Post # 1
I don’t have anything in common with my co-workers. I’m 10 years their junior, married and wanting to settle down and have a family. Most of them are party animals who don’t share the same family values I have. I try and be friendly, I go out to lunch with them, make small talk etc. but it always comes down to this one thing. For some reason they always ask me why I don’t drink, why I don’t smoke. When I tell them it’s just a personal choice they get all defensive and say hurtful things to me like “Oh, you’re probably just scared” or “you need to loosen up” It makes working in this environment very uncomfortable for me. Office events always consit of lots of drinking and so I don’t attend. Why would I if that’s not my thing?I try to be friend;y and professional and still I get labeled the grouchy, no fun, nark. Just because I don’t party……Why is this even an issue for them!? I don’t go around telling them not to drink and not to smoke….Why am I the bad guy for a personal choice I made for myself….something completely un-related to work and un-related to them in anyway!!!!
Post # 3
I don’t think their comments are too bad. It sounds like you’re just taking them a little too personal. I doubt they really care all that much about your decision not to drink. It’s not like it really affects their lives, so I can’t imagine why they’d honestly give 2 hoots.
Post # 4
@SincerelyShe: That’s what I’m saying. But they CONSTANTLY ask me and then give me the cold shoulder
Post # 5
@Kimber_bee: Ask any of the pregnant Bees, drinkers always pressure non-drinkers to drink. It’s not just you who is getting hassled.
Next time someone says something tell them you are allergic to alcohol and tobacco and that you were forced to make the choice not to drink or smoke.
Post # 6
Why you don’t smoke? I think the reasons are pretty obvious unless they’ve been living in a cave. A guy at work used to always ask me this and I told him, “There are so many things that you can’t control in regard to your health. Its stupid not to control the things that you can.” He never asked me again.
I would just ask them why they’re so interested in your life. They’re like adult bullies and I would flat out tell them so. Not in a mean way, I’d just be facetious about it. They might get the hint.
Post # 7
@Kimber_bee: Its probably more likely that your reputation is not because you dont drink, but because you dont go to office events. What are these events. Even if most people do drink a lot, that doesnt mean you have to. You go and have good conversation and make your political appearance and then you leave an an appropriate time.
Show them you can have fun at these drinking work events even if you dont drink.
Two jobs ago I worked with two non drinkers. One had a reputation of being no fun because, honestly, he was no fun. He didnt come out with the team ever.
The other non-drinker would still come to team events and hang out and have fun and when people started getting too tipsy for his liking he would quietly leave. He would attend the party like every other attendant and talk to people and mingle. He didnt sit on the sidelines and observe. He was part of it.
Post # 8
Sometimes people get defensive because they feel that your not drinking, smoking, or partying like they do is a comment about them; as if you’re saying that what they’re doing is wrong. Some people will disagree with that, but I know that to be true in many cases.
Just pay these coworkers no mind. They can be the immature teenagers that they really are (not because of what they do, but because of how they are treating you) and you can live the way you want to live. They’ll just have to deal with the fact that you don’t do what they do.
ThreeMeers suggested making an appearance at these work functions and then leaving once they’re about to start acting up or they’re tipsy. I think that would be a great thing to do if you can stand it. I don’t like being around people like that either, so I know that it may not even be worth it to attend those functions even for a short while.
Post # 9
How annoying! My last job was worse in that the manager would base the schedule on it, the money making shifts (waitressing) would go to those that would go to the bar with him after work or on nights off. So many people saw the favoritism but there was nothing i could do about it considering his boss was his best friend.
Post # 10
I know exactly how you feel. I also find alot of the social events in the past where I work (and have worked) were heavy drinking. I now just don’t go. Sure, I could go, sit and watch but that’s lame for all involved – they worreid why I am not, they worried I am judging and me – well I am bored as I am wasting my time. For me, it is not the drinking, it is the crossing of boundaries that happens and the people I work with are not necessarily my friends. I go there to make money…so if I don’t want to party with them – who cares? They don’t sign my paycheque. After many years, eventually, everyone gets over it as it is the just the way it is.
Post # 11
@ThreeMeers: Its probably more likely that your reputation is not because you dont drink, but because you dont go to office events. What are these events. Even if most people do drink a lot, that doesnt mean you have to. You go and have good conversation and make your political appearance and then you leave an an appropriate time.
This. If I worked somewhere where everyone was social and went to after-work events and one person never came, I would take that as a pretty clear signal they weren’t inteested in being friendly, and would act accordingly. I’m not saying they should be mean, but if you don’t act like you want to hang out with, or be friends with, them, then they’re not going to bend over backwards to be nice to you.
Post # 12
@sara_tiara: I don’t want them to bend over backwards to be nice to me. I would just like to be respected like anyone else would. I don’t want rude, personal questions being thrown at me every 5 minutes.
Post # 13
@Kimber_bee: What do you do?
I know that partying and going out after work for margaritas was a rite of passage at the preschool I worked at!
How long are you planning on working there? Maybe you can tell one person “in secret” that someone in your family is a raging alcoholic, and that’s why you don’t drink?
I’m sure it’d spread and you’d get harassed less often. But it’s also dishonest, so…