Is the Drinkin’ Doing Your Thinkin’?

This is the kind of post that shouldn’t even need to be written anymore but sadly there are still some people who just don’t “get it.” I also don’t want to sound like I’m “preaching” here so please understand I’m not using a “holier than thou” voice while I’m writing this. 


We can best sum up the post like this: Getting hammered at company and industry events just ain’t what it used to be. Actually, getting hammered anywhere and any time isn’t too cool anymore. 


Drinking to excess over long periods of time wrecks lives. It just does. If you have convinced yourself otherwise then you may need some help because it’s likely that your drinking is doing at least some of your thinking. 


While drinking over a long period of time wrecks lives it takes only a single night of slamming back shots to destroy a career. In fact professionally speaking almost nothing can ruin a career faster. 


I’m not looking to be a killjoy. It is possible to keep the good times rolling AND minimize the chance of becoming company or industry folklore for years to come.


If you have a work/social situation coming up where you’d prefer not to avoid alcohol altogether then consider slowing your pace of drinking. Alternate your drinks with soda or water throughout the event or eat more food and consume drinks or beer with less alcohol.  


Here’s a couple of alcohol quick facts to consider:

  • Generally… one 12-ounce beer = one 5-ounce glass of wine = 1.5 ounces of liquor (80 proof)
  • Wine usually has an alcohol content of 12 – 16%
  • Beer in most cases, has an alcohol content of 3.2 – 7%
  • As little as 1 – 2 drinks in one hour can impair an individual’s ability to drive and think clearly (depending on weight and alcohol content)
  • Only time can sober up someone

If you’re thinking “you can handle” your liquor “better” than the next person that’s the drinkin’ doing your thinkin’. 


If you think you “can make it home” without the cops stopping you that’s the drinkin’ doing your thinkin’. (Besides the cops are the least of your problems, killing someone else or yourself is where your concern should be)


If you think no one will notice your altered behavior then that’s your drinkin’ doing your thinkin’. Maybe you should ask to see the videos….yes, everyone has a video camera these days. 


If you think your colleagues or coworkers won’t be talking behind your back the next day that is your drinkin’ doing your thinkin’ BIG TIME! 

Your character is always on display. Think about that and try to remember, if there’s too much drinkin’ then there is almost certainly too little thinkin’. 

Drunk and Stupid Isn’t Good

‘Tis the season to celebrate. Sometimes we celebrate with work colleagues, and sometimes there are spirits involved. The alcohol kind of spirits.

That is a dangerous combination.

In one of the greatest movies ever made, Animal House, Dean Wormer tells Flounder that “Drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.”

It’s no way to go through a business gathering either.

I’ve seen literally countless careers destroyed at various business functions where a person either didn’t or couldn’t control their intake of “filter remover.” The result was they did or said something that ended their career immediately or in the very near term.

So have fun, enjoy your time with colleagues, build your network, and socialize. Just remember your “brand” is on full display, out in the open in all it’s fragile glory or brutal disgrace.

You only get so much credibility in life and you need to decide how much of that valuable commodity you’re willing to risk for a couple of extra beers.

I’ve written about this before but it is worth repeating. I believe we all have a credibility bank, when we fail to honor a commitment, fail to match our words with our actions or just plain lie, our “bank” suffers a large withdrawal. When we consistently keep our word, do as we say we will do and our actions match our words then our “bank” receives a small deposit.

It takes a whole lot of those little deposits to make up for even one withdrawal. That may not seem fair but it is what it is. The amount of credibility in your credibility bank has a direct impact on every suggestion you make, every idea you present and every opportunity for promotion in your career. You may not like it, you may not agree with it but that’s the way it is.

I’m always surprised by people who get drunk with colleagues or customers in an attempt to “relationship build” and are then surprised when the same colleague or customer doesn’t take them seriously in a business setting.

You will never be able to fully “unsay” what you have said. A few beers or a couple of drinks can make anyone say something they wouldn’t normally say. All the regret in the world can’t put the words back in your mouth so be careful.

Some of the best advice I ever received was this: think BEFORE you talk. Maybe this is even better advice: think BEFORE you drink!