Booze Banter

Business And Drinking…

The Etc. section of the May 9,2011 issue of Bloomberg Business featured the flowchart shown above. The purpose of this flowchart is to help you decide what to drink when out with clients, colleagues, or the boss. Since my line of work rarely involves being wined and dined, I don’t have to worry about such things. About the only time I get a company paid meal at a decent restaurant is around Christmas time. Here is what I’ve ordered to drink at several different work sponsored lunches or parties:

While I first thought that this flowchart was utter non-sense, when I think back to each of the events listed above, I notice that there is a pattern to my drink ordering. The Manhattans were ordered at a Christmas party where I knew very few people and basically went on my own. Since I essentially had nothing to lose, I relaxed at the bar and ordered four Manhattans while I talked to people that I really didn’t know. The two times that I had wine with my meal were at lunches with the boss and his staff. I had a very nice time on every occasion, but it’s still lunch with the boss, so it’s always best to behave. On the four occasions that I had beer, I was dining with my immediate co-workers, and these were by far the most relaxed and enjoyable meals.

Does the business situation dictate your drink order? Let us know in the comments below.

13 replies »

  1. First of all, he’s a lucky young buck to have so many opportunities to pair business with beverages – and to do so at a handful of fine establishments. Every business-related lunch I’ve had (at least for the last 3.5 years) has been at either a weak Asian buffet or second-rate indoor mall food court and if I’m lucky, I get to pair the meal with a Wendy’s Frosty or maybe a large Coke Zero™. I’m going to have to pursue professional opportunities at Bloomberg Businesseek.

    That said, In a perfect world, I’d order a Port Wipeout for lunch with co-workers at Good Dog.



    • I don’t have THAT many opportunities to score some free food and drinks (usually just Christmas time). The occasions listed above span the past 8 to 10 years.


  2. As a guy in a construction related line of work, where after-work drinking is part of doing business, this will come in very handy.


  3. My boss always tells us it’s Miller time when he’s ready for us to end the day so he can go home. I always tell him if he’s gonna use beer as an incentive, then he needs to do a heck of a lot better than Miller. However, when we win a big job, he pulls out the expensive bourbon to celebrate (in his office, I might add :o). So I don’t worry too much about him.

    If I’m in a professional situation during the day, I’ll usually refrain and have an iced tea. If I’m at a happy hour with co-workers and have to drive myself home, one beer is my limit. Unless its a happy hour in my honor – then three, and I call my friend to pick me up and taxi me around town for several hours until I can get in my car and drive home safely. If I’m on a business trip and am bellied up at a bar eating alone, then one if I’m driving back to the hotel, or two if I’m walking back to the hotel. If I’m at the company Christmas party, then 1-2, and I let my husband drink as much as he wants so he can get through the evening in a better mood, then I drive him home.

    Did I miss anything? I think that about covers it :o)


    • That’s a good set of rules to follow. Since most of the work outings are during the workday, I generally try my best to have just have one drink. Passing out at my desk after a big lunch and a few drinks is generally frowned upon.

      One question… what kind of Bourbon does your boss keep stashed away in his office?


      • Hey G-LO – Until now I didn’t even realize I had rules. Good to know I’m semi-responsible. LOL! As for my boss, I’ve seen him pull the bottle out of his desk a number of times, but I don’t remember what kind it was, nor have I taken part in drinking it. If it were a 6-pack, then I could tell you. I’ll keep my eyes open next time and I’ll let you know. Thanks for another fun post!


  4. This is, by far, the best flowchart in the history of flowcharts.

    I’ve been lucky enough – only once so far – to have a small dram of whiskey with the boss and colleagues at the office.

    As for drinking with coworkers outside of work, I stick to beer. Casual, low-key, and manageable.

    Great post G-Lo!


    • Thanks THF!

      As far as my business related drinking goes, it has happened much less over the past few years. The occasional beer at a “thanks for the hard work” or Christmas lunch, but that’s about it. There used to be a weekly Friday night Happy Hour at the Irish Pub near the office. But that was a long long time ago and usually lasted about four hours every Friday, and included countless Guinness Stouts and greasy-licious appetizers (wings, nachos, chicken fingers, etc.). And then there was the LONG walk home afterwords. That’s when I was still a city boy.


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