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The Emerging Virtual Happy Hour Double Standard: Red Wine is OK, Fat Bong Rips Still Aren’t

On Tuesday at 4pm Eastern, Alex Peyrac-Payran, a consultant at Accenture, was greeted by a sea of craft IPA bottles and glasses of red wine as he logged onto his team’s virtual happy hour. The relaxed nature of the call, and camaraderie with his colleagues cutting loose, led Alex, 32, to relax and enjoy a puff of killer bud that he had been stockpiling for the Quarantine.

The next morning, Alex told Boredroom News, he was fired for “gross professional misconduct” and has joined the 3.3 million Americans now unemployed.

The nature of work is changing almost as fast as patients are filling hospitals, but many taboos from last century’s paradigms refuse to die. Even though cannabis dispensaries have been deemed ‘essential’ and remain open during the current health crisis, many American workplaces still view consumption as unseemly compared to alcohol during company-sponsored virtual gatherings. “It doesn’t even matter how you partake,” Alex says, “even if someone else is chugging a bottle of gin, it doesn’t matter; just toking a lil’ doobie will bring severe repercussions.”

The real irony, Alex muses, is not so much the distain for marijuana on camera as it is the “hypocrisy of stigmatizing a safe alternative to the actual poison that everyone else gleefully imbibes.” The time has come, he continues, to “break free from the bullshit mind-prisons society creates for itself and just be free to blaze without judgement.”

But others see it differently. Robert Robesmith, Alex’s former direct supervisor, claims that Alex’s bong had nothing to do with the decision to let him go. “I don’t care if you enjoy a little bud after hours on camera, but getting so high you forget that you’re on a conference call and start wildly masterbating,” Mr. Robesmith explains, “that definitely qualifies as ‘gross misconduct.'”

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