How to survive a hangover at work

By Lesley Marie Reade
Illustration by Tara Fleming

Everyone has been there. You know, the Regatta is supposed to go ahead tomorrow and your friends have you over for a celebratory beer because you just may have the day off. Suddenly it’s 2 a.m. and you’re singing Madonna songs at the top of your lungs. The fun continues until you wake up to the sound of torrential rain and you realize the Regatta was cancelled. You spun the wheel and lost!
Of course that’s never happened to me, but I’ve gathered a few helpful tips on what to do and what not to do if you end up having to go to work hung-over.

Wear makeup
It’s amazing, and it isn’t just for girls. A little cover up makes everyone’s eyes look brighter. Looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing what looks like your normal, non-hung-over face boosts your confidence. It makes you feel like yourself for a moment, and that can go a long way, especially if you also remember to take water breaks. If you start to lose composure, go to the bathroom, look yourself over in the mirror, put some nice cold water on your hands, place them on your cheeks, and go back at it.

Keep cool
There was this one time, when a group of friends at the campus bar in Corner Brook won big at trivia. We drank a $50 bar tab in very little time and I had to be at the school for 8 a.m. to model for an art class. But not just any kind of modeling. It was nude modeling. I was standing on a stage leaning against the wall—a super easy pose—with a projection of elk or something shining on me. Everything was going fine and then it started. Saliva gathering in the mouth, followed by the churning feeling in my stomach. Finally I blurted out, “I have to take a break now!” I grabbed my robe and ran to the bathroom. (I honestly don’t even know if my robe was closed.)
Nothing humbles a person quite like being on the floor of a school bathroom, in your robe, spewing, and hearing an unseen person ask if you’re okay. Sigh.

What I took from this experience wasn’t necessarily to not drink before you have to work; it was to make sure you won’t get overheated. It’s bad. I suppose you could just wear layers but when you can’t go down past your final layer, it may be nice to have a portable fan with you. If anyone asks, just tell them you’re having sympathy hot flashes for your mother or someone in your life that could be going through menopause. It could happen.

Stop smelling
One other thing to think about is your smell. Using a portable fan does wonders for keeping yourself cool but it also spreads your alcohol-from-last-night smell around to anyone near you. You know the smell. It comes from your pores even though you showered. Just remember to bring deodorant. Use it frequently. Also, chew minty gum. It helps your breath, keeps your coworkers happy and provides a pleasant taste. Winterfresh gum is the best. Trust me.

So, yeah, I have to admit that I’ve had the unpleasant experience of being hung-over at work, but only once has it been because of the Regatta. At least now I know how to handle it. Remember: water, gum, deodorant, makeup, a small fan.

You’ll be all right.