Situation with work and politics
November 6, 2012 11:30 AM   Subscribe

I'll be on a work trip with my boss and some coworkers during the election tonight, and it was suggested that we all watch the results unfold at a bar somewhere. I usually avoid politics talk at work for the sake of sanity and career, and because my views may not easily fit within the big corporation I'm part of. How do I best navigate this night without anything going wrong (keeping in mind alcohol is involved)?
posted by naju to Work & Money (15 answers total)
Best answer: This seems like a good time to tell a white lie about how you have some prep work before tomorrow's meeting to do in your room first and "I'll try to join you if I finish up in time".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:33 AM on November 6, 2012 [14 favorites]

Nurse a single drink as long as you can --- alchohol in general isn't a good mix with work (words escape that the bosses might not appreciate....). Perhaps you can claim it would be a bad mix with your medication (and it really IS a bad mix with a lot of cold/allergy stuff), or you have be able to drive home later?
posted by easily confused at 11:35 AM on November 6, 2012

"hey thanks for the invite but I don't talk politics or religion in bars or at work... and certainly not both! You have a great time, though." And order room service.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 11:37 AM on November 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Stay up for one drink, then say, "Oof, guys, I'm exhausted. I'm going to bed."

(I would rather stick needles in my eyes than watch election coverage, even if it was with people I knew I agreed with.)
posted by mskyle at 11:38 AM on November 6, 2012 [7 favorites]

Best answer: That sounds like a horrible evening.

Feign a cold coming on and beg off, or go for an hour, eat some wings, drink a beer and then go back to the room to "do your day job".
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:38 AM on November 6, 2012

Let's say you're an Obama supporter and you're watching the election results with a bunch of Romney supporters. If they're all going to be drinking and cheering for Romney, you have 3 choices:

1) Say you prefer not to discuss politics, don't drink too much so you're not tempted, and remain tight lipped about your opinions. Potentially this could be a bit awkward, but they can't hold it against you. Polite but firm.

2) Be open about your politics. Refuse, absolutely refuse, to debate your opinions. Alcohol doesn't make for friendly debate. Cheer for who you want to and don't take any guff for it. Again, polite but firm.

3) Pretend to support whoever your coworkers support, cheer, drink, go along to get along. (I don't recommend this, it'll make one night easier but a host of problems await you in the coming days and weeks if you choose this option, you'll be living a lie at work)
posted by signsofrain at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2012

Speak up! You probably aren't the only one who feels this way. Name the elephant in the room and feel everyone out. If no one takes politics too seriously then you can have a mild drinking game, winning party buys the round, state by state. If there are argumentative people in your group then agree to not discuss it and anyone who mentions anything political buys the next round. Eat heavy foods and leave early.
posted by myselfasme at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you have a good relationship with these people, I would go, have no more than 2 drinks, and be honest but reserved about who you're rooting for. I get a lot of good-natured ribbing from my coworkers for being a vegetarian Democrat in a sea of pork-eating Republicans. It's not hindered my career or their respect for me. If you don't think you can take that, though, I would just fake a migraine and stay in your room.
posted by something something at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

"I can only have one drink - I promised my mom /brother /SO /librarian that I'd call them tonight." Have a drink just to be sociable, and get out before it gets too annoying.
posted by bunderful at 11:49 AM on November 6, 2012

EmpressCallipygos has the advice you need.

Hell I needed that advice a few years ago.

Work+Alcohol+Emotion = HumanLungFilledWithShit
posted by French Fry at 11:59 AM on November 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would avoid that event like the plague. Unfortunately it may be too late for a real lie, which is the kind that works best: 'Sorry, I'm having dinner with my brother-in-law / cousin / old HS teacher.' You don't get any aw-come on crap after saying that.

One of the white lies above is your next best option. But not the booze v meds, because all that does is get you off the hook for drinking. I wouldn't want to be there sober, either.
posted by LonnieK at 12:01 PM on November 6, 2012

Just tell the truth. You're not comfortable mixing politics and work because some people get really upset. Suggest you get a drink tomorrow night, or dinner beforehand at a place without TVs.
posted by cnc at 12:11 PM on November 6, 2012

Everytime they bring up politics change the subject to drone music until they give up trying to talk to you?
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:34 PM on November 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

Simply announce that you refuse to be in the room watching a bunch of drunken Republicans froth at the mouth while their ship of state rapidly slips beneath the waves of the Sea of Common Sense, and go out for Chinese food by yourself.

Simply announce that you refuse to be in the room watching a bunch of drunken Democrats gloat about the triumph of Socialistic Muslimism over the Red White and bygod Blue, and go out for Chinese food by yourself.

Or, what EC said.
posted by mule98J at 9:11 PM on November 6, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks guys, it went fine though it wasn't a "fun" night. No one else really wanted to divulge their politics much either. It was kind of a somber mood in the air so I just stuck with that and didn't celebrate outwardly. And then we all agreed we were tired and headed to our hotel rooms.
posted by naju at 9:38 AM on November 8, 2012

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