In a former office of mine that shall remain nameless, we had a liquor cabinet. Working long hours, it wasn’t unheard of for my colleague and me to pour ourselves a drink at 5 on the dot, sipping vodka Red Bull as we tied up the day’s tasks. The arrangement worked well as we got a buzz in exchange for squeezing out another hour or so of work without the usual resentment that comes with having to slave away at your desk past your time when an incentive other than overtime wasn’t involved.
Of course, this requires trust from management that the liquor cabinet won’t be plundered at all hours of the working day and that professional adults will exercise moderation when partaking at the office. I’d like to tell you this was the case 100% of the time, but surely there were more than a few “fuck it, 3 p.m. is close enough to 5” days, and eventually the liquor cabinet was replaced by a snack drawer. Snacks. Like that’s going to motivate anyone to stay in the office until 7.
I digress. It seems PwC, presumably in the interest of preventing EY-level sexual harassment accusations, is trying to rein in its staff and prevent any boozy misadventures before they happen.
Under new rules introduced this year, alcohol can only be drunk on PwC premises when it has been supplied by the firm’s in-house catering team at specially designated events.
A spokesperson for the firm said: “As part of the regular review of our policies we recently refreshed our policy on social events.
“Only alcohol sourced from our in-house catering company can be consumed in the office.”
This is a long way from WeiserMazars’ 2013 busy season campaign featuring whiskey in a drawer. Haha because you need to daydrink to survive busy season, get it? Yeah OK everyone gets it.
I can see why firms might want to crack down on the office drinking. Any drunk worth their tequila salt has an entire folder of stories that start with “man, this one time I was so drunk I …” and end with some next-day realization that they may have a problem holding their liquor. No one wants that shit in the office, I get it. And especially now in this delicate environment when almost everyone is on their best behavior trying to avoid the next big sexual harassment lawsuit.
So what is PwC offering instead?
“We are committed to providing an inclusive environment for all of our people and develop activities for team building events in the office such as pizza making and barista masterclasses,” a spokesperson said.
Ooh! Pizza making! Coffee! What joy! Looks like the whiskey-in-a-drawer days are coming to an end for public accountants. Surely the hardcore among you will still find ways to get your drink on in the office (I recommend Irish whiskey in a Yeti myself but that’s just me) while the rest of you will just have to do your drinking in your copious amounts of free time outside the office.
Wonder how this affects /r/accounting’s black tar heroin habits? Welp, as long as they’re not drinking …