The Return of the Lunch Beer
Well, it finally happened. Like most of you, I got word that it’s time to start returning to the office. After a glorious year of working remote, I’m staring down the barrel of 2-3 days a week of commuting, getting a sweaty back from commuting, and having to look my coworkers in the eye when I tell them I don’t like their ideas. Obviously, this stinks on ice for a variety of reasons, but today’s blog is not about why working remote is superior. It’s about the one silver lining of returning to the office – the lunch beer.
For the past year of quarantine, my lunch “break” has been indistinguishable from the rest of my day. Sometime between 11:30 am and 1 pm, I’ll realize I’m hungry, open the fridge, get depressed when I realize new food hasn’t magically appeared in the last 12 hours, and either heat up lukewarm Pad See Ew or pull out the ingredients for the same dry ham sandwich I’ve been making for the 13 months. I scarf the food down while I hunch over my computer, with Slack and email wide open, while I stay muted on a weekly status update call that I couldn’t give a single shit about. After about 7-11 minutes, I put the dish in the sink, pray that it will somehow wash itself (or maybe a man will break into my house and decide to wash the dishes and restock my fridge?) and return to the same exact spot where I was eating. I’ll continue working for another 5-7 hours before it’s time to eat dinner from that same spot and watch Netflix until my eyes bleed. It’s not that chill but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
The Return of the Lunch Beer
Now that you’re back in the office, it’s time to start taking that long lunch at the mid-sized, semi-upscale hotspot that’s a 6 minute walk from your office with 2-3 of your coworkers who are actually cool. For the first time this week, your afternoon is wide open, so you settle in for a burger, a side of salad because you’re trying to be healthy (you won’t touch this) and then the glorious cherry on the top…a lunch beer that goes down surprisingly smooth.
For the first time in a while, you’re actually enjoying lunch and your coworkers. Spurred on by delicious buzz, everyone relaxs and finally talking about something that’s not work. And if you are talking about work, it’s mainly to shit on your other coworkers who honestly deserve it. You return to the office after 75 minutes, just a little more laid back, calm and zen about another afternoon of crushing mediocrity. Your life is a series of disappointments but for today, you’ve reclaimed control of it. And that’s beautiful.
You probably have questions about the glorious lunch beer. I’m here to answer them.
Who Should I Have a Lunch Beer With?
Goes without saying, but it should be with people who are actually cool and not snitches. Ideally, you’d bring someone higher up than you so they can expense it on their card, but tread lightly. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’re about to dive into an afternoon IPA and your boss ordering a water and a coke when you sit down. It’s better to pay for your own meal than put up with that nonsense.
How Often Should I Do It?
Probably like 2x a week max. I wouldn’t dive into the libations on a day that you have an important presentation or need to do actual work in the afternoon. The lunch beer won’t knock you out, but if you need to be sharp, it’s probably not the day for it. You’ll still wolf down your $19 Sweetgreen salad that you don’t even like at your desk while you type out emails for most of the week and that’s ok. It makes the lunch beer days more special.
Obviously, Friday is the perfect day for a lunch beer and if it’s a nice day, being outdoors is 100% the move. You get to escape the way-too-cold AC and flickering lightbulbs of your office and finally get your skin that Vitamin D that it deserves. You run the risk of another coworker seeing you drinking outside and judging you, but honestly who gives a shit? That guy’s a loser anyways.
How Many Drinks Should I Have?
Everyone’s different, but here’s a quick guide to your inebriation state by the amount of lunch beers you suck down.
1 Beer – You’ll come back to the office relaxed, maybe even a little chatty. You realize that half the shit you were worrying about doesn’t matter and the other half you can just do tomorrow. The buzz will die down by 2:30 or 3, but by then, the day’s almost over anyways.
2 Beers – You’re feeling it, which can be a good or a bad thing. You might be more confident and assertive or you might get a little too loose with it. You definitely should not be sending emails or walking your client through their campaign results on a call, but if you have to, you can manage. You’ll probably need a quick nap in the lactation room later, but that’s not a crime (I don’t think so at least.)
3 Beers – You probably don’t want to go back to the office man. Just call in sick, roll those three beers into six beers, and have yourself a little bender. It’s better your boss is pissed than seeing you in this state. Trust me.
Am I An Alcoholic?
Yes, you are. Not because of the lunch beer. You just are one and that’s fine.
There’s nothing wrong with a drink during lunch. Have you seen Mad Men? Good, I haven’t either but I tell everyone I have. Apparently, they have like 3 martinis at lunch every day and this was par for the course back in the day. Plus, in Europe, it’s pretty much common practice to have a glass of wine during lunch. It’s not your fault America is dramatic as hell about drinking.
Will I Get Fired?
I don’t think so, but don’t quote me on that. Even if you do, it’s worth it. The world is coming back in a big way and lunch beers are leading that charge. You can either stand on the sidelines and watch or join the revolution. I trust you’ll make the right decision.