How To Work With A Hangover

12 Feb

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Due to unfortunate circumstances, today has been one of the longest days ever. 

And it’s all my own damn fault. 

…But no matter whose it is, people have to get up and go to work, every day.  And SURELY I’m not the only person who has unwisely “tied one on” the night before, with nauseating repercussions.  Surely I can’t be the only one who has made facial intimate acquaintance with the toilet bowl that all the co-worker’s butts spend time on.  But just in case this hasn’t happened to you (YET…because I feel I can safely say that “it WILL, oneday”), let me offer you some free advice which may help you to get through the day.

1. Have a one-stall bathroom
Not that you can help what kind of facilities you are given, but I find (after today) that having ones own privacy in which to blow ones own chunks, is always preferred.

2. Clean-Prep
If you are like me: a major germaphobe…then it would behoove you to Lysol wipe down every surface NOW, before the fireworks begin.

3. Prepare the runway
Move all the shit between you and the bathroom out of the way, so an easy clearance of access is made. 

4. Fess up to an ally
When the WHS Pimp (or whatever co-worker you have nearest to you) queries about your strange furniture rearrangements, cleaning kick, and why you look particularly like shit today, just tell them the truth.  If they are decent people they will nod with compassion, and intercept all incoming traffic to stay away from your office.

5. Talk as little as humanly possible
Save all the customer calls for later, and dive into emails and paperwork first.  Pretend that everything is going to be okay.

6. Pre-hydrate
To tell the truth, if you’d done this correctly last night you wouldn’t even BE in this position today.  But everybody makes mistakes, what’s done is done, and all you can do now is prep for the inevitable fallout. Lukewarm mint tea (so as not to scald you later in exit) and vitamin waters are excellent attempts to brave and temper the situation.  You will still lose.  But at least you were smart about it.

7. Once the race begins, be prepared for the long haul
Inevitably, if you’re going to have a hangover at work, it’s gonna be one of the bigger and badder kind.  Which means that this won’t all be over with one little hill climb and deadly descent. No.  That would be too easy.  And not nearly humiliating enough. You need to know, right now, that this is going to last well past noon, my friends…reducing you to a shaking mess of blood-shot-eyes and dry-heaving pile of sick, which in between bouts still has three reports, 25 booking calls, and 13 contracts to do.  So pace yourself wisely.

8. Embrace law of averages
I hate math. But sometimes you can make it work for you.  If you focus enough to take note of each sick bout for a bit, you will see a pattern of time emerge, and can then break up your work load accordingly.  For instance: I know to be true, that this report takes me about 30 minutes to complete per day.  Add an automatic 30 more minutes onto that due to your total lack of brain function or giving a shit, then break it up into appropriate chunks of “non sick time” or “the amount of time you are able to go without hurling your guts out.”  Complete each chunk then take a rest period and prepare for the inevitable.  After it happens, clean up, attempt to hydrate, and repeat.  In this way, you can complete your 30 minute report in roughly an hour and a half, including one extra tea brew, and a couple of nauseating phone answers.

9.  Beware of the false-hope fake-out
At some point it all is going to stop.  Stop for a while.  Maybe the longest of all. Maybe in five minutes it will be even longer.  Maybe it’s already been that five minutes and it’s still “stopped.”  Maybe this is now…for reals…the long-last END of all the — oh wait. Nope. Nope. My bad.

10. Fight the sandman
When this is all over (also known as sometime around 12:30 or so) you will feel utterly annihilated.  Not only because of your personal fight, but adding on top of it all the usual customer crapdom and paperworking insanity that is your average day.  There will be nothing left.  And you’ll find yourself sitting in your swivel chair, staring into space until you are jerked back to reality with a phone ring.  Were you asleep?  What happened?  Where are you?  Oh fuck.  It’s work.  Answer the phone and do your job.  But each time you hang up, the death stare returns again.  You have at least 4 hours left to your day, and now is not the time for sleeping.  So what do you do, now that all your “busy work” of the day is complete?  You make more tea.  You organize the supply closet.  You clean the bathroom. Again.  You consider FBing, only don’t know if you can take an accidental food picture posted by friends right now.  You decide, instead, to open up your blog and post something.  And not just “anything”…a carefully thought-out list of aid to all the poor bastards out there who might, just might, have a day like today.  Only tomorrow, instead.

~D

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