Whether we like it or not, hangovers happen. Mostly, they happen on Saturday and Sunday mornings when we have the luxury of sleeping in, laying around doing nothing, and not having to face a single other human face (except for the Postmates delivery guy) all day.
However, despite our best efforts to be worthwhile people/competent employees, sometimes a hangover will fall through the cracks and land on a weekday. Maybe Thursday happy hour went off the rails. Maybe you had a date night that turned into a late night (congrats). Maybe you went bowling and realized that without drinking 2-3 pitchers of cheap American beer, bowling blows.
The cause doesn’t matter. What matters now is the fact that you’re at your desk, with head in your hands, hating your life at 8 a.m. Your computer screen is set to the lowest possible brightness and you’ve had three cups of coffee in the last hour, but it doesn’t change the facts: You’re going to have to be a functioning employee for the next eight hours. Unfortunately, this is a task that involves actually interacting with people, and probably stringing together coherent sentences in your emails. If only you didn’t have to. If only you could have an automatic “I’m away from the office” email reply for when you’re too hungover to think. If only it could say:
Thank you for your email!
I am currently unavailable to respond due to a DEFCON-1 level hangover. I sincerely would like to be able to help you with whatever issue you’re facing, but unfortunately, I made the mistake of drinking between 11 and 17 drinks last night, and would be of no help. They weren’t all the same drinks, either. I didn’t “stick to beer,” or even, “stick to clear liquor.” No sir/madam. I drank everything from high-ABV IPAs to well tequila. I drank red wine, Gin, and even a Pina Colada throughout the night. At one point, I’m relatively sure I took a blowjob shot. I know this may seem like unnecessary information, but I want to be as transparent as possible in explaining why I cannot respond to your email.
As you may or may not know, WebMD classifies hangover symptoms as “similar to that of a bad flu or other virus.” These symptoms include severe headaches, dehydration, dizziness, and nausea, just to name a few. What I’m trying to say is, my palms are sweaty. My knees are weak. My arms, they are heavy. In fact, there’s vomit on my sweater already.
In addition to these physical symptoms, there is also the fact that my cognitive abilities are functioning way below standard levels. I only shaved half of my face this morning, and not an hour ago, in our very own break room, I accidentally put cream cheese on my muffin. These are clearly not the actions of a healthy individual, so if it helps you to wrap your mind around my inability to respond to your email, you can think of my hangover as an illness. It sure as hell feels like one.
I also urge you not to try and reach me on Slack, call my office line, or god forbid, walk to my cubicle. I promise you, if I can’t handle my email today, your unannounced (and unwelcome) presence in my workspace will likely cause me to vomit and/or have a full-blown anxiety attack. Neither of us wants that. Furthermore, while I know you believe your email to be of the highest importance, I feel confident in saying, it’s probably not. In fact, I’m willing to bet that your question could be answered fairly quickly by going to your browser, opening up Google (not Bing, you animal), and typing in said question. If that does not immediately give you the answer you’re looking for, I’ll be honest with you, I probably don’t know it. You must truly be desperate to come to me with a serious, time-sensitive question. We both know I am the low man on the totem pole in this office. Both my knowledge, and frankly, my work ethic, are extremely questionable. If you are in dire need of support or expertise, I suggest you email literally anyone else. I’m pretty sure our receptionist has an MBA, so right off the bat, they would know more than I.
Thank you for your email, and I will get back to you as soon as I am done taking a nap under my desk.
[Your Name Here]
P.S. If you are emailing to get a headcount for the company happy hour event this evening, put me down as a soft maybe.
Wouldn’t life be magical if you could just be honest about your disgusting mid-week drinking habits? Please use this format and let me know how it works out. .