Bad news, lazy drunks: everyone's too exhausted to go to the pub with you after work. According to a study, over two-thirds of UK employees work over 39 hours every week, yet 56 percent of them never go to the great British pub with their colleagues. The study – commissioned by There's a Beer for That , a "campaign to reignite Britain's love of beer" – also discovered that, despite spending more time with their co-workers than their partners during the working week, Brits are not likely to be found socialising in the pub with their workmates.
It's maybe a bit sinister that these guys have noticed that your nine-to-five has taken you away from your boy/girlfriend and decided this means you should be spending more time getting pissed with your boss. But then this is a "campaign" (with a great song) run by Britain's Beer Alliance (BBA), a cross industry group representing the manufacturers of all your favourite and least favourite booze – from small breweries to the global corporations that own most of the brands of UK-brewed continental lager stocked in your local.
Still, it doesn't matter that this comes from vested interests. Pubs are great and it's sad that people aren't going to them. But I have to wonder if overwork is the only thing to blame. According to the study, 22 percent of 24 to 35-year-olds will hit the pub with colleagues more than once a week. This compares to less than 1 percent of 45 to 54-year-olds visiting the local with their colleagues – but then I guess they have lame things like families and mortgages to go home to.
Maybe the lack of pub visits has something to do with the lack of decent pubs. Represented by the BBA are the kind of widely criticised "pubcos" and pub-owning brewers that own so many British boozers. They lease the premises out to the landlord on the condition that they buy all their beer off the pubco, sometimes at massively inflated prices. For many landlords, this makes the pub effectively unviable, which is one of several potential reasons that the nice pub next to your office has closed down.
Anyway, it's cool they're using widespread overwork as a marketing tool. A real campaign would promote your right to get pissed and your rights at work. Say the campaign by workers at Carlsberg (also part of the BBA), who in 2010 walked out in protest over management plans to restrict their drinking at work. They had been allowed to drink all day from coolers around the work sites, but were then told they could only drink at lunch. They were joined in solidarity by delivery lorry drivers who also wanted the right to drink on the job, which seems like a great plan (the lorries had alcohol locks so that drivers wouldn't be able to drink too much and drive).
See you on the curb opposite the boarded up pub with a tinnie.
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