It’s not a good idea to drink with your coworkers. Booze can also make you behave in ways you wouldn’t be proud of. It’s not a problem among friends, but it can be severe when you include coworkers and your boss.
My father, who attended many conferences, symposiums, and business dinners during his career, didn’t seem to mind. He didn’t drink very much, but he used a little trick to ensure he did not down his drinks quickly. He ordered drinks that he disliked. He said he didn’t drink much bourbon and would always call one. It would take me forever to drink that.
It may seem wasteful to a young person, but what’s the point of a free drink that costs you your job, a raise, a promotion, or even respect? You’ll be less likely to make a mistake and have a hungover morning if you order something you don’t like.
You’ll also avoid the usual “Why aren’t you drinking?” questions about ordering Diet Coke. Corporate America, however, is not keeping up with the rest of society regarding respecting people’s alcohol choices.
You will come across as a businessperson who is responsible and makes good decisions by ordering a drink you do not like and taking your time. This will make you appear more professional than someone who drinks free alcohol and talks a little too close. You can also get the drink you like at another bar after the event, where your HR representative will not be.