The Official Agenda For Pretending You’re Not Hungover At Work

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The Official Agenda For Pretending You're Not Hungover At Work

A bucket of happy hour beers turned into a round of happy hour shots. A round of happy hour shots turned into a hibachi dinner. The hibachi dinner turned into you considering rushing to the bathroom because of the three sake bombs your boss ordered. But those sake bombs? They turn into you shooting out a few, “You going out tonight texts?” that turn into a mid-week brownout when you meet up with your buddy, Ted, whose night was going down the same path as yours. And before you know it, you’re back at your place drunkenly trying to set your alarm for the next morning while your brain attempts to compute how much sleep you’ll actually get if you go to bed “right now.”

You know you should be drinking as many glasses of water before you fall asleep. You know you should take your socks off before you get under the covers. You know you should wake up thirty minutes early to go to the nearest smoothie place and pound your body with heavy blows of Vitamin B, goji berries, and liquefied bananas.

But you’re don’t, because your body is fully-torqued after going beers, bars, buzzed after a long day on the job. And the next day? It’s going to be even longer. Because you’re hungover as hell.

7:00 a.m.

Wake up, snooze. You deserve it.

7:09 a.m.

Snooze again.

7:18 a.m.


7:27 a.m.

Get yourself out of bed after you feel startled wondering if you slept through your final snooze. Make sure to have some ironed clothes in your closet while you shower, half-washing your hair because bringing both arms above your head is your own personal Everest. If your clothes are well put-together when you enter the office, you’ll be fine. But if you’re trying to do business in a pair of wrinkled Dockers and a half-tucked shirt, someone’s going to call you out.

While brushing your teeth, scrub your tongue. Hard. Nothing makes for a more awkward in-person meeting than catching a swift breeze of Fireball mid-handshake. Attack your tongue with vigor. It acts as a sponge for every shot you ingested the night before.

And finally? Eye drops. Red eyes, half-hearted, always losing. When they can see the night before through your empty, red eyes, the game is over before it even started.

8:30 a.m.

Leave your place. Check everything before you go. I’m talkin’ spectacles, testicles, wallet, and watch. And iPhone, because forgetting your phone during a hungover day at your desk is a death wish.

9:00 a.m.

Arrive at work. Don’t even contemplate snagging breakfast or a smoothie on your commute. Drive-thru line taking too long or the blender goes on the fritz when it’s your turn to have some grimy scenester overcharge you for a few pieces of fruit blended into a glass? You’re fucked. Being on-time is day one stuff for the hungover staff member.

9:05 a.m.

Make a good impression on at least one coworker. That way, should you slip up later in the day? You’ve got one person with your back.

“I talked to him right when he came in this morning. Seems fine to me.”
“Oh, no, he’s not hungover. He asked if I wanted a coffee.”
“Eh, seemed fine to me.”

You need to build your rolodex of witnesses to build your case for seeming fine.

9:10 a.m.

Get to your desk. Park it. Check your emails, but only the ones from the people you answer to. The rest can wait. Should there be a message waiting from your direct superior? Respond to it with all the buzzwords you can scrounge up, ensuring them that you’re “still working on this,” and “there were some minor hiccups during implementation, but it should be done EOD.” Buy yourself all the time you can.

And don’t be afraid to be wordy. Most people don’t realize that sending a substantial email takes less than sixty seconds. Take an extra few minutes and add a paragraph or two. Got a buddy on gChat that can help a brother out? Have him review it and let him know you got fucked up the night before.

9:30 a.m.

Break room. Always ensure the office administrator has fully stocked a drawer with your essentials — Ibuprofen, Emergen-C, Alka-Seltzer, and Gatorade in the fridge. Once you’ve got those, dump them all into a coffee mug and create the potent painkilling solution that will be your maker for the day.

Chase with coffee after adding a few ice cubes to ensure it’s not too hot to drink immediately. Time is of the essence.

9:45 a.m.

Hit the desk, because it’s calendar time. Wipe this thing clean. Got a 2 o’clock check in with accounting? Stack that on top of your 1 o’clock on Friday while emailing them some bullshit excuse about a “priority project” coming up. Sure, Friday meetings suck, but you’re in the face-saving business today.

Once you clear your schedule, sprinkle your calendar with 30-45 minute nuisances throughout the day. This should include (but is not limited to):

— Reviewing analytics
— Typing meeting minutes
— Scheduling (insert pretty much anything)
— Call (insert pretty much anyone, but specifically someone that directly reports to you, or an out-of-office contact)

If you’re feeling extremely confident? Schedule a late afternoon errand to run. No one’s going to even notice or care, as long as you’ve done everything right up to that point. But if they know you’re hungover, they’re just going to assume that you’re dipping into ol’ O’Hoolihan’s down the street for a quick Bloody Mary. No one wants that.

Calendar control is the most essential task of the day. Setting yourself up for success is going to be a long road, but job searching because HR thought you had an alcohol problem is an even longer one.

10:30 a.m.

You’ve got 90 minutes left before lunch, so you have to dig deep. You need to appear busy until you see the greater part of the company leave for lunch. That way, once they head out, you immediately follow. They’ll have no idea whether you left at 12:01 or 12:40, because they’ve been gone since 1-minute before you and haven’t had eyes on the office bullpen.

Whatever you do, don’t hop on Facebook, Instagram, or for fear of someone popping up out of nowhere and seeing you slack onscreen. If you have to stare at an old fucking Google Doc Spreadsheet, by all means, do it. If you need to pull up an old draft in Outlook and pretend you’re slaving away on it, have at it. Just don’t get caught with your dick in your hand this early in the game. Lunch is your finish line — don’t trip over the last hurdle.

11:30 a.m.

It’s time to do some scouting. Like a meerkat, pop your head above your desk and see what’s happening in the thick of the company. People are going to start peeling out for early lunches, so take note.

This is also your time to get your prospects together for who you’re hitting lunch with. Sure, you can go with your normal trio, but they may have their own things going on. You know, they might have to get back to the office for a 1 o’clock call that cuts your lunch into half the time you need. Your best bet is finding one partner in crime who isn’t going to tattle if you get a sidecar of Bud Light when you order your Triple Dipper at Chili’s to soak up the booze from the night before.

As they trickle out, one-by-one, seize the moment when the office is maximum empty to hit the road.

And after lunch? You know you’ve made it. Now just pretend to knock out those calendar tasks you scheduled for yourself. But don’t do too much work, because if you’re as brain dead as you feel inside, you could fuck things up more for yourself come tomorrow when you’ve got to actually do that work. But by all means, even though you’re going to bed early tonight, rest assured that this reigns true — tomorrow’s going to suck all because you did jack shit today.

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