Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Bar Dilemma

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine explained to me the Twelve Step program developed by Alcoholic Anonymous to help people get ride of their addictive habits. A key concept, he explained, is that the addiction is more powerful than you are and you have to admit this and basically try hard not to 'tempt or test yourself' when it comes to this addiction. This is very powerful, it's simply against everything else that you like to believe! Take smokers for example, most of them like to believe they can quite whenever they want, this program argues that they can't under their own will because they are weaker than the addiction.

This all came back to me today as I was brainstorming with a team on the preparation for a corporate training we are running. The corporate training aims at introducing some healthy habits in your daily routine like exercising regularly, drinking more water and drinking less or no alcohol. We were discussing the dinner and suddenly one person wondered: Does it make sense that we have an open bar, while we are trying to get people to drink less alcohol? Half the team agreed, while the other half argued that we are 'mature' enough to choose whether to drink or not.

If I had this discussion a month ago, I would have fully supported the 'mature'-side of the discussion, but if you apply this concept of not tempting or testing yourself, then we probably shouldn't have a bar, right? I know it's not an apples to apples comparison seeing that the folks we are running the training for are not alcoholics, but still as a principle, do you think we should:
A. Have the bar (since we're mature and therefore should have the choice)
B. Not have the bar (since we are weaker than our addiction and should not test or tempt ourselves).


Forsoothsayer said...

what the fuck? how is it part of corporate training to interfere in the personal lives of employees! this is some communist shit.

Feshfesh said...

I wouldn't be too quick to judge this. Corporations run training programs for their employees for everything (Leadership, Time Mgmt ...etc). Now, studies have confirmed that when you live a healthy/balanced life you will have more energy and therefore you’re be more productive at work.

So, this is actually a situation where if you become more healthy the company will benefit and therefore you go on a two day training (by your own choice) and then you have some principles (like drinking less alcohol ..etc) to CHOOSE to implement in your life later on or not.

I wouldn't jump into labeling it communist.

Now, to my point, I was wondering because it would be so hypocritical to preach drinking less alcohol and than at dinner have open bar? and second, if we really need to encourage people to change their habits, shouldn’t we not tempt them?