back to article Hacks and IT workers boozing themselves silly

It's official: Media professionals are the UK's heaviest boozers, followed by IT workers and "service-sector" operatives. That's according to a Department of Health survey which found that hacks and the like are working their way through roughly 44 units a week - resolutely ignoring NHS recommended limits of 21 to 28 units for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Did they ask


    I seem to remember imbibing a tot or two during the drunken period that was my service in the RN. (How can 20 years disappear without you noticing?)

    That'll be my seacoat with the rum in the pockets.

  2. GrahamT
    Thumb Up

    And the fact that IT people drink lots is news?

    The BOFH is a documentary, not fiction.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Were the figures from the finance industry..

    before or after the crunch!

  4. SuperTim

    Double whammy,

    So el-reg being IT Hacks drink twice as much?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    the Department of Health haven't heard of the Ballmer Peak

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Real estate"

    Hey, I hate american's as much as any other average Joe Shmoe, you get me? But I sure enough must say there ain't nothing wrong with "real estate".

    Seriously, the only reason that we're starting to use the term here is that there's no suitable alternative. What should we call it, "property"? I consider me computer my "property". "Land"? Many deeds hold only habitation rights -- any mineral or agricultural usage of the land itself isn't covered.

    We have no word, so we borrow someone else's. Thou can be reet sure, there ain't nowt wrong wit that.

  7. Pete Silver badge

    So which pub did they do this survey in?

    Anyway, maybe if IT people are piss-heads, the drinks industry should start to address our specific needs, as we're such good customers. How about pubs with VPNs to the local businesses - so we can work and drink at the same time (without contravening the "no alcohol on the premises" rules?). Wifi connected fruit machines, whiteboards (without pens, naturally) in the snug and charging stations for laptops - plus of course cubicles for lone drinkers.

    I'm sure they could come up with a few IT themed beers, too. How about renaming "6X" as "0x6"?

  8. Chris Collins

    Employer responsibility?

    So now it's up to your boss to tell you how much not to drink outside of work? Nice.

  9. Rob

    nob ends

    ""After-work drinks are often part of the fabric of our working lives, and it's often tempting to go along with the crowd, even when you know your body needs a rest."


    Firstly, you need some proper friends, ie, ones that DON'T work where you do, get a life (thats something that isnt work)

    Secondly, get some more respect for your body, it IS YOU,

  10. Stjohn Roe
    Thumb Up

    As an I.T. type in a major media organisation

    I think that I should be allowed both quotas and a couple of days off.

  11. spencer

    Soho Square and Hoxton

    Just go to either of these places and witness the packed bars... every day of the week!

    both places have a high quantity of media and IT.

    (mines the coat with the liver tablets in)

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Mine's a pint

    If you had to put up with IT users, Windows, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, IT Managers, Elbonian support, and generally lead a life that makes you regard "Dilbert" as a documentary, you'd drink like IT people too. Caffeine can only take you so far...

    I'm assuming hacks have similar problems - trying to get politicians to answer a question is like trying to nail the smoke to the mirror for a start, and I imagine they have many other similar situations

  13. Alan Esworthy


    WTF is a "unit" in this context please? Not even the Reg Standards Converter is any help here.

    I mean, one old girlfriend of mine drank in units of sips but another reckoned a unit as a quart.

    <flames because any decent drink should be of sufficient proofage to be flammable>

  14. Lionel Baden


    i really uphold this one

    how many of you really need that much pushing to go out and drink though lol.. peer pressure !

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    34 units a week

    is about 5 units a day.

    which is 2 pints of decent beer or 2 weaker pints and a single whisk(e)y chaser.

    Or a pint at lunch and a glass of wine with your dinner.

    Not really my idea of serious alcoholism, especially as there is some evidence to suggest that 1-2 units a day is beneficial and that in order to negate the benefits of these 1-2 units you would need to take 9 units.

    However the research is all a little vague and it seems there are no independent studies that can be trusted.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    34 units?


  17. raving angry loony


    Media hacks drinks are (often) paid for by people wanting good press. IT folks drinks are paid by themselves because some manager saw some good press about something and it's up to the IT bod to make it work.

    It's the fault of the media hacks then.

  18. Toastan Buttar

    Average ?

    Does that take into account teetotal members of these glorious professions ?

    * Hic *

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I do CG for TV and advertising - guess I'll have to up my intake!

    Paris, for she doesn't know when to stop.

  20. Dave Daurelle

    @AC - Real Estate

    "Real Estate" is as useless an expression in the U.S. as you seem to find it in the U.K. Mineral rights are almost always excluded in the transaction. Water is considered a mineral (at least in the western states), so many agricultural practices are controlled by someone other than the title holder as well.

  21. Psmiffy
    Thumb Up

    guess what?

    I'll drink to that

  22. Tony

    Real Estate?

    If I'm not mistaken, the phrase "real estate" actually came about from the Spanish - Real being the Spanish word for Royal. All of the American "Realtors" are actually working for King Juan Carlos without knowing it!

    Mines the one from Red Blazer Reality - the one that used to have M Simpson on it.

  23. Beelzeebub


    Totally agree. 34 units is for wimps. Try 134 units a week for a while, or perhaps your entire lifetime. The old uns are the pickled ones.

    Of course, we could abstain and be bored shitless, perhaps live longer in poverty and having to decide whether to heat the home or eat a square meal a day and watch endless Eastenders (choose your soap). Or we might even die younger having abstained (hic).

    I prefer the pedal to the metal.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So teachers are the most unsociable bunch of people then? Or is it that teachers can't afford the beer on their wages?

  25. jake Silver badge

    Real Estate & @Dave Daurelle

    My land is real estate. A realtor did much of the "dumb heavy work" when I was purchasing it. It ain't us Yanks, its The Guardian which made the error.

    @Dave: I have mineral rights "all the way to the center of the earth", or so it says on the deed. I also own the watershed and ground water of nearly the entire acreage. With this many horses, the water is mandatory and a requirement ... The mineral rights were just icing ... Not that there is anything valuable underground here ... I don't think so, anyway :-)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm sure I read somewhere that the doctors who came up with the 14/21 units a week recommendations have recently admitted that they plucked the numbers out of thin air as "they sounded about right". There has been no scientific calculation on whether more than this is actually harmful and the only scientific research done worked out that alcohol was good for you and you would need to consum around 60/70 units a week to get back down to the harm done as a teetotaler.

    The 14/21 units a week is about as unscientific as BMI.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you'd drink too if you worked in IT

    It's not the users that drive me to drink. I don't mind their general cluelessness - after all it is my job to find out what they want and turn it into real, usable systems. Nope the ones that drive me to drink are the stupid bosses with their stupid visions, their incessant interminable global webcasts and their unethically large bonuses and expense claims when it is me that does the work that brings home the bacon. But do they let me share in the success - of course not! They'd drive me to drugs too if I had access to any.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 26th May 2009 21:47 GMT

    Welcome to the real world.

    And I quite happily drink a nice Chianti (or two) every evening. Except for weekends.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: @Daffy

    >Of course, we could abstain and be bored shitless, perhaps live longer in poverty

    I've seen a large number of contractors earning an obscene amount of money living in near poverty due to spending all that money directly on beer or indirectly because of beer related expenses, ie. expensive cars that frequently need mysterious repairs, insurance claims are not an option.

    If you split the IT workers into permies and contractors then I think the contractors would give the hacks a damn good race. I spent close to twenty years contracting, all of it away from home and the expat scene for most revolves around British bars. Fortunately I didn't fall into to the trap for two main reasons. Alcohol affects me very quickly, even standing 1,9m and weighing 100Kg I can get very merry on a couple of strong continental beers. Secondly the after affects lay me low for a couple of days and losing two days of serious money soon educates you. I may or may not live longer but it certainly won't be in poverty.

  30. Andy Davies

    What goes around...

    "After-work drinks are often part of the fabric of our working lives..."

    thought that went out in the eighties - being retired, didn't realise it had come back in.

    Good Oh! - p'raps I'll go back to work <g>.

    @real estate - yes, royal - but Norman-French I think (all UK land belongs to the Crown - 'Freehold' doesn't mean you *own* it - you hold it (probably) in Fee Simple under the Crown).

    AndyD 8-)#

  31. DutchOven

    Real Estate?

    "WTF is real estate, eh?"

    Obviously it's the opposite of "pretend estate".

    Getting my coat (but only after consuming another 23462 units, natch - someone has to raise the IT average!)

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