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Old 07-01-09, 10:12 AM   #1
Random Rider
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Alcohol at the Bike Shop

I had my rear wheel adjusted after I got out of work. While I was waiting I observed one of the new Bike Mechanics drinking an alcoholic drink. It was only about 5:30 and they didn't close till 7pm. I'm not judging but is this normal behaviour at bike shops in evening hours? Just thought it was odd.
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Old 07-01-09, 10:21 AM   #2
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it's a normal thing at any workplace from my point of view.
there's nothing better than a little fire water to wrap up the day, as the natives says

we do it in the office
and many other countries i've lived at, has been a normal behaviour too.

so it must be a normal thing on this planet as long as you are not into any sort of religion that prohibit alcoholic beverages, or living in some DRY states in USA
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Old 07-01-09, 10:53 AM   #3
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Wasn't typical at shops I worked at . . . . until we closed the doors.
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Old 07-01-09, 11:20 AM   #4
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I had my rear wheel adjusted after I got out of work. While I was waiting I observed one of the new Bike Mechanics drinking an alcoholic drink. It was only about 5:30 and they didn't close till 7pm. I'm not judging but is this normal behaviour at bike shops in evening hours? Just thought it was odd.
Was the wreckless wrench wearing a helmet? Did your bike survive the ordeal?

Lighten up.
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Old 07-01-09, 11:21 AM   #5
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Not the normal thing around here, for businesses in general. Ditto for drug use.
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Old 07-01-09, 11:36 AM   #6
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Our society is generally creeping into an area where anything fun and social can be and is labeled as bad. If it is an independently owned shop then they have a right to pop a cork whenever the hell they like. your opinion be damned.
15 years ago, sharing a beer at a bike or auto mechanic shop, or bookshop was normal. These days if you have a beer in public you are labeled an alcoholic.
I say bottoms up.
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Old 07-01-09, 12:03 PM   #7
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15 years ago, sharing a beer at a bike or auto mechanic shop, or bookshop was normal. These days if you have a beer in public you are labeled an alcoholic.
I say bottoms up.
I am not really concerned one way or another about the OP's concern, but I need to flag this as revisionist history... I personally think a worker should be able to wait until they punch out to drink, but if the boss doesn't mind, then neither do I.

However, as a 50+ year old, who has spent time in various parts of the country, and a little time in Okinawa with the Marines, I have never seen anyone share a beer at a bike or auto mechanic shop, or in a bookshop, nor in any other workplace other than customers where they served alcohol as part of the business. And I have been in some pretty Bohemian bookshops and other businesses.

There may be pockets where drinking beer in the work place was the norm 15 years ago, but it was not typical...
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Old 07-01-09, 12:03 PM   #8
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Most businesses in Belgium have a beer-break at 10:30am. Europeans in general are taught to drink in the home, so it's perfectly socially acceptable. Not getting hammered and fall-down blotto - just a casual buzz. America is the holdout. Anything fun is against God! Phooey!
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Old 07-01-09, 12:25 PM   #9
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Alcohol in the work place is a liability and gets into all sorts of gray areas with insurance and the like. Hence why you don't see a lot of it. Bike shops are not exempt from this.

All depends on the business. You bring your car to the shop I go to (friend owned) and it is after 3:00, you better believe we have a 12 pack and will indeed offer you a beer as well. This is a small business though that operates under the table so to speak.

My job in an office at a Bio-Tech ... happy hour is AFTER you leave work.
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Old 07-01-09, 12:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Random Rider View Post
I had my rear wheel adjusted after I got out of work. While I was waiting I observed one of the new Bike Mechanics drinking an alcoholic drink. It was only about 5:30 and they didn't close till 7pm. I'm not judging but is this normal behaviour at bike shops in evening hours? Just thought it was odd.
It's not the norm at the shops I deal with here on the east side, although one shop has served beer and wine at a couple of special events in the off-season.

Was that your usual shop on the west side?
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Old 07-01-09, 01:04 PM   #11
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@TSL Yes it was. It's pretty much the only place I really go to besides checking out Park Ave one time. Also at the person saying " Lighten up", I am not complaining or saying it's a bad thing just was asking if it happens alot. I don't see what I am supposed to lighten up about.
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Old 07-01-09, 01:52 PM   #12
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Lighten up? Sorry but getting drunk on the job is very unprofessional. Also there is no way I am doing business with a company that lets it employees drink while I am paying them big bucks. Might not be fun, but I am not paying anyone to have fun rather to fix my stuff correctly the first time.
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Old 07-01-09, 01:53 PM   #13
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15 minutes before closing? Yeah, a beer would be ok. An hour and a half before the shop closes? That's jumping the gun a little bit.
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Old 07-01-09, 02:02 PM   #14
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Hard to believe, but, in many jobs, it's a fireable offense.

In many workplaces, it is actually illegal. For instance, anything that would involve public safety.

That can be painted with a pretty broad brush.

I believe it is very unprofessional, to start before the doors are locked.
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Old 07-01-09, 02:04 PM   #15
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Lighten up? Sorry but getting drunk on the job is very unprofessional.
What? Please point to the part of the OP that refers to the mechanic getting drunk.
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Old 07-01-09, 02:23 PM   #16
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What? Please point to the part of the OP that refers to the mechanic getting drunk.
What? Please point out where I was attacking the OP.
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Old 07-01-09, 02:33 PM   #17
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I suppose its really up to the management/ownership of the shop.

However, if I saw that while my bike was in the shop, Id cancel the work and take it home.
If I wanted a drunkard working on my bike - I'd fix it myself.
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Old 07-01-09, 02:41 PM   #18
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It seems almost silly. Think about it, there are plenty of bars nowadays where the employees aren't allowed to drink while on the clock. In a bar!!! Can't even buy the bartender a shot anymore. In a bar. Sheesh.

So yeah, I'd find drinking at a bike shop during business hours a little odd, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Hell, I wish I could drink at my workplace. I'd be less stressed!
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Old 07-01-09, 04:44 PM   #19
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One of the shops I frequent keeps a tapped keg from a local microbrewery in the shop.
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Old 07-01-09, 05:02 PM   #20
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Lighten up? Sorry but getting drunk on the job is very unprofessional. Also there is no way I am doing business with a company that lets it employees drink while I am paying them big bucks. Might not be fun, but I am not paying anyone to have fun rather to fix my stuff correctly the first time.
You equate having a beer with getting drunk? Maybe you should cycle right on over to the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Share some of your big bucks with them. Don't forget to keep your helmet straps as tight as your panties seem to be bunched.

BTW, where do you spend "big bucks" on bicycling mechanics?
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Old 07-01-09, 05:19 PM   #21
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The mechanics at one of the shops I frequented before I moved were regularly drinking beer while wrenching. Didn't bother me in the least- just because they are enjoying a beer doesn't mean the mechanic is drunk or impaired enough that they can't fix my bike. To me a bike shop is a great place to socialize as well as getting the bike fixed.

I regularly drank beer when I worked at a landscape nursery because it was hotter than hell outside all summer. Always in moderation though- I never got too drunk to sell you a shrubbery.
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Old 07-01-09, 05:23 PM   #22
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The only places I knew "IN The USA" where imbibing during the workday was considered acceptable was brewery workers. Not sure if still true but when I toured several breweries in the late 60s we were told that the union contract allowed workers to drink up to 2 free quarts per day, to be consumed during lunch period and breaks only. Any workers found drunk on the job were fired immediately we were told.

I do not consider myself a moralist but to me drinking during actual working hours is non-professional and if withessed by customers opens a legal can of worms. If work is not done correctly and the defect causes an injury then the fact that the worker was drinking on the job could lead to a expensive lawsuit against the shop and owner I suspect.
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Old 07-01-09, 05:48 PM   #23
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This should be a poll
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Old 07-01-09, 05:58 PM   #24
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To me a bike shop is a great place to socialize as well as getting the bike fixed.
Yep, I think it totally depends on the vibe of the given shop. This past winter when I was getting fitted for ski boots at my local shop, I was the only customer there. They had me bring my new dog in, and one of the guys played with her while I was being fitted. Before I left, another tech came in with a 12 pack (it was right around closing time then) and we all had a beer together before I took off.

It NEVER hurts to bond with the techs at a ski or bike shop. In fact tomorrow I'm dropping off some beer at my LBS as a thanks for some work they did on my wheel that was way over and above what I actually paid for.

Now, if there were beer cans strewn all over the place and they were working on bikes -- that's a different story. But a beer, or even two, while doign some afternoon wrenching...doesn't strike me as cause for alarm. If it offends you, by all means take your business elsewhere. Me -- I'd ask for a cold one and hang out for a bit.
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Old 07-01-09, 07:11 PM   #25
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I suppose its really up to the management/ownership of the shop.

However, if I saw that while my bike was in the shop, Id cancel the work and take it home.
If I wanted a drunkard working on my bike - I'd fix it myself.


Yeah, I completely agree. I don't think it's asking too much for someone who's working on my bike to be completely sober during work hours. Maybe the person is sober enough to do good work on my bike, maybe they're not - but that's not a question any customer should ever have to ask. It's completely unprofessional for a bike mechanic to drink on the job.

That said, I have nothing at all against drinking beer and working on bikes - I do it all the time with my own bikes. But they're my bikes and if I mess anything up, I pay the price, not anyone else. And I have no problem drinking beers with a friend while he works on my bike. If I know the person and trust them and they're not expecting a fee for their work, then it's not a financial transaction - it's just two friends drinking beer and working on bikes - there's no expectation of propriety.

Regarding what the earlier poster said - that consuming alcohol at work was common 15 years ago - it certainly wasn't common to see it where I'm from. The only people I've ever seen drinking alcohol during work are sommeliers and strippers.
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