Office employee poses question to the Internet: Is it wrong to drink a non-alcoholic beer during a break?

On the morning of June 13th an office worker in her 30s going by the online handle of U-chan came down with a particular craving for beer. By the afternoon she was unable to hold out any longer and decided to go to a convenience store to buy a non-alcoholic beer.

U-chan says that she and everyone else in her small officer consider themselves to be big drinkers, so she thought nothing of it when she sat down at her desk to enjoy her simulated beer with 0.00 percent alcohol during a 3:00 p.m. break.

However, when her boss saw, he confronted U-chan in an exchange that went something like this:

Boss: “What are you drinking?”
U-chan: “This? Oh no you must be mistaken. It’s non-alcoholic beer. It’s not the real thing.”
Boss: “You can’t drink that here during office hours.”
U-chan: “Wha? But it doesn’t have any alcohol in it?”

The boss then proceeded to reprimand U-chan for an hour and told her to stay home the following day. During that time she was to write a letter of apology and reflection on what she had done in order to keep her job.

U-chan, still feeling her boss was unjustified in his reaction, took to the Komachi massage board on the Yomiuri Online website to ask if it was wrong to enjoy a non-alcoholic beer during a break at work.

A large majority of the hundreds of responses she got could probably be best summed up as:

“Sure, if you don’t want to keep your job.”
“No, it’s just wrong.”
“I wouldn’t do it. Sounds insane.”

On the other hand, more than a few people felt that although her actions wouldn’t land her Employee of the Month anytime soon, the boss’ reaction was far beyond what was necessary given the situation. Moreover, there were a few in the crowd who felt that the woman had done no wrong whatsoever.

Despite the differences of opinion, the general consensus was that certain jobs have certain standards. For example, smoking crack is considered appropriate behavior for the mayor of a large city like Toronto or Washington D.C., but partaking of such narcotics would be grounds for immediate dismissal if you were a trash collector or the person who refills vending machines.

In perhaps the same way, drinking a non-alcoholic beer may have less of an actual impact on work performance than a cup of coffee, but in an office environment it tends to weird people out. Also, during client visits the excuse of “don’t worry, it’s non-alcoholic” probably doesn’t fly when you smell like Happy Hour.

▼ The cans themselves are a little hard to distinguish from regular beer at first glance

Here at SoraNews24, drinking both regular and non-alcoholic beer is generally frowned upon while on the job. But there are ways around it such as making articles about beer. However, that often means you have to drink some weird stuff like Elephant pooh coffee beer.

But hey, getting paid to drink is getting paid to drink, right?

Source: Yomiuri Online Hatsugen Komachi, Livedoor News, Hachima Kiko
Photos ©SoraNews24