In these worrying times of the War on Alcohol, PC fascists and HR Supremos, a heartening tale from a friend who just went for an interview: It was held in a pub! He met the guy in the office’s local hostelry at 1pm and chewed the cud with his prospective employer. Four pints later my pal emerged, emboldened by a few looseners, though a tad elephants. It was one of the more encouraging demonstrations of how a new boss might see if a bloke can work under pressure, or indeed, under the influence. Time will tell if our hero passed the test with flying colours and gets the job, but the episode gives one renewed faith in modern working life.
In the early 80’s, I would roam the streets and bars of Fleet Street, seeking out photo editors to try to sell them pictures from the collection I had tucked under my arm (I worked for a photo agency). If they were not at their desks (and they usually weren’t), then they’d be in the local boozer— and each newspaper would have it’s own dedicated drinking hole.
As a kid, visiting 4 or 5 bars-a-day, getting into drinking sessions with 45 yr old hacks AND THEN staying focussed enough to know what you were selling was no mean feat. But it taught me two things: I was just as productive a worker when drunk as when sober ( a misconception I clung onto til way into my thirties); and I wanted to be a journalist in Fleet Street. And I still do.
A Slippery Slope: The Author aged 23