Thursday, February 24, 2005

Two Martini Lunch
Kim Du Toit believes, "what we Americans need to do is grow up about the concept of booze." He goes on to clarify my previous opinion about The Three Martini Lunch, it should have rightly lamented the loss of two Martinis. I stand corrected:

(The three-martini lunch, incidentally, should be a two-martini lunch, which is quite manageable, and will achieve the proper result. Three martinis, especially as served in those giant American bathtub-sized glasses, serve more as a social anesthetic than as a social lubricant.)
Please check out the above link to read his whole posting. Here is a little more:

Let me be perfectly clear about all this.

I know that the fabled “three-martini lunch” has fallen into some disrepute in America, because of some Carry Nation notion that the Demon Drink affects work performance and is a personal risk not to mention insurance problem blah blah blah.

It’s all bullshit.

Booze (consumed not to excess) functions as a social lubricant, as a conversation facilitator, and as a means whereby the shy can be emboldened. As such, I think it performs a magic task inside business life, and does something which no other substance or structure is able to.

I also think that in a business context, booze creates cameraderie, and a means whereby individuals can become actual friends with their coworkers—no doubt a taboo in most companies, where the worker bees are not supposed to actually enjoy their job, just to perform it according to the standards set down by some faceless (and no doubt sober) O&M / finance trolls from their sterile bunkers.

Needless to say, according to said trolls, the concept of people working together to help others do their jobs better is not something which should be done from friendship, but by corporate diktat. Personal friendships, in the Corporate World, are not good; because when the next round of layoffs occur, the serfs are more likely to be outraged when their best friend in IT gets axed than if it’s just some faceless guy they’ve never seen outside company email.

That’s American business, in a word: joyless. And the absense of booze helps make it so. (And let’s not hear about how American business is driving the world economy blah blah blah—the Brit business world is not exactly a basket case, and they seem to function quite well with the occasional or even frequent lunchtime pint. There is a happy medium between rampant alcoholism and cheerless Puritanism.

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