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7 Wild (And Relatable) Stories About Being Hungover At Work

8 Min Read
Lifestyle

Hey, we all have to have a little fun every once in a while... even on a weeknight!


Sure, have a great time, but we're also all grown-ups and have to wake up in the morning and go about our routines. If you've ever had too much fun the night before only to find yourself suffering through work the next morning (we've all been there) you know the struggle. A few women shared their horrifying hungover at work stories — and how they handled it. Then, we share some tips on how to avoid this happening next time!

1. The dreaded arrival to work in last night's outfit.

“Years ago, I was working an event in Manchester, I was living in London at the time. It was meant to be a 'day work thing'. My colleague and I met some 'famous actors from LA' who were filming a movie, we were partying — hard. Missed the last train back to London. Decided to carry on partying. I got the first-morning train from Manchester to London, did the walk of shame to my office in last nights clothes and makeup. Got to my desk just in time. The GM walked past my desk and said 'You look very dressed up today,' to which I responded, 'Thank you! I have some important meetings today so wanted to make an effort!' Though he replied with a cheerful, 'That's' the spirit.' Internally I was dying. And still drunk. Once the 'drunken' state turned to 'hangover hell', I booked a last minute very important meeting and just left and went home early."

2. The drink-induced international conference call mid birthday bash.

“I have a couple of stories but one where I was called into work while out drinking heavily to celebrate my birthday while working at a major broadcaster. Signed my buddy into work with me. He passed out in a co-workers cube under the desk while I led an international conference call, barely coherent. I've got other unmentionable details that shouldn't be mentioned here. Also, baby aspirin before bed and one glass of water per drink tends to kill the hangover for me."

3. The Christmas party hangover that never ends.

“I was 22 years old and working as an account assistant at a PR agency in Boston in the winter of 2000. This was still in the heyday of holiday parties, when budgets hadn't been slashed, and you looked forward to dressing up and going somewhere fancy to celebrate. We were invited with a guest, so I took my best friend/roommate/partner in crime as my plus-one.

It was open bar of course, which we took advantage of ASAP, especially since both of us were making paltry salaries out of college and were still capable of consuming copious amounts of liquor... or so I thought. Cut to me, ordering round of lemon drops or kamikaze shots for the entire agency and basically talking smack/force-feeding one to one of the VPs. Then cut to me making out drunkenly in the coat closet with an account supervisor. Everything else was blurry.

The next morning, I downed Advil and water, attempted to febreeze the smell of cigarettes (this was when smoking was still allowed in bars — and though I was not a smoker — many people I worked with were) and liquor off of my hair/coat, picked up a bagel egg and cheese on my commute in and overall tried my hardest to pull together and make it to the office in one piece. I hear all this water cooler chatter about several rounds of shots, impromptu karaoke (there was no microphone, for the record) and how two people were buried among winter coats smooching their faces off.

I laughed right along with them, until a friend of mine at the office pulled me aside to let me know I was the one responsible for the shots, spontaneous singing, and making out. My hangover kicked into a new stratosphere with this news, and I may or may not have spent the rest of the day trying to make myself disappear. Needless to say, I very quickly wisened up as to how much liquor to consume — or not consume — whenever at a corporate function."

4. The jungle juice saga.

So, my agency had just wrapped a major holiday campaign with one of our highest-paying clients - I had been slaving over it for months. The owner of our agency promised to take us out to a nice, fancy lunch the second it ended, so we planned it for a Thursday. Me, being a young 23-year old, thought it'd be fun to throw a holiday party at my house the night before and invited probably 70 of my friends over for cheese, crackers, and... rum punch (AKA jungle juice). Anyways, I accidentally ended up drinking so much that I passed out at about 10:30 pm — the party continued until 2 am while I was asleep — and didn't wake up until I had to head to work the next morning. I got there and was miserable, but made it through until the nice, fancy meal our owner had promised to take us out to. Well, guess who puked the whole way through lunch and couldn't even stomach one bite of her meal? Me. All in front of the owner of our agency, this incredibly well-known, powerful woman in our city. We left and I died of embarrassment and, yep, went home to sleep. That was the day I learned the most important lesson of them all: jungle juice is not meant to be consumed after age 20."

5. The awkward co-working space cubicle catch up.

“Believe it or not, I've had a few hangovers in my life, but one that I remember being especially bad was when I was around 24 and wound up on the floor of my cubicle trying to "sleep it off" for a bit. It didn't work and I wound up throwing up in the trash bin just a few steps away while my cube mates heard. I was actually in a shared office like a WeWork so all these other companies heard me wretching as well..."

6. The "where to barf" dilemma.

“A day of desk-sides in NYC was the day after the James Beard Awards and the many ensuing after parties. I was violently ill and had to spend the day in the back seat (never a good situation for me) of a car in stop and go NYC traffic. Lurch, lurch, lurch. I walked into almost every meeting praying that I could ask where the ladies room was without throwing up while trying to get the words out. I think I threw up four times before the client wanted to go the Carnegie (or some such) deli for lunch. As a vegetarian, I was further sickened when I had to watch him eat one of those sandwiches with two inches of meat piled up between the bread. I staggered out on to the street for some fresh air. I was happy to see a trash can into which I could throw up. Imagine my surprise when I picked my head up to find my boss (who was also in NYC but had no plans to meet me) standing over me. Of course, I told her I had a stomach bug and all she could say was "Well, can you or can you not go to the appointments tomorrow?"

7. When working from home turns south.

“I was at work, but work was at my house. I had a video Skype dating coaching session with a client. I told her my internet wasn't working and I had to take the call on the phone. During the call, I had to throw up. So I brought the phone with me into the bathroom and pushed mute as I vomited. Over and over again. I don't know how I gave any decent advice, and it was a first test session. Somehow though, she was so impressed by me that she bought 10 more! Another time, with a long time client who I knew very well, I told her that I had the flu. She wanted to have a video call anyway because she was desperate. I took the call, on video, from my bed."

"I looked like complete shit and warned her that I would probably have to get up to vomit during the call. Sure enough, midway through I had to throw up, I told her I would be right back, ran into the bathroom and vomited. I was able to come back onto video and continue to call."

If you are looking to not get hangover...

As for a cure: You may have a hangover, but the world doesn't need to know you do! “Prepare in advance your remedy inspired by OleHenriksen Face/Body rituals and no one will know about that hangover... unless you tell them!" says Vance Soto, Owner of the OleHenriksen Face/Body Spa.

Cleanse and steam the face to revive that 'I shouldn't have had that last pinot' complexion, and massage your face too to promote lymphatic drainage (aka fast track to complexion brightening!). Now: “Apply cool and grated cucumber (grating releases the enzymes from the cucumber!) to your eyes to de puff and soothe," says Soto.

Sit back for ten minutes while you replay over and over again your stellar dance moves that the entire office had the pleasure of enjoying... next, enlist some essentials oils such as eucalyptus to energize and you'll feel right as rain again. “I like hot towel compresses infused with lavender to calm the mind, we all know a hangover can mean anxiety too," says Soto.

Do all the above with a glass of prosecco to take the edge off, but drink plenty of water as steaming can dehydrate you (and since you're hungover in the first instance, you'll already be dehydrated).

Or, hell, just drink some more. Nothing cures a hangover better than the hair of the dog that bit you. “A couple of great cocktails to cure a hangover include the Corpse Reviver #2, a classic pre-Prohibition era cocktail from New Orleans that combines Gin, Cointreau, Lillet, Fresh Lemon, and Absinthe. It's surprisingly refreshing but boozy enough to bring you back. You can also never go wrong with a spicy Bloody Mary," says Parker Boase, co-founder of Liquid Lab NYC, a cocktail catering business.

Of course, one of the best ways to cure yourself of the worst hangover is to prevent it. Never Too Hungover is the beverage you drink before your first alcoholic drink., it works by helping neutralize toxins, restore vital nutrients, and it hydrates the body.


This piece was originally published on December 31, 2017.

4 Min Read
Business

Tips To Help Women Move Beyond #OKBoomer at Work

When I first heard #OKBoomer, I cringed and thought — here we go again.


Yet another round of generation bashing, this time Millennials against Baby Boomers. This new social media conflict will not help workplace dynamics.

Throughout my career, I've heard countless rants about long-established workplace norms that younger generations perceive as overly repressive rules that subvert identity, familial obligations, civility, and respect for the environment.

I get it. I remember how I felt early in my career being told that I couldn't wear pants, had to wear pantyhose (even in 90-degree weather) and that I wasn't allowed to speak to executives. Seriously?

Gen X here to the rescue.

Sandwiched between the much larger Baby Boomer and Millennial generations, Gen Xers are often overlooked. Please allow me to build a bridge to the opportunity ahead.

For me, the generation challenge is a communications opportunity. And the stakes are high, because we spend about 70% of our day communicating. Within that timeframe, we spend about 45% listening, 30% speaking, 16% reading, and 9% writing.

By 2030, most Baby Boomers will have retired, and approximately 75% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. That gives us about a decade to continue working together to create a work environment that is better for women, people of color, and the younger generations.

As a multigenerational workplace scholar, I'm often asked, what is a generation, and why do they matter?

Karl Mannheim, the founder of sociology, concluded that key historical events significantly impact people during their youth. Essentially, when you were born and what was happening where you lived during your formative childhood years, help define what is important to you and help set your value system.

Think of it this way, if the games you played growing up allowed you to advance to the next level regardless of if it took one attempt or fifty, you might have a different perspective on what mastering a task looks like than someone who didn't.

If technology has almost always allowed you to be more efficient, you may seek to perform a job as quickly as possible, so that you are being productive, not because you are looking for a short cut.

If the answer to any question was always a Google search away, you might get frustrated when your questions go unanswered and are told to figure it out.

These examples begin to explain why Baby Boomers and Millennials value different things. However, there are always going to be outliers. I study generational-related values, because they frame how we show up and what we expect when we come to work.

In my recent study of 1,400 Baby Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z women, I examined strategies for communicating. I was particularly interested in interpersonal communications — the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages. It turns about that the most essential characteristics by generation were active listening (paying attention to others), collaboration (teamwork), and empathy (showing understanding for others).

Baby Boomers believe they are best at "paying attention to others."

Given our hectic schedules at work, you may be tempted to multitask while speaking or try to get by gleaning the gist of a conversation in a conference call while working on a report at the same time. But this isn't deeply effective. Active listening is crucial because being highly engaged in a conversation helps everyone involved have clarity and alignment on exchange. It also helps build rapport and trust between participants.

Some practical ways to demonstrate active listening include:

  • Asking specific questions or paraphrasing what you've heard
  • Using non-verbal cues such as making eye contact and not looking at your device
  • Maintain body language that shows you are interested and the speaker has your full attention

Gen X believes they are best at "working with others."

Lots of us have heard the expression, "There's no 'I' in a team." Teams that collaborate well have a better chance for sustained and repeatable success.

Effective ways to demonstrate collaboration are:

  • Establishing clear goals and expectations for the team
  • Being accountable for the team and yourself
  • Providing and being open to feedback

Both Millennials and Gen Z believe they are most effective at "showing understanding for others."

The workplace is more diverse than ever before. Some organizations may have a Baby Boomer, a Gen Xer, Millennial, and a Gen Zer, all working alongside each other. By showing empathy, we can demonstrate that we appreciate and respect each other's perspectives and are open to understanding how they feel about a situation, idea, or concept.

Effective ways to demonstrate empathy are:

  • Listening without judging or forming an opinion
  • Being slow to criticize
  • Acknowledging the other person's feelings as valid for them

So, instead of dismissing a generation with a hashtag, let try to open a dialogue. For example, next time you are working a Baby Boomers demonstrate that you are actively listening to what they are saying. Try sending a summary email about your deliverables on an assignment Gen Xers to highlight your collaborative skills. And take time to let Millennials and Gen Z know that you appreciate and understand their point of view.

If you'd like to hear more on this subject, you can listen to my recent Ted Talk here: