Bring Your Hangover To Work Day

It’s 9:05 AM and you’ve already devoured your Chinese food leftovers from the night before, drank two tall glasses of water and a Diet Coke, swallowed a double dose of multivitamins, and smoked four cigarettes – but to no avail. At this point, you must concede: it’s officially Bring Your Hangover to Work Day. Again.

Sure, you just had Bring Your Hangover to Work Day two days ago. But what are you supposed to do? Leave it at home, unattended? Call out of work so that you can carefully monitor it? Your boss will just have to understand. After all, you’re trying to do the right thing. The responsible thing.

Grab what the Starbucks equivalent of a Venti coffee is from the nearest deli. While you’re there, you might as well buy a bag of Bugles, you know, those corn chips that are shaped like little cones? You like those. Don’t forget to order a BLT hero. With turkey and cheese. You’re going to be hungry by the time you get to work. Wonder when the deli will add bacon-lettuce-tomato-turkey-cheese to the breakfast menu.

Wait for your train on the subway platform, disgusted and confused by the lingering stench of binge drinking emanating off of you. You smell like both fresh and stale cigarette smoke and you’re not sure how you know the difference between the two – you’re like a fucking Bloodhound in that regard – all you know is that the duality would be impressive if it weren’t nauseating. Get on the train and throw up in your mouth a little for no apparent reason. See a group of 20-somethings wearing sunglasses and inch your way closer to them. They are your brethren.

Get to work and cringe as you share an elevator with people who work on other floors and will never know “the real you,” the one who doesn’t smell like a night in jail. Think to yourself, “this isn’t the real me, blonde girl wearing a fuchsia button down shirt from Express, there isn’t one fucking wrinkle in that thing, is there? You perfectly perfect smug bitch that smells like Victoria Secret’s Very Sexy. I hate you, and just because I’m wearing sunglasses doesn’t mean I can’t see you judging me. Die!” Sip your coffee quietly and wonder what it is about being hungover that makes you so angry, wonder that until the elevator stops on your floor.

Throw your shit down at your desk and open up TweetDeck. “Hmmm… what hilarious observation can I make about hangovers?” you think. You just can’t start your workday without updating Twitter; such is the natural order of things. Take a break and open up Tumblr, Facebook, and Gmail for inspiration. Get a Gchat from your coworker and partner in weeknight debauchery.

  • Sarah: give it up for bring your hangover to work day! L.O.L.
  • me: oh bitch you know it. it’s my favorite day of the week!
  • Sarah: it’s the only day of the week! ughhhh
  • me: i know. where the fuck can we get lasagna at? like i want a big ass slice of homemade lasagna
  • Sarah: …it’s 10:30 in the morning
  • me: therein lies the problem.

Look up from the screen to find your boss leering at you, unamused by the way in which you’ve prioritized your browser tabs. “Good morning,” you say, “Would you like a Bugle?” “No, I would not like a Bugle. You look… tired. What’d you do last night?” Well, Miss Busybody, I went to bar trivia and met this guy who looked 60% like Leonardo DiCaprio circa Catch Me If You Can, and he convinced me to go to heavy metal karaoke after that (I sang Mother by Danzig), and then I was starving so we went to the local diner and ordered milkshakes with rum in them, you think. “I got in a fight with my boyfriend and was up all night crying,” you say, “so yes, I’m tired. Apologies.”

A flash of sympathy washes over her face. She says, “Well. I’m sorry to hear that. I didn’t even know you had a boyfriend!” Fuck does that mean? What was that hint of surprise in her voice? “Yes, well, I try not to talk about my personal life at work,” you snap, glaring at her gaudy engagement ring, “besides, I think we’re going to break up soon.”

Your boss saunters away and you return your attention to Gchat, where you discover that Sarah has already ordered meatloaf and a side of mashed potatoes from the Polish diner.

  • Sarah: ordered polonia again heh
  • me: hate u

Open up your work email and start to respond to each message with noncommittal phrases like, “K” and “You got it.” You’ll have to revisit these emails another time, when your stomach isn’t waging war with your ass. Take a ‘breather’; spend an obvious amount of time in the bathroom. Finish up and think in a Jim Carrey voice, “Do NOT go in there!” and hate yourself for it, will you ever reach an age where that catchphrase isn’t the first thing that comes to mind after using the bathroom?

Take a cigarette break and instantly regret it; every pull brings you back to last night. You suddenly understand Vietnam and your next-door neighbor from high school, the one who took a ton of acid and had to be sent away junior year for “exhaustion.” Go back upstairs and Wikipedia “Vietnam War.” Wikipedia “PTSD.” Wikipedia “Flashbacks.” Tweet, “Whoa. Just experienced a flashback via Marlboro Light. Is it 5 o’clock yet?” Wikipedia “Acid.” Get really, really smart. Fall into a Wikipedia K-hole and remain there until it’s time to crawl out for lunch. Have another flashback in which you recall buying a BLT that very morning, remember that it’s still in your bag at this very second and it’s probably all gross now. Throw it out and order lasagna and garlic bread from a “gourmet” pizzeria that you’ve unearthed on Seamless Web.

Eat three bites of your $15 lasagna, then push it to the side and Google yourself, your roommates, the Leonardo DiCaprio semi-lookalike, and the shell of a man who proposed to your depraved boss. Discover his sister’s Tumblr and think, “In an alternate universe, we could’ve been friends. Look at this collection of cat .gifs! I love this girl.” Click the ‘Follow’ button.

Start to fade. Experience an indescribable hunger despite having consumed over 4,000 calories already. Bring Your Hangover to Work Day really takes it out of you. Muster up the finger dexterity to Gchat one last time.

  • me: jgfjgrijrojjbnf
  • Sarah: i know! longest, most terrible day ever
  • me: happy hour? i’m like… majorly depressed by this day
  • Sarah: ditto! let’s do it!

It’s only 4:35 PM, but somewhere, at an undetermined latitude and longitude that rests in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s 5 o’clock.  Log out of your social networks and head to a bar where everybody knows your name, your drink, and your affinity for Leonardo DiCaprio. TC mark

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  • GB

    This is masterful, my god.  Glad I am not the only one living this life.  Cheers! <3

  • Mb

    Soooooo amazing.

  • KP

    Ha! I loved the section on returning emails with short noncommittal phrases. Add a gmail star to the email, a hung over procrastinators dream. 

  • Jennifer Sussex

    This makes me wonder whether language has to correlate to identity to be perceived as truthful. I wonder what this story or construction would sound like in a different genre.

    • Stephanie Georgopulos

      I just wrote a bit about this on my tumblr w/r/t second person (because I know a lot of people hate it) – I think I use it when I want to say something that isn’t necessarily true of me or of other people, but reflects nuances of our shared experiences. I think it casts a broader net and allows the writer to inject fiction into non-fiction without changing the intent of the story. For example, I’ve never worked in the environment I described in this piece and I certainly don’t now – but I can relate to other aspects like, seeing someone who has their shit together when you’re a hungover mess, wanting (whatever comfort food) and not caring how inappropriately early it is, etc.

      One of my favorite things about TC is that all of us like to and actively experiment with different literary devices. I do try to find new ways of telling stories, but I won’t be giving up second person anytime soon. I love it for the reasons I described. It lends universality to a story that might otherwise be “me me me.” And I like “me me me,” too, but in this case this story would’ve read “Woke up, was hungover, ordered diner food and watched House,” which is not nearly as fun to read or write. :)

      • karina

        dang, that was a pretty good hungover writer response. Reminds me of college!

  • Lizzy

    hysterical :)

  • Duke Holland of Gishmale

    What’s your cut-off percentage? I think I’m around 4% like Leonardo DiCaprio.

  • Briana

    “Finish up and think in a Jim Carrey
    voice, “Do NOT go in there!” and hate yourself for it, will you ever
    reach an age where that catchphrase isn’t the first thing that comes to
    mind after using the bathroom?”

    I don’t even know this reference, but I can imagine it, and it is the closest I’ve come to LOLing all day so far.

    • Stephanie Georgopulos

      This comment made me LOL, then I watched the clip and it made me LOL again, so here:

      • Kelsea


  • Mr Shankly

    There is very little that irritates me more than tweets and facebook statuses about how bad your hangover is.

    Still, nice article.

  • Ryan Culliver

    4th paragraph…happened to me this morning. Like “I drug my ass to work, trying to pull myself together in the small amount of time I have that is this elevator ride & you get on looking like 10 hours of sleep and a multi-grain breakfast bagel!? And you smell so…is that Gucci? Bitch you are not better than me. Don’t go there with me, Rachel.”

  • Brian McElmurry

    Fuck yeah!

  • Alex Thayer

    “Throw your shit down at your desk and open up TweetDeck.”

    finest line of your writing career thus far

  • Balto

    kept me in a Thought Catalog K-Hole!  Can’t get the ‘Mother’ power chords out of my head.  nice details 

  • Anonymous

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  • Cupcake


  • Cupcake


  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

    Don’t give in to Katy Perry and Rebecca Black. Thursday is the new Friday, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to bring your hangover to work.  Well, unless you work on Saturday, but let’s pretend like those jobs don’t exist.

  • Maurine Herberich

    EXCELLENT. I really enjoyed this! The train of thought seems so right and your self-depracation doesn’t secretely translate into smugness. Looking into the rest of your articles right now!

  • Anonymous

    Haha! Love this.

  • guest

    my god. “Do NOT go in there!” every time. everytime, i say that in my head.

    related to this so perfectly it’s scary.

  • Aja

    This just reminds me why I always take it easy with alcohol.  Nothing makes me want to die a little like having something to do and a massive hangover.  

  • Anonymous

    Stephanie Georgopulos, you are the absolute fucking truth. 

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