging out after work. I've worked some single owner/local places where they didn't care if you got loaded on the job so long as performance didn't suffer.

If you're in the kind of place where folks are drinking on the shift/customers buying you shots etc it would be much harder I imagine.

I still feel really freaking odd in those rare situations were I end up having to make someone a martini.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I own a wine bar/restaurant, it can be tough being at work. I no longer socialize with guests and try to leave asap if I don't need to be here.

I used to bartend but had to give that up when I gave up alcohol. Corporate serving jobs discourage employees hanging out after work. I've worked some single owner/local places where they didn't care if you got loaded on the job so long as performance didn't suffer.

If you're in the kind of place where folks are drinking on the shift/customers buying you shots etc it would be much harder I imagine.

I still feel really freaking odd in those rare situations were I end up having to make someone a martini.
You remind me of my uncle. He owns a tourist resort and like you, he doesn't really interact with the customers anymore. He's really gregarious and really charming - one of those people you feel like you have known your whole life. Before, when was drinking, he would really get to know the guests and they would get wasted together. Now he just oversees the general business and doesn't do what he used to do.
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Old 12-23-2017, 01:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks for such great advice.

Yes, I have certainly been thinking about looking for another job. My roomie is a bartender and he says there is an opening, but there's no way I would take that job!

I think I'll go with the January cleanse. The chef will probably think a bull kicked me in the head lol. I know these guys - even the excuse of a January cleanse isn't enough for me. They will continue to pester me. But I'm determined to say no.
January cleanse ain't gonna work. You seem like you're in your early 20's. You'll just get pounded on because drunks/partiers like similar company and you can't expect that age group to be fine with a no (chef is probably 30's pushing 40, but he's mentally still in his 20's so same diff).

Drinking for free while working is a workplace "perk" for me and when I had 5 months, I had to say no all the time. Thing is, we're all twice your age, so when the odd $200 bottle of scotch or wine is given to us and I even pushed that away, they're like "U wot...? Cool, more for us" with no further inquiry.

The antibiotic Flagyl will cause a serious interaction with alcohol. In fact, you need to wait 72 hours after your last dose before you drink otherwise you'll be spending hours vomiting and will make a hangover look like a picnic. That all can be verified with a smartphone and Google, so if you're going to lie, go with one that is bulletproof and one you can't back down from (if you don't trust yourself 100% that you won't cave into peer pressure).

Certain conditions require Flagyl for months (some with Crohn's are on it for years), so you can use it for a while, but I'm just a straight-forward person. I never snuck booze or hid my drinking, so if I'm not drinking I'm not going to hide that either. Doesn't mean I go into a detailed answer, just "No, thanks; I'm good."
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Old 12-23-2017, 01:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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January cleanse ain't gonna work. You seem like you're in your early 20's. You'll just get pounded on because drunks/partiers like similar company and you can't expect that age group to be fine with a no (chef is probably 30's pushing 40, but he's mentally still in his 20's so same diff).

Drinking for free while working is a workplace "perk" for me and when I had 5 months, I had to say no all the time. Thing is, we're all twice your age, so when the odd $200 bottle of scotch or wine is given to us and I even pushed that away, they're like "U wot...? Cool, more for us" with no further inquiry.

The antibiotic Flagyl will cause a serious interaction with alcohol. In fact, you need to wait 72 hours after your last dose before you drink otherwise you'll be spending hours vomiting and will make a hangover look like a picnic. That all can be verified with a smartphone and Google, so if you're going to lie, go with one that is bulletproof and one you can't back down from (if you don't trust yourself 100% that you won't cave into peer pressure).

Certain conditions require Flagyl for months (some with Crohn's are on it for years), so you can use it for a while, but I'm just a straight-forward person. I never snuck booze or hid my drinking, so if I'm not drinking I'm not going to hide that either. Doesn't mean I go into a detailed answer, just "No, thanks; I'm good."
Oh you are certainly right about my co-workers not being able to accept a simple no. Partiers do love company, for sure. I've been on the other end of that leash - if I'm drinking with a friend and he/she wants to go home early, I'll literally plead for them to stay with me.
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Unemployment in the UK (I am assuming you are in the UK) is at a 43 year low. I can tell you that I cannot find enough people to work at our Company and I know many other business people that say the same.

In other words - if I was you I would get another job.
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Unemployment in the UK (I am assuming you are in the UK) is at a 43 year low. I can tell you that I cannot find enough people to work at our Company and I know many other business people that say the same.

In other words - if I was you I would get another job.
I'm from South Africa (mum is South African but of British descent). Plan to move to the UK when I'm done with school.
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Ahhhhhh

When you said you were watching the Arsenal vs Liverpool game with your mum and dad I assumed you were in the UK.

I'm not sure what the job market is like in South Africa but I would really challenge yourself to consider a job change if remotely possible. If you don't you are poking a pointy stick at a tetchy dog.....
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Ahhhhhh

When you said you were watching the Arsenal vs Liverpool game with your mum and dad I assumed you were in the UK.

I'm not sure what the job market is like in South Africa but I would really challenge yourself to consider a job change if remotely possible. If you don't you are poking a pointy stick at a tetchy dog.....
We are only two hours ahead of you guys, so when the football is on, it's not a problem to watch. People love their Premier League football in Africa. My dad is South African, but he became an Arsenal fan when he did his uni studies in London. My mum is South African (moved here with her family when she was 4) but her family is originally from Liverpool. I've been to the UK a lot - I love it and plan to settle there in the near future.
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Old 12-23-2017, 02:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Great thread.. As biminiblue says 'Alcohol isn't going anywhere'.

I'm a business owner too, of an accommodation place that has a bar. I'm around booze all day long. I do the day shift so I can get all the admin stuff done while guests are out and about - but I still do serve drinks in the day if people come in. I stay away in the evenings when the bar gets busy though.

I had jobs like yours all through my twenties. Party time. If you're anything like me the fast pace of those jobs is part of the fun too. I would have died of boredom at a retail job or something else commonly held by people in their twenties. If you still want to work with people doing something fast, how about swapping nights for mornings? Brush up on your barista skills, and make coffee. It's a good time, fast paced, and a fun (coffee obsessed) crowd to work with. I agree with the others that suggest a different job would help.
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Old 12-23-2017, 03:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Great thread.. As biminiblue says 'Alcohol isn't going anywhere'.

I'm a business owner too, of an accommodation place that has a bar. I'm around booze all day long. I do the day shift so I can get all the admin stuff done while guests are out and about - but I still do serve drinks in the day if people come in. I stay away in the evenings when the bar gets busy though.

I had jobs like yours all through my twenties. Party time. If you're anything like me the fast pace of those jobs is part of the fun too. I would have died of boredom at a retail job or something else commonly held by people in their twenties. If you still want to work with people doing something fast, how about swapping nights for mornings? Brush up on your barista skills, and make coffee. It's a good time, fast paced, and a fun (coffee obsessed) crowd to work with. I agree with the others that suggest a different job would help.
Yes, I do enjoy the fast paced nature of it. Ah so ironic you mention retail - yeah I did that when I was a freshman. Was so damn bored. I'm a university student in final year, so it's difficult for me to get a job that sees me working in the morning, as I usually have classes at that time.
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yeah no offence to anyone but I don't lie. For one thing people can't be on antibiotics for ever.

while I don't lie I don't spill my whole story either - either end of that spectrum would be inappropriate for me.

I just say no thanks, or if pressed I'm not drinking. If pressed further I don't like drinking anymore - it makes me ill.

You'll be amazed how quickly you become 'the non drinker' at your workplace

That can be a little off putting for a while, but it's like a badge of honour for me now.

D
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