I'm not an alcoholic, I'm just sneaky
January 1, 2012 3:21 PM   Subscribe

I'm a secret drinker. But I'm far less into the drinking part than the secret part. How can I do this more healthily?

I have a ridiculously stupid, boring office job, and I've recently taken to smuggling booze in by various means so I can drink at work. This sounds ridiculously irresponsible, but it keeps me from going crazy in two ways. The obvious way is that booze makes you stupid, which makes it slightly easier for me to cope with the menial tasks I have to do. (I'm not talking about getting completely lit, but just barely tipsy--we're talking about maybe one shot's worth at most, and I'm large enough that such an amount barely has any effect.)

But I'm talking here about the other way--I love being able to have a secret. I love sneaking the stuff into work and knowing I'm doing something that is Not Allowed, and that I'm going against the rules in this one little stupid way.

And the thing is that it's the risk that makes it interesting. Things like wearing unusual underwear or whatever wouldn't help me, because it doesn't really matter.

Anyway, I want to find some way I can keep the "secret" part of being a secret drinker while dropping the "drinker" part, some little transgression I can commit to make my life less boring. Thoughts?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (38 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
On slow days I jerk off in the bathroom at work.
posted by Juliet Banana at 3:24 PM on January 1, 2012 [24 favorites]

You could steal from your employer, I suppose. That's risky.
posted by box at 3:29 PM on January 1, 2012

Better advice, though, I think, would be to engage in risky behavior somewhere other than at work.
posted by box at 3:30 PM on January 1, 2012

You could probably get fired for drinking on the job.

So in order to have a worthy substitute it has to carry the same risk. But most other things that would get you fired are things like stealing and sabotage, or extreme interpersonal behavior which seem a bit less palatable.

I say stick with the drinking on the job, lord knows it's hard to beat. Except by arriving high on the job, that is pretty good too. And those days are also good jerk off on your break days.
posted by TheRedArmy at 3:32 PM on January 1, 2012

Swap over to something that won't get you fired. If you get your office work done easily enough that it won't kill your job performance, try playing video games at work. It's usually Not Allowed, you're going against the rules, but if you're found out, it's much less likely that it's going to cause serious damage to your life.
posted by Saydur at 3:41 PM on January 1, 2012 [6 favorites]

Look for - and apply for - new jobs on your work computer.

Make long-distance phone calls from your work phone.

Write short stories/songs/poems while you're supposed to be filling in excel spreadsheets.

Pick a date to quit and don't tell anyone, just use your work hours to plan the round the world trip you're going to go on when that day comes.

Spy on disliked co-workers' personal conversations and think up ways to use the information against them.

Flout OSHA regulations when no one's looking.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 3:42 PM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Send dirty text messages to your significant other while at work? (on your own personal cell phone, not one provided by your job)
posted by MadamM at 4:00 PM on January 1, 2012 [5 favorites]

Work on skills that can get you a new, better job. If the company will pay or reimburse you for training, bonus. You'll be less bored and your higher-ups will be impressed, but only you will know you're just doing it because you intend to scram.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:08 PM on January 1, 2012 [14 favorites]

...booze makes you stupid,... just barely tipsy...maybe one shot's worth at most... such an amount barely has any effect.

This does not compute. Either you are getting tipsy/stupid enough to cope with your menial job, or you are not. They can't both be true.

You could just as easily gamble/play games/surf for porn/job hunt online, or post on facebook about how bored you are, without risking becoming an alcoholic.

I hope you don't drive to work.
posted by headnsouth at 4:21 PM on January 1, 2012 [5 favorites]

Like headnsouth, I am not sure I trust your account of yourself.

One possibility is that it is the drinking that matters to you. Or that if it isn't, it soon will be. I think this is not the magnitude of risk that you want to take, otherwise you would not be posting this here.

I am going to give you the really boring, preachy answer and say that instead of acting up at work so that you risk getting fired from your boring job, deal with the problem and try to get a job more in line with your talents.

Sneaking educational material into work and sneakily learning it here and there will advance you and, if caught, place your overlords in an ideally frustrating position. Very hard for them to fire you for improving your skills at work, even if it's ambiguously apparent that you're taking the piss.

p.s. I don't recommend this track if you are going to prepare for a new career as an archer or sniper.
posted by tel3path at 4:47 PM on January 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

Start playing Minecraft. Then play Minecraft at work, secretly. Trust me, it is a much bigger addiction that sneaking in alcohol.

No, I have never played Minecraft in class, why do you ask?
posted by DoubleLune at 4:47 PM on January 1, 2012

We had an English teacher who would excuse herself by coughing a little and go over to her storage closet and have a tablespoon of Gin during class. She thought she was a "secret drinker," too...it got to where she was looped by sixth period every afternoon.

Go for the skills improvement. If you have to be there anyway, make it pay.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 4:52 PM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

I don't know that this is risky (depends on your legal jurisdiction, probably), but certainly something that would freak people out if they knew... Wear a wire to work. Or plant a recorder in your desk. Pretend to be a spy, but not so much that they actually incarcerate you.
posted by anaelith at 4:57 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding Halfbuckeroo only my teacher was social studies. This very well may not be a secret.

Though that reminds me that one of my classmates crawled out of that class once after attendance was called. That must have been a thrill. Can you sneak out of work periodically?
posted by semacd at 5:16 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wear silly undergarments.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:24 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Christ, people, OP is already asking for things to do other than drinking.

I'd sneak bizarre things into the boss's desk, or otherwise mess with other people in the office in secret ways like rearranging the photos in their cubicle without anyone seeing.

Are there places or files or anything like that you're not supposed to access? Access them.
posted by cmoj at 5:28 PM on January 1, 2012 [5 favorites]

I used to make zines at work, back when I was a bored temp.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:34 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

This is a job for the Annoy-a-tron.
posted by oflinkey at 5:36 PM on January 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

cmoj beat me to it, but yeah, play pranks on your coworkers.
Are there any common areas at work like the kitchen where you can hide weird things or glue quarters to the floor? Target specific people who you think would enjoy the whimsy and mystery of crazy stuff showing up in their coat pockets or desk drawers.
Come in early and dump 5lbs of sand in a pile in the middle of the office, and enjoy watching everyone else play detective with their theories of how it got there.

Or continue the drinking but fill a flask with your favourite soda or juice.
Enjoy the thrill of sneakiness with an out should you ever get caught.
posted by breakfast! at 5:39 PM on January 1, 2012

I recently left the worst job ever and some of my coworkers have done some things to make it less soul sucking, different levels of risk involved:
- constant nail grooming/painting
- pranking (stealing trackball balls, switching the m and n keys on the keyboard, saran wrapping an entire desk)
- doing other jobs (one accountant did other people's taxes, I sold stuff on ebay)
- write harry potter slash fiction (it's 2012... upgrade to twilight edward/jacob) during work
- sleeping with subordinates in the supply closet
- having a second laptop open to muted porno; the bonus is people think you're REALLY into your databases
- I became immune to the power of this and played it constantly for my entire department
- stealing boxes for moving, a table for dominoes, a $400 shredder got lost
- make your homepage monster or careerbuilder; don't close your door or leave your cubicle to call back prospective employers
- make kimchee in the employee kitchen. delicious fermentation!
- pretend to be running work related errands during lunch. take 2-3 hour lunches. come back with a deflated balloon for the employee appreciation party.
posted by ruevian at 5:42 PM on January 1, 2012 [7 favorites]

Do your coworkers have photos open-access areas?

Scan them, photoshop something random into/out of them, print them out, overlay the 'shopped photo over the original (leave the original). Swap them out with a new 'shop every so often.
posted by porpoise at 6:15 PM on January 1, 2012

You can thank me later.
posted by rhizome at 6:17 PM on January 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

Some of these suggestions are just about making your coworkers miserable, which seems unfair, especially if they hate their jobs as much as you do. Why not just quit and look for something that satisfies you instead of seeking satisfaction by flirting with getting fired?
posted by gingerest at 6:39 PM on January 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

posted by Sticherbeast at 6:56 PM on January 1, 2012

I used to send prank faxes to my friends who were similarly miserable at work. That is low-stakes and kind of fun. You can also pick your nose while talking on the phone.
posted by millipede at 7:02 PM on January 1, 2012

Steal pens. Be sneaky about it. Keep them all in one odd, out of the way location so that eventually your co-workers will find a giant cupboard full of pens.
posted by brina at 7:34 PM on January 1, 2012 [7 favorites]

My work can see every site we go on, so I play Words with Friends on my (personal) phone. The thing, though, is that sometimes your opponent takes forever to make a move, so it's almost not worth it if your aim is to distract yourself.

So, I fill in those spots by surfing AskMe. But maybe I'll try Minecraft or something.
posted by bookwibble at 7:42 PM on January 1, 2012

Photocopy your derriere.

You said no unusual underwear, but you could wear a chastity belt...
posted by anaelith at 7:49 PM on January 1, 2012

I would be willing to bet your 'secret drinking' is anything but a secret. I worked with a couple of people who thought that the fact they intermittently stank of alcohol during the day was a mystery to the rest of us, but we knew. And what one person at work knows, everyone knows.

So you definitely want to find something else to do, and maybe think about why in such terrible economic times you're playing russian roulette with your livelihood.

Me, I downloaded a lot of classic literature from gutenberg and mailed it to myself in plaintext. I finished a significant section of the standard Western canon and was teaching myself Portuguese before I got another job that actually required me to use my brain while I worked. It was interesting, improving and would at worst have lead to me having to endure a small scold.
posted by winna at 9:08 PM on January 1, 2012 [5 favorites]

My advice would be to stop being a dick at work and take up skydiving in your free time. But if you are afraid of heights then having a secret-squirrel affair with one of your coworkers is much healthier and, if you pick the right coworker, should fulfill your need for unnecessary drama and risk-of-job-loss nicely.
posted by fshgrl at 9:29 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Alcohol is so amateur. If you want a challenge, try dropping acid on your way into work some morning. By the way you may want to take a deeper look at your drinking behavior. I know you say that you are less into the drinking part than the secret part, but pretty much the only folks who drink in secret and at work etc. are folks with some potent alcohol issues.
posted by caddis at 11:04 PM on January 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Everyone else thinks you work there. But really you're a spy, or a Martian, or maybe an anthropologist. Observe behavioral patterns; take notes; develop theories; make sure to keep mimicking the behaviors you're observing, so that you don't blow your cover.

If you write fiction or have a legitimate interest in anthropology or organizational psychology or something, then this is actually a useful thing to do and not just a game.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:12 AM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Some of these suggestions are just about making your coworkers miserable, which seems unfair, especially if they hate their jobs as much as you do.

I agree with this statement. I worked with someone who did stupid stuff. He just seemed immature and annoying. He would do things like turning pictures upside down. Which would look very bad if we had a tour coming through that day. He also poked holes in a bunch of papers on our bulletin board. This was very unprofessional and I knew who did it. It made me think that he was not working at work and I still look very poorly on him. He also probably will never get promoted if other people view him this same way. That means he will stay in his boring job instead of growing out of it.

I think the drinking is much more personally. It is sneaky but it does not outwardly bother or affect other people. I would agree much more with the people to find a more rewarding job. It is hard to do in this job market though, but I think that is the best thing to do if you worry about becoming an alcoholic. You seem like you care what other people think about you since you are concerned about people noticing that you drink alcohol.

What about having a secret pet in your desk? Like a snake or frog or something? It is not alcoholic, but not appropriate at work. Obviously if you did this you would want to make sure it was an animal that would fit the environment that you could provide as to not mistreat an animal.
posted by Jaelma24 at 1:23 PM on January 2, 2012

I used to make out on my lunch break in my car in non-work parking lots. Felt kinda skeezy.
posted by ifjuly at 1:33 PM on January 2, 2012

If you're a girl, masturbating on break or in the restroom is totally low stakes. Do it at your desk. Now that's danger.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:31 PM on January 2, 2012

Start your guerrilla urban graffiti campaign. Paste stickers/found pictures/poetry/quotes/whatever and place them in inconspicuous yet eventually discoverable places around the office. Underneath keyboards, on walls behind office "artwork", the undersides of desks. Make exact copies of office memos and bulletins--you know, the ones that have been taped up on the walls for years and everyone ignores--and change the messages on them.

Remember though, that if you get caught once you'll likely get pinned with any subsequent discoveries.
posted by sambosambo at 6:07 PM on January 2, 2012

Leave origami figures for the coworkers you like.
posted by juliplease at 9:40 PM on January 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

- put post-it notes/jokes/sayings in random places (or not so random)
- put very small pieces of chewing tobacco in your mouth - or snus or whatever
- make a database of info on all of your co-workers
- keep a secret list of funny/stupid/scandalous things co-workers have said - email it out when you eventually get fired
posted by mrmarley at 11:20 AM on January 10, 2012

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