The 3-Step Guide To Surviving A Killer Hangover At Work
Oh no, not again.
You told yourself this wouldn’t happen again.
Your “I’ll just have two to three beers at happy hour after work to watch the game” promise turned into a full-blown Wildcard Weekday complete with gallons of booze, some gross late-night food and far less sleep than you really need.
If you’re lucky, you got lucky.
Because at this point, getting laid would be the only real silver lining to how grotesque you feel right now and how miserable this day is going to be.
Regardless of at what point you gave in to the idea of shots after 11 pm on a work night, I hope it was worth it.
Because whether you realize it or not yet, you’re already 15 minutes late for the worst day of your entire life, again.
Everyone has been there, but follow these steps and you may be able to salvage this day and be back in bed before you know it:
1. Planned Attack
The train that arrives late but in one piece is always better than the train that crashes into the station on time.
Be the first train.
You’ve got to buy yourself some time to get your act together before actually heading in.
If you rush this process, it will only exacerbate the situation and make you look even worse to everyone in your office.
How late you are going to be will depend on which explanation you use for why you’re late, but be sure to call as soon as you wake up with your reason prepared.
The longer you wait to make contact with someone in your office, the worse off you are.
Remember, it’s an explanation, not an excuse.
You’re still late, so communication is crucial.
- Zero to 60 minutes: Commute. This is probably true anyway, and it isn’t late enough to raise any serious concerns.
- Sixty-one to 90 minutes: Personal issue. The "problem with my contact lenses" or "something I ate last night" explanations don’t come with many follow-up questions. Ladies have more options in this category.
- Ninety-one to 120 minutes: A morning appointment (dentist, doctor, car service) you forgot about until this morning. Now you're pushing it in terms of not being noticed.
- Over 120 minutes: Hang it up, and take a personal day. If you absolutely have to go in, make sure to have an ally cover for you until you arrive. The good news is your day is almost half over hopefully. The bad news is literally everything else.
2. Personal Preparation
You definitely stood up out of bed and lost your balance within the first step, didn't you?
Maybe grabbed on to the door or a chair in your room to keep from actually falling over?
Your head is starting to pound and you’re disoriented, but for some reason, you aren’t in the worst mood.
That’s because you’re still hammered.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Utilize these things to jump-start your recovery and mask the regret that’s written all over your face.
(Also, you smell terrible, even more than you think you do. So, handle that.)
- Eat things ASAP. Pop two aspirins, right now.
You should have had them last night, but the sooner the better. Start easing your head and gain back some motor functions.
Eat some sort of food right now.
This will not only help you start digesting something other than alcohol, but it will also help your nasty breath caused by the 2 am jumbo slice and half dozen Fireball shots.
- Always have eye drops. They relieve the redness, but they also take away the glassy look of someone who’s shame from last night is literally resonating out his or her eyeballs.
- Drink something carbonated. Soda is easier on the stomach than straight water, which just sits there.
The carbonation will start to get that gross bloating gas out of your stomach.
Burping is your friend. Just don’t overdo it and puke all over the carpet.
- Address the smell. Even if you don't have time for it, take the hottest shower you can stand.
Do a full-body scrub because you’re going to be leaking evidence out of every pore for the rest of the day (whether you smell it or not).
Be sure to lay on the deodorant hard, use more cologne or perfume than you’d like and bring tons of mints.
Pound mints like your life depends on it because it actually might if you don’t cover up that smell, Jack Daniels.
3. Office Arrival And Conduct Throughout The Day
Welcome to Hell.
This is what reality looks and sounds like, and you’re still living in last night’s fantasy world.
Be prepared for suspicious looks from some, curious questioning from others and a flood of reminders throughout the day of just how much time you have until this nightmare is over.
If you’re late, let’s hope you called ahead in advance with your prepared answer of why.
Suck it up. You dug this grave, now lie in it with pride.
- Don’t hide. Despite what you think, avoiding your normal daily issues won’t make this day go any faster.
Come in through the front like normal, say hello to everyone you see like normal and stay busy (or at least appear busy. Looking frustrated all day helps.)
- Avoid puking in the office bathroom. Depending on just how hard you went last night and your personal tendencies, you may need to yack throughout the day.
Do everything possible not to do it in the common bathrooms or your cover is blown.
Puking is extremely loud, recognizable and a dead giveaway of being hungover.
Leave the building, use another floor or go in the alley out back. Do anything to prevent your coworkers from hearing you try to force up a lung through your mouth.
- Double-check every shred of work you actually do. You’re working at half mental capacity, if you’re lucky.
The last thing you want to do is misfire a raunchy email to Carol in HR or click the wrong boxes and lose your best client’s whole portfolio.
It’s about surviving at this point, so go slow.
- Man up and stay late. You’ve come this far, so what’s another 30 minutes once everyone else is done for the day?
Let people see you are staying late. It makes up for being late and helps put the rumor of you being hungover all day to rest.
You’re probably still miserable, but this puts a nice finishing touch to the salvage you did on what could have otherwise been a catastrophe of a work day.
Hopefully you will get through the day and still be gainfully employed.
Hell, you may have even convinced a few people into thinking you didn’t actually binge-drink all night.
Now, finish up whatever it is you’re doing. The game is on, and you’re already late for happy hour.
You’ve earned two to three beers after this performance, right?
Just be sure to use a different explanation tomorrow.