I have taken the decision not to drink alcohol for mainly health reasons, but I am finding that some of my senior colleagues seem to take issue with this and have made it known to me, on a one to one basis, that they find it a bit odd that I have taken this decision. One of the partners even recently suggested that I would not be able to understand or relate to my clients if I was not able to drink at the next client social event! I am not really able to understand why my choosing not to drink is causing such an issue as I am quite an outgoing and sociable person and have never felt the need to drink in order to socialise. I am also very good at my job and I meet my targets whilst maintaining the respect of clients. I want to be able to progress at my firm but I don’t want to have to sacrifice my principles or choices in the process!
Choosing not to drink alcohol is entirely your decision to make. Unfortunately, or fortunately as some may view it, the consumption of alcohol seems somehow particularly embedded within Scottish culture and is seen as a must at times when socialising. I too sometimes have had to endure pressure from peers to take a drink, sometimes akin to the persistence employed by the character Mrs Doyle in Father Ted to take a drink – “Go on go on go on go on” – as some are just not happy to accept No for an answer.
Whether you choose to drink or not is a decision for you to take. If you were pressurised, for example, in a situation to take a cigarette by other smokers, I’m sure you would probably not even hesitate in refusing, nor I suspect would anyone even think of pressurising you into taking a smoke just to please clients.
There is a degree of flexibility which you inevitably need to deploy at times in any career, but in this particular instance you are taking a decision for health reasons and you should not feel bad about sticking to your guns. The partners at the end of the day should be able to appreciate your value and contribution to the firm without evaluating the situation merely through beer goggles!
Send your queries to Ash
“Ash” is a solicitor who is willing to answer work-related queries from solicitors and trainees, which can be put to her via the editor: email@example.com, or mail to Studio 2001, Mile End, Paisley PA1 1JS. Confidence will be respected and any advice published will be anonymised.
Please note that letters to Ash are not received at the Law Society of Scotland. The Society offers a support service for trainees through its Education, Training & Qualifications team. For one-to-one advice contact Katie Wood, head of admissions on 0131 476 8162 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this issue
- Beyond the named person service
- Sexual harassment: an everyday problem
- Governing Scotland in a federal United Kingdom
- Losing our judgment? (1)
- Reading for pleasure
- Opinion: Alison Reid
- Book reviews
- President's column
- The future, step by step
- People on the move
- Changing face of the courts
- Success: the chimp factor
- Courts reform: a call to pre-action
- Teeth that could be sharper
- Good claims, bad lies
- Unlocking doors: demystifying squatting
- Back to basics
- Brexit and IP: what should solicitors be doing now?
- Agency, insolvency and termination
- Brexit and the agricultural sector
- A carnival for some, but not for others
- Scottish Solicitors' Discipline Tribunal
- Culling of the hybrids
- Common property: what policy?
- Cause of action
- Client balances: reminder issued
- Law reform roundup
- From the Brussels office
- Paralegal pointers
- Your Law Society of Scotland Council Members
- At the doors of the court
- Ask Ash
- To the focused, the medals
- Losing our judgment?
- MacKenzie boosts Society's AML drive