Drinking While Working (DWW)

In steering generations of innumerable lushes toward lives of saintly sobriety, Bill Wilson advised his fallen subjects (literally) to make “direct amends to [people they had harmed during their drinking eras] wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” This is the 9th step of the 12 to Recovery. Hell with that. Fuck it. I mean, I like to reminisce once in a while. Hark back to some really stupid shit I did while completely drunk off my ass. But ya see, there is absolutely nothing therapeutic about my anecdotes. I derive no spiritual succor from retelling these sordid tales. You want to know the truth? I’m just amused as hell about some of the shit I’ve done when I was loaded. I’m tickled that I’m still alive (in one piece) and that I’m not languishing away in some state prison cell, getting bitch-fucked by some Alpha beast. There but the grace of God…

One of my worst drinking habits (let’s say the least dangerous to my survival or rap sheet) has been DWW. Drinking at work, during work, before work… I’ve worked long enough to remember the day when having a couple of nips during lunch or even in the Sales manager’s office wasn’t quite the jaw-dropping infraction of work-place etiquette it is now in our Mother Hen era. Granted, part of this freedom to drink also meant you were expected to show more responsibility to stay somewhat sober. Getting loaded during work hours was strongly discouraged. Like driving in Texas with open containers until the Mother Hens (MADD) took over. Our standards of behavior are directly proportional to the strength of our freedoms. But having some booze during the workday wasn’t so shame-worthy Then. However, leave it to me to take DWW to a ridiculous level of absurdity. I won’t name any companies. I won’t cop out to DWW in my current job. Horrors, no. I would never do such a thing!

Weekend Warriors
One of my jobs involved working on the weekends. I worked with several dudes who were all laid back slackers just like me. We were in our early 20s and didn’t have a care or worry in the world. Plus, working weekends left us tragically unsupervised. In fact, our supervisor was one of us and he was the biggest lush out of us all. We would frequently run down the street and buy a 4-pack of wine coolers (we were hard-ass) or more. I can’t remember how we sneaked them past the bitter weekend guards, but we did. We would open them up in the lunch room and down them way too quickly. Over time, we found a couple of chicks who worked in an adjacent area…they 10-keyed shit into the barcode computers. They were willing compatriots and the wine coolers went faster when they joined. Most amusing was the fact that this boozing happened on the cusp or the heels of the invariable Friday all-nighter. It was great being so young and having magical recuperative powers. If I did that now, they would have to scrape me off the floor and put me under a heat lamp to get me going. Very rarely, a weekday supervisor would drop in and we needed to be leery of this, but we were never caught. Even though we became comfortable enough to store some of our bottles in the department fridge. Hey, we had to keep the booze chilled!

Lone Pubber
There was a job where I was the sole representative of my department which lived offsite. I was placed in this facility to work single-handedly, and as such, lived a rather onerous and lonely existence, which was perfect for someone of my temperament. I made very few friends and the only time someone said anything remotely friendly to me was when an equally misanthropic creepy dude who saw a copy of “Dubliners” sitting on my desk said something like, “Wow, I can’t believe someone here is reading this.” It may have been a pick-up line, not sure. It was a lonely gig. I sat alone in an office that no one entered. There was something oddly Bartleby-like about this, but whatever, I did my job. This was during my mid-20s, I was a more responsible drunk by then. I worked full-time and I had a scarce reputation to uphold. To no one in particular. But it felt adult and responsible to work 40 hours per week. It was rough man. Working so much after years of dead-end slacking and producing nothing of value. Suddenly thrust into a situation where I needed to show results. Shit. It was so rough but I soon discovered a great English pub where they served the greatest cold turkey sandwich, steak fries and bubbly pints of novel beers. I was fond of dropping in there once or twice a week, drinking the equivalent of about 5 beers, stumbling back to work where I could smolder away in my lonely office and not do one iota of work for the remainder of the day. Usually, by the time I was ready to clock out for the day, I’d sobered up sufficiently to drive home without a paranoia.

Organ Failure
I worked this one job that seriously put the “sponge” on my liver more than any other period of my life. I worked there for 5 years and the place was seriously a depraved Roman swath of degeneracy and drunken filth. Drinking was the the pastime of nearly every employee. Everybody in the company was under 35. Every special occasion (and there were many) was celebrated with an abundance of drink, food and debauchery. If civilizations were to die, this was their road map. Oddly, I was rarely drunk during work days; it was the vibe of the place and the after-hours partying that did everyone in. One year, we had a Christmas party at the Hollywood Athletic Club at Universal City Walk and there were countless epic moments that lived on in the annals of the corporate scrapbook (and scorecard). Women stage diving the bar, men making the most ill-advised comments and physical maneuvers, others vomiting all the way back to the hotel room (me). It was a disgrace, and our prim and proper Mormon HR lady. who didn’t attend, made it a point of castigating everyone for their flagrantly un-Christian behavior that night., I frankly remember very little except leaning over a planter in the middle of Universal City Walk and vomiting my last intestine out. One guy made an incredibly lewd comment to a hot blonde bombshell that worked with us and he was known for that in the ensuing years until his untimely death years later in Texas. I wonder if that comment was the last thought in his dying mind? Thing about this place is that every little event was a reason to drink. The management was composed of lushes and they set the tone for the impressionable youth of the company. It’s like a parent giving their child a bottle of whiskey with the admonition to “take it easy.”

Auspicious Beginnings
And there is this one job that took me a month of interviews to finally land. By the time I was notified that I got the job, I was so strung out and burnt that I didn’t give a shit. I walked out of the interview office at about 1 in the afternoon. I had taken the day off from work, so I had time to kill. And I killed it. I dropped in at this dive in Hollywood and began drinking Newcastles. Fucking Newcastles, I drank so many while I should have been headed home with the exciting news of a new job. Nope, I sat and drank. I had obligations but I decided to drink Newcastles in a dark bar instead. The entire afternoon flew by. I talked to many people but there was this old lady on the opposite end of the bar who was getting her drink on. She just sat there and stared and this old feller I was chatting with told me she was checking me out. By this point I was pretty loaded and didn’t care. I kept drinking, the afternoon flew by, and I finally left about 4 or 5. Or 3? As I was driving out the driveway, I saw her standing there, almost as if waiting for me. I waved her over and she got in my car. We were both loaded and we stopped at a Rite Aid and bought some more booze before going to her apartment., Turned out she was only about 20 years older than I and a freak. Her apartment was sparsely furnished but but it was clean and nice. She had jars with dead animals and that was a turn on. We began making out and I started giving her some young cock. We undressed and she had some gray pubes but I was so loaded I truly did not care. We had some vicious sex while life forms floated in formaldehyde around us. I was young and an idiot and I kept asking if she liked it (even though she kept screaming like there was no tomorrow) and she gave me her phone number. I later lost it or threw it out in my apartment dumpster. Sorry about that. She’d be 66 now, the Golden Age of Sex for women.