Drinkers and Sober People Alike Misbehave on Business Trips
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Drinkers and Sober People Alike Misbehave on Business Trips


This post was originally published on March 24, 2015.

According to a survey released by On Call International, a risk management company, 27 percent of workers admitted to binge drinking on business trips. (Binge drinking is defined as having more than five drinks for men and four for women over the course of two hours or, as some of us define it, the recipe for waking up next to a Holiday Inn bartender.) I guess traveling for work can be like going on spring break from your life. No kids, no spouse, no making your bed, that little single person coffee maker—it’s like a vacation that you don’t have to pay for!

These findings, which were based on a Google Consumer Survey, identified other shady behaviors as well. Eleven percent of respondents admitted that they had picked up a stranger in a bar (see?!), and just under four percent said they had been detained by law enforcement. Not only that, but eight percent of employees lied to their bosses about their business trip shenanigans. It looks like some of us really do believe what happens on the road stays on the road. (Except for herpes—we all know that, right?)

Now the assumption might be that just because we’re sober, we’re going to do our jobs like a Fucking Boss—remembering names, taking notes, making things happen and going to bed early—and while all of these things might be true, we aren’t above taking advantage of the taste of freedom that a business trip can provide. It’s time to set the we-are-not-saints record straight.

Here’s My List of What People in Recovery do on Business Trips:

  1. Head straight for the mini bar and eat all of the seven dollar chocolate bars and $15 jars of nuts, jump on the bed and then sleep for three hours.
  2. Call the front desk to remove the mini bar.
  3. Yelp the closest organic, vegan juice bar and one of those syphon coffee places where your coffee looks like a chemistry experiment and it takes an hour to drip.
  4. Make reservations for a bike at Flywheel. Or that trapeze class. Or some Kundalini EDM yoga. Sober people like to work out, but that exercise often needs to be some kind of difficult-to-locate adventure therapy.
  5. Figure out how to turn the couples massage at the hotel spa into a networking opportunity.
  6. Find a meeting. Maybe call that local you’ve been crushing on to take you. And then have sex with him/her instead. Or in addition to. Depends how good your program is.
  7. Make sure you meet with everyone you’re supposed to on the first day so you can go to Six Flags the day after that.
  8. Swim naked in the hotel pool after everyone passes out.
  9. Obsess over dinner reservations, because you are very particular about your raw buckwheat, grilled asparagus, charred pea tendrils and pickled radish with bee pollen vinaigrette.
  10. Convince your drunk colleagues to go to karaoke so you can tape them with your phone for later. Or for YouTube.

Photo courtesy of dbking (Flickr: IMG_5325) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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About Author

Amanda Fletcher is the PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship Manager. A prolific travel and freelance feature writer, her work has been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Orange County Register, Coast and Hippocampus magazines, the Ignite magazine blog, FAR & WIDE and more. Originally from Canada, she lives in Los Angeles and is currently finishing her memoir, HALO.