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Drinking on the job

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bob Loblaw Law Blog, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. So I came home from a basketball game the other night and had to write a gamer for my rag's web site. It was already pretty late, so I poured myself a frosty mug of beer and sat down to bang it out. A few minutes later, my wife walks into the office and starts giving me a hard time for "drinking on the job." She says it's unprofessional, I say it's no big deal (she's a doctor, so she has slightly higher professional standards than I do).

    I don't think there's anything wrong with having a beer while writing a story at home (in the office, a different story). But it got me wondering where to draw the line. Obviously you can't show up to a game wasted, but there have been one or two occasions where I, on the way to cover a particularly horrible girls basketball team, have stopped in to the local pub for a pint. Is that unethical? Poor form? Grounds for being fired?

    What say ye? I'm wondering where people draw the line on this issue.
  2. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I've been known to crack a beer before deadline.

    Very, very rarely, but it has happened.
  3. e4

    e4 Member

    Beer over a laptop filing from home -- as long as it's just one and doesn't affect your judgement -- no problem.

    A beer -- even just one -- en route to cover a game? HUGE problem. Perception, my friend. Someone will recognize you eventually, or connect the dots, and you've done a discredit to your paper and coworkers because it becomes "reporter from X paper was drinking on the job."

    In college, on Friday afternoons, my friends would crack the booze open around noon. They'd always offer me some, and try to pressure me, but I refused because I had high school games to do later in the day. The last thing you want is alcohol on your breath, even a hint of it.
  4. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    After seeing guys show up to press boxes smelling of beer and bourbon, I don't have a problem with drinking a beer at home while finishing up a story. Obviously, it's not while I'm on the way to a game, office, etc.
    Hell, I've done research on my laptop while at the neighborhood bar.
  5. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Active Member

    How does this thread affect the annual kegfest atop Augusta's media HQ?
  6. HeadFirst

    HeadFirst Member

    Some Major League ballparks open up the beer taps to the writers after the game is over. And at those parks, several beat guys drink a beer or two as they work on their writethrough.
  7. busuncle

    busuncle Member

    I know a couple of football boxes that pass out beers after deadline.
  8. Yes, beer on your breath as you're interviewing high school kids is not kosher. It might just be one, but the people you're speaking with don't know that. Not necessary, either, in my opinion.

    Now, imbibing at home later at night while finishing something up, that's another story. All goes back to the "There's no set hours for this job/You're always on the clock" thread. I just wouldn't suggest having several and trying to write something productive.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    One beer at home while working is not a big deal unless you are planning to perform surgery.

    Now if one beer leads to several to "help free your muse" you've got a problem. Your muse is an alcoholic.
  10. I can understand that. I think it's happened twice in my six years as a sports writer, and I didn't feel real good about it at the time, but this team was B-A-D. We're talking winless over a 25-game season bad, even against some pretty weak competition. It was either a beer to calm my jangled nerves or they were going to find me in the men's room with a pen jammed in my neck.

    But still, I think it's clear this is a bad idea.
  11. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    I smoke weed with high school football players I cover before the game.
  12. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Just kidding.
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