Drinking with Colleagues [Links]

by Kelle on October 17, 2011

For better or worse, Astronomy has a strong drinking culture. Whether it’s the Friday beer/wine/scotch departmental event, nights out at conferences, or the AAS Party, we drink together a lot. Here’s a nice article on maintaining a balance between having a good time and maintaining a professional demeanor. I especially like the advice to be ready with a good answer to, “What have you been working on recently?” (via Lifehacker)

Navigating the Corporate Happy Hour | We Wear Khakis.

(On a personal note, I’ve been super blog-quiet lately and I miss it everyday. I’m hoping that things will settle down over the next several weeks so that I can resume a more satisfying posting frequency.)

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Josh October 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I’d probably reply to that question with a simple “shouldn’t we actually not be talking about work?”


2 Carolyn Brinkworth October 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I can’t help feeling that this is all pretty much common sense and can be boiled down to “don’t be a dick”. Do we really need to tell people to not drink too much in front of their bosses, to not drink and drive and to be ready to talk about what they’re working on? Don’t we navigate by these rules every day? I can’t help hoping that none of this is news.

On the plus side, I’m looking forward to when your schedule quietens down, Kelle! I miss the awesome tips I keep picking up from this blog 🙂


3 Joe Rioux October 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Physics also has a strong drinking culture, but I’m not spending my valuable time agonizing over how to balance work and play. If you’re so worried about it, drink with equals rather than bosses or subordinates. I’ve been in the field for twenty years and never once worried about “oh no, what will people think of me? wa wah wahhh!” I find just being myself works all the time.


4 Kelle October 25, 2011 at 12:14 am

@Carolyn and @Joe: I agree that using “common sense” and “being yourself” are good pieces of advice. And I’m happy that you both have figured out ways to navigate these situations. Not that I want to call either of you old, but both of you refer to *experience* as being useful in guiding your actions. There are many readers of this blog who lack such experience and might appreciate and benefit from some pointers. Or even a heads up that this is actually an issue that they should think a little bit about. And nobody’s whining or agonizing, it’s just that drinking with colleagues can by a tricky one for some people to figure out how to navigate. Joe, I especially think that your comment is unnecessarily dismissive of a non-trivial issue.


5 Carolyn Brinkworth October 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm

@Kelle: I guess I was just hoping for a little more insight from the article. I wasn’t criticising your posting of this – I was more hoping that this wasn’t something we have to explicitly teach our grad students. Maybe I’m deluding myself, but I don’t *think* that I ever embarrassed myself in front of my various bosses, even when I was a newly minted grad student (or maybe I just don’t remember doing so ;)).

I think the part that *really* surprised me about the article, though, was the “don’t drink and drive” part. I dunno – I just don’t feel we should have to tell people this, in the same way that I don’t feel I should have to remind my students that they shouldn’t steal things or shoot people. It blows my mind that this might be commonplace enough that the author feels like it’s worth explicitly calling out! Don’t drink and drive, kids – the only thing worse than killing yourself is living with the guilt of having killed someone else.


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