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Two Drink Maximum

Callie Carmen | Michael Ilkiw

Have you ever gone to a company convention that brings out the friendlier side or sexier side of your co-workers or perhaps yourself? I have and they’re always in a hotel. Whose bright idea is that? Did the higher ups sit around one day and say let’s put all of our employees in a hotel together? Let’s give them tons of free time at night with access to plenty of free alcohol and the occasional evening party and see what happens. I’ve seen first-hand what happens.

You all spend the day together usually working in groups coming up with ideas that will help people work better together or ideas that will help the company. Then you sit through usually boring speeches. By the time that’s all over you’re all ready to eat and drink.

Several or all of you have dinner together and have a couple of drinks while you’re at it. Then everyone decides let’s go to the vendor party, the publisher’s party, the company party, or let’s just go to the bar down the street and dance. Big mistake already.

These are people, mind you, that you see most days during the week. People you usually don’t give a thought about other than the work they’re doing on a project they may be doing with you. Or they’re just employees that you say hello to as they walk past you in the hall.

Some have a significant other waiting for them at home. To some that really doesn’t seem to matter in the moment when the drinks are flowing. Funny stories are being passed around and personal likes and dislikes start to come up in the conversations including the normal taboo subject of sex.

These days no one brings up any conversation that involves sex with other office staff because everyone’s afraid it will be seen as a form of sexual harassment. However, it almost always seems while they’re away from the work place and while they’re drinking with these people, the walls start tumbling down and the inhibitions go out the window. Those that would never dance at all are all of a sudden dancing.

Those that normally have one or two drinks a month are suddenly pounding down shots with these new found friends. Then the next thing you know their shoulders are touching when they talk with each other. Bending in to whisper an off color joke in the ear of someone they would never dream of getting that close to in the office. The hand being put on another’s arm, or on the others hand, when telling a story.

Then the ever dangerous slow dancing begins as the night goes on. The bodies get closer and closer together until it looks like their having sex with their clothes on.

Most of the women have changed into tighter clothes and much less conservative clothing then they’d wear around the office. The men are dressed in casual three-button down short sleeved shirts that cling to their body which may or may not be a plus for them and a pair of jeans or casual pants. Giving them another form of comfort or sexiness they don’t normally have when they’re around their co-workers.

I always seem to hear conversations as the night goes on like, “Have you ever had a threesome, or ever wanted to try it out?”

“Sure, but when I asked my wife if she’d be up for that she said no way.”

Then there’s, “It’s a nice night want to take a walk on the beach. I really don’t want to go alone.”

My favorite, “I brought a bottle of wine from home just in case I need some help sleeping while I’m here. Want to come up to my room and have a drink.”

There are people like myself that know better, not to go over that two drink max in this situation. It allows us to look like we’re joining in, but not crossing over to the uninhibited side and walking off with one or two of our co-workers. Others are too far gone and don’t give even a second thought to having to face these people the next day and every day after that. When people are either beginning to get real sloppy with their drinking, real loud and obnoxious, or two touchy feely, it’s time for the two drink maximum employees to vacate the premises and go back to their rooms alone. There we can call home and say goodnight to our loved ones or just go to bed so we’re ready for another round of meetings the next day.

It’s those wise folks, the two drink max folks, that everyone seems to want to sit next to at the morning after meetings. The ones that had sex on the beach or got a little kissy face, or even just danced a little too sexually with others on the staff, are avoiding those employees like the plague. They don’t want others in the room to know about the extracurricular activity they had with them the night before. Awkward.

One hopes it isn’t the boss and the secretary that find themselves in this position. However, I have personally seen that happen more than once. It always ends up one of three ways. He ends up divorced and marries the younger secretary. She or he ends up getting promoted to a job like the head of marketing even without college credentials. Or she or he ends up losing their job.

If you find yourself in the position of attending one of these office conventions, remember the two drink rule and leave the room when things start to get crazy. Unless, of course, you’re into watching their crazy. I suppose that could be fun. I’ve never stayed, so I can’t say.

About Callie Carmen

Callie Carmen authored the Dexter Community seasonal brochure three times a year for several years and wrote for and edited the Rensselaer County Cooperative Extension monthly newspaper in New York for two years.

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