The Real Ale Defence
I'm not sure this method is replicable, but...
I once worked for a part of a large company UK that was "restructuring". A goodly number of us IT bods were facing the chop. For various reasons our head of IT worked in the New York branch and she was flown over to select the victims. We were asked who wanted to see her first - cue deadly hush - so I volunteered.
On arrival she was whisked away into a meeting, which overran, so she sent me a message saying we could postpone, have our chat in the office after the meeting, or meet in the pub afterwards. Well, duh. My boss happens to be a fan of real ale, so after a couple of pints, my job was saved. Those who hesitated meeting her had to face the music next day when jetlag and a mild hangover had set in. My line manager was one of those chopped, thereby leaving a vacancy, which I was promoted to fill. I've been fond of Old Speckled Hen* ever since ;-)
* a decent real ale for those of you who haven't heard of it.