Harsh as it may seem, some of us have bosses who would like us to turn up at the office after a night of revelry. In an even crueller twist of fate, some of you will also be afflicted by the painful and debilitating condition known as a hangover. So, after Christmas and before New Year’s Eve, here are a few tips on making a hungover work day that little bit more bearable.
1. Eye Drops
Don’t want the boss to know that you were up so late that you only had enough time to change clothes before coming in? Brighten up your bloodshot peepers with some eye drops to add some much-needed sparkle to your visage. Reapply as needed.
2. Toothpaste and Breath Mints
You don’t want beer/wine fumes wafting forth and alerting the rest of the office that you’ve been enjoying yourself perhaps a bit too much. Brush your teeth before you go in and keep sucking on the breath mints. Extra strong ones may even serve to clear your head a little.
We know, we know: the last thing you feel like doing when your stomach is doing the samba and your head is throbbing like last night’s bass speaker is eating something, but you should. You need something to get your energy levels up and to mop up the last of the alcohol that is sloshing around your system. If you can face it, try porridge; if not, indulge in a doughnut or pastry. You need to keep your blood sugar up.
Hangover means dehydration, so you need to take on some fluids, and that means more than the glass you take with your painkillers. But you don’t need to quaff multiple litres in one go. Sip little and often so that your body has a chance to absorb as much as it needs. It doesn’t have to be plain water either. Isotonic sports drinks are good, because they contain sugars and salts that you’ll have lost the night before.
5. Evasive Action
You’re probably still feeling under the weather, so you won’t want to be dealing with your boss, any annoying colleagues, or a particularly awkward client. So don’t! Engineer a reason to be unavailable or on your own for most of the day. Does the stationery cupboard need reorganising? Maybe somebody needs to sit in a quiet office all day doing some filing? Volunteer for anyting that mimises the need to interact with the rest of the office or the outside world. Your throbbing head will thank you for it.
6. Easy and Repetitive Tasks
The last thing you want to be doing is concentrating on anything complicated. You’re in pain, you’ve got a dry mouth, and your thinking is still fuzzy. Reprioritise your workload so that all you have to do all day is the kind of stuff you can normally do half-asleep. If you feel better as the day progresses, you can take on things that need more brain-power, but for the moment, turn on the mental cruise-control and coast. But remember to look busy!
7. Escape Strategy
If it is a very bad hangover, and/or if your stomach still isn’t playing ball, you might find yourself needing to drive the porcelain bus at some point in the day. Most offices don’t appreciate staff using wastepaper baskets as vomit receptacles, so make sure you have a clear idea of where you will run to if the churning in your belly signals trouble. If your office is on a different floor to the toilets, see if you can work there for the day. If you don’t think you’d be able to make it that far, do any of the windows open? Along with your breath mints, see if you can get some crystallised or stem ginger; it has very good anti-nausea properties.
And finally, if you have the kind of hangover that makes death seem like sweet release:
8. Hair of the Dog
We would never be irresponsible enough to suggest that you turn up to work drunk, but sometimes the cure lies in the cause. If you are not operating any heavy machinery or driving, a quick snifter of your poison might be just the thing to see you through the day. Spirits are the order of the day; vodka not only doesn’t smell too much, but also looks innocuous when mixed with orange juice. Just the one, mind you; leave the hipflask at home.
9. Sick Day
Ignore all of the previous tips and go into work as usual. Proceed to look as ill and frail as you feel, moaning and occasionally clutching your sides. Trembling and sweaty works too. Eventually, after everyone has noticed the sorry state you’re in, beg your boss to let you go home; imply that you might be contagious. Deny all suggestions that your damage has been inflicted by alcohol. Note: this only works if you have not been carousing with workmates.
Not many bosses wil be sympathetic to hangovers, so your excuse for not coming in should be creative but plausible. It also needs to be the sort that requires the minimum standards of proof; you don’t want to have to forge a doctor’s note or court summons. Family emergencies are always useful if your relatives never have any contact with your workplace, as is having to stay in all day for the plumber/electrician/dogsitter. Remember, you’re hungover and you’re not at the top of your game, so keep your excuse as short and simple as possible. Details can wait for when you’re recovered.
And if you are one of the lucky few who has never had a hangover, show some sympathy to your colleagues. They didn’t set out to cause themselves such mischief, and they truly regret last night’s drinks today.
[Image by openDemocracy]