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Jul 21, 2021

Have After-Work Drinks Become Complicated?

We drill down on a tradition under revision

By Ed Goldman

Do you remember how to drink after work? How about before and during work? Okay, let’s stick with the first question. 

The Wall Street Journal recently ran what’s either a cautionary tale or how-to piece about the simultaneous return of the workforce to the workplace and after-work drinks to a far better place—that bar on the way home from the workplace, at the end of the workday. 

Edgy Cartoon

Quoting Descartes Before You’re Hoarse

It’s that place, like “Cheers,” Sam Malone’s joint on the great TV show of the same name, “where everybody knows your name”—and where you sometimes hope they can conveniently forget it, when necessary.

The WSJ quotes a clinical psychologist, Emily Anhalt, who says, “The first thing I’d recommend”—for people resuming their custom of having after-work cocktails—”is having a really honest conversation with yourself about what your relationship with drinking is now and what you would need to do to put yourself in the best possible situation with co-workers.”

Those are two easy questions to ask and answer:

Q#1: What is my relationship with drinking?

A: We’re just good friends. 

Q#2: What would I need to do to put myself in the best possible situation with co-workers?

A: Buy a few rounds.

Meanwhile, in the same article, Adam Galinsky, a Columbia Business School professor of oxymorons—okay, of leadership and ethics—advises, “Pace yourself because you might not be aware of how much you’re drinking.” This sounds like good advice—although, even if you imbibe seven Cosmopolitans or 15 IPAs slowly, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to be sozzled blind by the conclusion of Happy Hour and invite everyone at the bar to your house for a light supper and a dozen more drinks.

As a result, and as a public service, I’d like to offer six suggestions on how to navigate the uncertain shoals of after-work boozing,. (Six is my lucky number, I’d like to point out. I was in the first Selective Service lottery during the Vietnam War. My birthday was Number 131. The army stopped drafting guys that year at Number 125.)

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1. Be sure that you and your colleagues agree on what hour constitutes “after work.” Some may have opted for flex time (four 10-hour days per week, just like at certain state agencies, and I imagine, just as dubiously monitored); others may be working under that popular new hybrid, NYSMNYD (now you see me, now you don’t) and are not only unaware of when the workday begins and ends but also what month this is.

Still others may be working entirely from home, which means they’ll reluctantly put on work clothes in the late afternoon so they can show up for Happy Hour looking sufficiently harried (this requires men to loosen their ties and women to drop their smiles, or either to have just left behind a spouse and two or more cranky toddlers at home).

2. Know in advance what your personal limit is for alcohol intake. You’ll probably forget (or decide to forget) this after a few drinks. But at least you’ll have known in advance what your personal limit was for alcohol intake. Self-knowledge is a wonderful trait for business leaders to have—even if, after they fall to the floor, it’s only to espouse it to the paramedics tending to them.

3. In addition to selecting a designated driver, choose a designated alibi verifier when you tell your spouse and two or more cranky toddlers at home why you’ve shown up three hours late and wearing someone else’s clothes. Inside-out.

4. Have a drinking buddy, even if he or she is imaginary.

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5. Don’t gossip about people at the office who didn’t show up for Happy Hour. This is suggested because (a) they might just end up getting there late and unnoticed by you, and (b) you may be so stewed you won’t realize you’ve been talking trash about them to them.

6. Understand (per Dr. Anhalt, above) that your relationship with drinking may seem deeper than it is, whereas it may just be chemical attraction. This is not something on which you can always build a lasting relationship, and at some point, you may wish to start seeing other bad habits—like opioids, gambling, Minecraft and reading online columns.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President and CEO, Golden Pacific Bank

photo by Phoebe Verkouw


While the pandemic has had an indelible, global effect, one outcome that’s surprised me is how quickly our customers and economy adapted to a more fully digitalized financial world. I expect that trend to only speed up.

I think of myself as a fairly traditional banker, but to me that includes fully embracing the convenience, wide outreach and other positive attributes that digitalized financial products and services offer our customers. Digital banking is the new norm—and I’m all in!

As announced last March, Golden Pacific Bancorp agreed to be acquired by Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi). SoFi is one of the world’s largest, most successful digital personal finance company, and I’m proud that Golden Pacific Bank was selected for a partnership. This is a very exciting development for Golden Pacific Bank staff and customers—as well as for the greater Sacramento and Yuba City region.

If successfully granted a national bank charter by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Reserve pursuant to its change-of-control application, SoFi plans to contribute $750 million in capital and pursue its national, digital business plan—all while maintaining GPB’s community bank business and footprint, including GPB’s current three physical branches.

Once the transaction is complete, anticipated before the end of this year, GPB’s community bank business will operate as a division of SoFi Bank, N.A. I’ve agreed to stay on with SoFi and will lead the GPB community bank business under the direction of Paul Mayer, who will serve as President of SoFi Bank, N.A.

I’m so excited and proud of this proposed partnership with SoFi and the strength it will bring to enhance our ability to serve our customers at the highest level. We will continue our commitment to bringing more services and convenience for our individual customers, small businesses, and the communities that we serve in Sacramento and surrounding counties. This deal will allow us to expand our offerings in SoFi’s financial products and robust technology platform.

I think this is the very definition of what everyone calls a win/win!

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