I've just finished explaining the form, function and fine etiquette of trolling down the pub from work to Lexie. He stopped making eye contact and concentrated on his pasta before I even got to past Legal & General.
"Go away and do what you have to do on the computer."
"Before I count to three."
"You want me to go on the computer?"
"One . . . .two . . . two and a half . . . ."
That's when I started typing. After two and a half. The discovery of a lifetime, afternoon, er, somewhere inbetween. How to get peace while I type. Bore the eyebrows off everyone. Boring done, we can continue.
When half of Lexxie's left eyebrow had dissolved, a thought struck me a glancing blow. "Why not write about the work pub dynamic?" Loads of pseudo-sociological stuff and dim recollections of postprandial pissups as padding. Tastobrillic.
The customs surrounding drinking in conjunction with work are as varied as some incredibly varied thing. (Five minutes is long enough to try thinking up a good simile. I'll use the Blackadder defence.)
I've worked in a few towns and a few countries. Nowhere, in my experience, matches Britain, and in particular London, in its dedication to pissing it up down the boozer during or after work. Lloyd George - bastard - put paid to pre-work pub fun.
Here's an overview of my work/boozer experience:
West Yorkshire Passenger Transit, Leeds, 1979
Every Friday, after we got our paypackets everyone went to the Highland Laddie. Considering me a middle-class ponce, my Tetley's Mild drinking abilities were unexpected. Three or four pints in 25 minutes.
Legal & General, Surrey, 1983-1984
A dream job, in a way. My first employment as a programmer. The canteen had a licensed bar. And they had cask beer. And it was cheaper than in a pub. The food wasn't bad, either. On a side note, it's where my career as IT professional began. But they had a bar in the canteen! With good, cheap beer!
That wasn't good enough. Friday lunch, everyone went down the pub. Restraint isn't my middle name. I'm more a get two pints and a couple of double short in on last orders type of bloke. I found my colleagues a bit overenthusiastic. Office work tempered my thirst: three pints in an hour.
Oh dear. I forgot about London. When I worked in the arms factory in 1978. Shit. I didn't want to mention that. You'll think I'm a nazi. What the hell. It's a good tale. And involves Matt. I'll tell you tomorrow. Promise.
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