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Drinking at work: the boredom of boozeless business

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As recently as the 1970s, it was not out of line to have three martinis over lunch. Now, the battle to sober up the work force is by many accounts over; the victors may raise their soft drinks and sparkling water in celebration. Many modern employee contracts forbid the consumption of alcohol. Even Morgan Stanley has instructed its bankers to avoid the liquor cabinet whenever possible. Forgoing the cocktail, it turns out, is a smart decision. A paper published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that job candidates who ordered a glass of wine during an interview over dinner were viewed as less intelligent even when the interviewer ordered a glass of wine, too. Other experiments showed that Americans link even moderate drinking with stupidity. Another paper published in Consciousness and Cognition found a couple of drinks might make workers less focused, but more creative.