To expect staff to not drink alcohol and party in open plan office when others are still working

(23 Posts)
calidadsuprema Thu 28-Mar-13 18:16:06

A bit long so as not to drip feed..I work in a smallish open plan office - 20 or so desks across 2 rooms. Today was last day at work for a colleague and another is getting married over the weekend.

We had two separate presentations to the two staff involved which took a bit of time out of the working day. Some (not all) of the staff are going to a night out leaving straight from work for the one who is leaving.

My team and I have been really busy all week with deadlines to meet (financial year end). My line manager and I are in the office tomorrow when everyone else is off on public holiday as we still have work to complete for year end.

A couple of the staff who work flexibly knocked off at 4pm today. They normally work in a different part of the office from me and are not in my team. These particular colleagues are going on the work night out. At 4pm they moved themselves into the front office (where I work) and started dishing out alcohol. They started drinking and gabbing away as if they were already in the pub (having also spent time at their desks earlier getting glammed up during core hours). One of them parked herself at the desk next to me and was drinking and gabbing to her mate. They started distracting my team and others who I am not responsible for and drawing them into their chat.

After 15 minutes the noise levels were going up and up and I was finding it hard to concentrate. Then I asked them to keep the noise levels down, saying that I have a lot to do tomorrow in the office and would have even more to do if I could not concentrate to get today's tasks finished. My line manager was in a meeting elsewhere and there was no-one to back me up. The party animals stopped for a few seconds then started up again as bad as ever. AIBU to expect the office environment not to be treated like a pub when staff are clearly still working? I was made to feel like a party pooper..

ShatnersBassoon Thu 28-Mar-13 18:20:13

They should have shifted themselves when you complained, and they should have had the sense to realise you were trying to concentrate.

I think you sound a bit uppity though, saying they were 'getting glammed up during core hours' hmm, so perhaps you are a bit of a party pooper. It's not sour grapes because you didn't get an invitation is it? <runs away>

Tailtwister Thu 28-Mar-13 18:20:25

Drinking in the office! That's completely out of order imo. If they want to drink they should go out to the pub, not do it within the working environment.

anonymosity Thu 28-Mar-13 18:24:20

YANBU at all. I worked in a place like this for 3 yrs. It has to have a culture change to stop it - i.e. management needs to make clear what people can and cannot do and where, etc.

blueraincoat Thu 28-Mar-13 18:27:37

YANBU! I can't even imagine this happening in my office!

As a one-off it wouldn't bother me at all. If you're not customer-facing then getting ready and having a pre-party drink isn't a big deal.

If there is a culture of partying while still in the office then management need to draw up some rules.

MrsMaryCooper Thu 28-Mar-13 18:29:05

Sacking offence to drink (alcohol) at my place of work.

RatPants Thu 28-Mar-13 18:30:15

Where on earth do you work and are there any jobs going?! grin

anonymosity Thu 28-Mar-13 18:30:55

At the place I worked, they (the bosses) used to bring out the booze every Friday at 5.30. It was an incentive (I believe) to get people to show up at the end of the week.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:31:24

Ah ... that's a shame because it sounds like a nice, laidback place to work. But the other staff know it's year-end so in this case, YANBU.

RapunzelAteMyHamster Thu 28-Mar-13 18:31:42

This quite often used to happen where I worked on a Friday night. I quite liked it, but then it was a busy chatty environment anyway (ad agency).

ShatnersBassoon Thu 28-Mar-13 18:33:00

I worked somewhere where we had the Christmas party (a warm up one week and the party proper the next) actually in the office grin, and the boss would often wander out with bottles of plonk to dish out when someone was leaving or adopting a cat or any excuse really. It wasn't a small company either, it was an international bank.

CaptainSweatPants Thu 28-Mar-13 18:33:27

Why are you the only one working with the manager tomorrow or are you on a higher pay grade?

NinaNannar Thu 28-Mar-13 18:34:57

oh you sound a party poper

calidadsuprema Thu 28-Mar-13 18:35:44

Shatner, I was invited (all staff were) - couldn't go due to childcare issues.

OhChristHasRisenFENTON Thu 28-Mar-13 18:35:48

As Beer said - a one-off wouldn't bother me too much, but they were rather inconsiderate to everyone else who had to continue working so I don't think you were unreasonable to have asked them to hush it.

calidadsuprema Thu 28-Mar-13 18:36:37

Captain - we are the key finance staff and it is financial year end.

OhChristHasRisenFENTON Thu 28-Mar-13 18:38:10

Oh gawd, a seriously busy time for you then - I do sympathise

MDA Thu 28-Mar-13 18:39:13

We used to do this kind of thing in that we'd have a trolley of booze come up from catering if someone was getting married, leaving, or if it was one of every 4 Fridays of the month. Inevitably some woud still be working; it was a law firm, which never really stops. They just got on with it, perhaps closed their doors. If they were waiting for a proof or an amend, they'd come out and have a drink grin

calidadsuprema Thu 28-Mar-13 18:44:21

MDA - that's fine if you have a door to close! Our office is completely open plan

MDA Thu 28-Mar-13 18:48:27

Yeah, that's a bit shit. Bad time of year for finance dudes.

Hope management give you a trolley when its all done and dusted, you've earned it grin

Moominsarehippos Thu 28-Mar-13 18:53:15

We used to have a drinks trolley - every Friday afternoon. Then it was just on special occasions. On St Patricks day it would be doing the rounds with guinness and irish coffee by 10am.

Kiriwawa Thu 28-Mar-13 19:00:53

I don't blame you for getting irritated but I suspect you would have had a better reaction if you'd said 'Oy, you lucky lot, I know your weekend has already started but we've got loads to do so could you pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease move your party to the back office before I steal your wine?' or something similar, with a grin

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