Lifestyle 31 December 2017
Hey, it's the holiday season, we're supposed to be festive and merry, right?
Sure, have a great time, but we're also all grown-ups and have to wake up in the morning and go about our routine. If you had too much fun last night and are suffering thru work this morning, we've all been there – and it's miserable. 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: 'you look very dressed up today'. Me: "thank you! I have some important meetings today so wanted to make an effort'. GM: '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 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 called 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 hangovers…
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.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.