A wine glass in hand is nothing more than calling for trouble, if we are to believe the latest survey carried out by researchers from the universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania. You might have thought that you cut that fine figure at the office party, striking up interesting conversation while elegantly swilling your wine but rest assured that your colleagues — and more importantly, your boss — think you are less intelligent for doing so.
In fact, they will be forced to think the worse of your ‘brain power’, says the study, which describes this phenomenon as the ‘imbibing idiot bias’.
Now what does it really take to convince those lesser mortals that you are indeed not to be taken for a fool for your apparent folly in trying to create an impression?
While the researchers warn against the pitfalls of coming across as an idiot in a professional setting, they are not kind enough to suggest alternatives that will enable you to make the grade and enter the good offices of those that count. Surely, a glass of water will only indicate indecisiveness and a tendency to play it safe, unless you want to rest all doubts and debates about your intelligence and go about licking an ice-lolly.
The survey points out that if one is being interviewed for a job over dinner, it makes sense to order a cola than any alcohol. That piece of advice doesn’t seem to be very well thought through, especially if you happen to be interviewed by one who may not share your enthusiasm for unhealthy synthetic drinks.
Given that you are anyway likely to end up being regarded as an idiot in your workplace and passed over when the good things come knocking, we suggest you play it safe and not indulge in activities that will further enhance your reputations of imbecility. Unless, like us, you decide to throw caution to the wind and wait till the next group of researchers disproves what this one had set out to establish.