ASK DR. DISH: Drinking etiquette

Question: Dr. Dish, my company has a policy that we cannot drink while at work events. But what about at networking mixers at bars and nightclubs? Technically it is not a work event.

Answer: Thanks for the question! It’s a good one, too, so this recently happened to me.

I was at “An Evening of Sustainable Cuisine” at the Halekulani to support the efforts to raise money for the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani Community College, where I work as a journalism instructor. My chancellor and dean were in attendance, noshing on the “green” cuisine from Roy’s, town and the hotel.

But master mixologist Julie Reiner was there, too, serving up specialty cocktails that were hard to resist.

So what did I do?

Nothing. Until my dean walked over with a ginger beer drink and told me to try it. How could I not?

The rule of thumb is this: don’t get drunk. Don’t even get close.

Here’s the deal: even though it’s not technically a work event, you’re still representing your company (and your industry) at these mixers. You’re handing out your business card, right? Then people know who you are and where you work. And you don’t want to embarrass yourself or your company by downing six shots and licking the dance floor.

Be smart. Have a beer or nurse a cocktail. But don’t go overboard.

Anyone else got advice to dish? Or better yet — got a story to share?