Do Startups Have a Drinking Problem?
Sarah Jane Coffey

I worked at a financial company, that wanted to capture that start up feel. New, cool, sexy app for investors. Happy hours once a month, drinks every Friday starting at lunch, and continuing back at your desk area, whiskey tasting for no reason.

At first I thought it was great, then watching my wallet shrink, realizing my work was suffering, nothing was ever really getting pushed out, I started to refrain, then for the most part, stopped participating all together.

At first it was OK, then it was, “Well, he’s busy.” Then it became, “He doesn’t like us anymore.”

It was uncomfortable, I was miserable, I felt shunned. Even when I did attempt to get back into the “group” by going and just drinking soda, I never again felt welcome on the team. My boss literally became a lot colder to me, and I became the whipping boy, even tho I was in the office 5 days a week, and didn’t miss.

I got laid off early January, found a job in a matter of weeks, and I was relieved in a way to be let go. I was up front with my new team, I rarely drink, if I am picking up my kid I won’t drink, I am not a late night, close the bar down person. So far, my honesty, my work, and my ability to just be part of the group, whether I drink or not has been great. I make a huge effort to go to the happy hours. Maybe this new group of people are just good people and the last group were douche bags.

Maybe if I did party it up, I wouldn’t have been laid off, but why should I have to?

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