“Free beer, or we’re outta here!” the new rules of work

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A&H HQ — This is too much fun. Workers at Carlsberg have gone on strike because they have lost their right to drink free beer ALL DAY.

To be clear, they will still get free beer at lunch.

There is a business policy about not being drunk at work, they explain, etc.

I used to work in a brewery. (Stop me if you’ve heard this before.) I worked on the assembly line, sorting old beer bottles for recycling. It long shift and fairly tedious work. Starting at 6 am. A few months before I joined they had taken away the ‘all you can drink’ policy. Apparently the guys used to come in early for my shift and put a few back.

Imagine polishing off a few ales before 6 am?

That doesn’t seem right.

I don’t want to be too hard on the guys at Carlsberg. It could well be a tobacconist, or a pharma firm. It’s just that the ‘beer’ bit makes it more funny.

However, the question of the day is: “What is it that people have and take for granted?”

My Bradford-born granny always said “waste-not, want-not.” And she spent the last 25 years of her life living in a mobile home park for old people in Florida. She couldn’t have been happier.

This past weekend at a beautiful country house in France I sat with a table of French, British and American people, and someone asked: “If you were to become very rich, what would you do?”

I was thinking, we’re in a country house in France on an Easter break with a house full of spoiled, screaming kids… what do we have to complain about?

And then the first guy said “I’d do nothing differently…” There was a pause.

And everyone else said “Yeah. Yeah, me too.”

The the first guy again: “Well, maybe a car and driver…”

“Yeah, yeah, me too…”

What do we want? How much do we expect from our work, from our lives? And how realistic is that?

I know Friday afternoon is late for existential questions. But maybe you can answer while waiting for the beer trolley to come around.


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