Work Retire Mailbag Vol. 8: Making Friends in a New City, Hangover Tips, and Thoughts on Smoothies
Every month or so, when I can’t think of anything to write about, we do a mailbag and answer your burning questions about work, life, and everything in between. Get your questions in for the next mailbag by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our previous mailbags here.
Mailbag Vol. 8: Making Friends in a New City, Hangover Tips, and Thoughts on Smoothies
Question #1: Tips for being hungover at work?
Glad you asked. As a professional hangover-haver, you came to the right place.
We covered this in depth last year in our ‘How to Survive a Hangover at Work Guide,’ but I’ll summarize below.
#1 Tip – Don’t be late or look like shit.
This is for 2 reasons:
1. You are not mentally equipped to deal with conflict right now
The last thing you need in your weakened state is to get chewed out for missing a meeting or drawing any sort of negative attention to yourself.
2. You need a win early
Have you ever read that book “Make Your Bed”? Me neither, but I read the Wikipedia page about it and it’s a pretty simple concept. The theory is that if you start your morning by accomplishing one simple task like making your bed (which actually isn’t that simple if you live with your girlfriend and you have like 15 pillows and weird duvet things that have very specific way they need to be arranged but whatever) you’ve created momentum and structure and set yourself up for a day of productivity.
You are not going to be very productive today but taking a shower, getting to work on time, and wearing a collared shirt will fix your mindset, shake you out of your hangover doldrums and get you on the right track to not having a catastrophic day.
Outside of that, here are the remaining things you should do to survive today.
Step 1 – get your sustenance in (Water, Coffee, Food)
Step 2 – get your poison out (take 3 -4 messy shits)
Step 3– find your nap window
Step 4 – push everything until tomorrow
Question #2. Smoothie thoughts?
What a beautifully crafted question. I’m glad you asked. My thoughts on smoothies really run the gamut but for the most part, I am not a fan of smoothie culture and what it has become.
Let’s break down the 3 ways to enjoy a smoothie.
1- Obnoxious, Health Conscious Store in Brooklyn or LA
Overpriced, pretentious and not worth it in the slightest. It’s hard to not feel like a bit of a douchebag walking out of a Pure Green Juice Bar, holding a green smoothie and an acai bowl that you just spent $26 on. These establishments are the downfall of modern society.
2- Making It at Home
Not really worth the hassle. 90% of the time that I’ve bought stuff to make a smoothie, it just ends up rotting in the fridge or taking up freezer space that belongs to ice cream and ice trays. Plus, the clean up process for a blender is a nightmare in its truest form. If you hand wash it, you end up slicing your hand. If you put it in the dishwasher, it never fully cleans and you have to hand wash it and slice you hand. I hate it! It stinks.
For all the workout people out there who insists on making smoothies to go with their protein scoops, please shut the hell up. You’re acting like a dog who needs pills hid in their food or a scoop of peanut butter because they’re too scared to eat it. Grow up and drink your whey protein with water like an adult.
3- At a Smoothie King in the Mall
Smoothies are not supposed to be healthy. They’re supposed to be delicious. Smoothie King gets that and delivers affordable liquids that are essentially milkshakes.
There’s really nothing better than grabbing a candy flavored smoothie at a mall food court and slurping that thing down as you walk around buying some shit you don’t need. Heaven.
Question 3: How do you keep yourself motivated when you know you’re quitting but you don’t know when exactly?
This is the hardest thing you can do on the planet. There’s really nothing worse than being emotionally checked out while interviewing at other places, but still having to keep the lights on at your current job.
The motivation here is simple – you need to pay rent and you also don’t want to fuck over the coworkers that you actually like.
My piece of advice would be to take it week by week. Every Monday, write down a list of what you absolutely have to do at your job that week. Maybe it’s a weekly report, managing a certain project, getting some deliverable in, or whatever. Things like ‘long term strategic planning’ or ‘projects coming up in 4 weeks’ are things you don’t have to worry about by the way. Don’t even think about raising your hand to do more work to seem like a team player or look good for the next promotion. That doesn’t matter. You just want to get through this week.
Set aside a chunk of time (call it a Tuesday afternoon) and just crank out all the work you have to for the entire week in one quick session. The rest of the week you can coast, deal with problems as they come up and worry about finding a new job. Then do it again next week and the next week until you find a new job.
Question #4: How do you make friends when moving to a new city
Another topic I covered in one of my first blogs that holds a dear place in my heart. Again, not gonna go into too much detail (you can read it here) but making friends as an adult is hard as hell. It was the entire plot of Judd Apatow’s 6th best movie (I Love You Man) for a reason – it’s awkward, vulnerable and feels very embarrassing. It’s not, but it’s what it feels like.
My biggest piece of advice is to say yes to everything. Go to drinks with your coworkers even if you don’t think it will fun. Join a soccer league even though you haven’t played since high school. Check out a band you like that’s in town, even if you’re going by yourself. You have to just do shit and eventually something will stick.
And if everything fails, just…move to another city. Your life (and your 20s) is too short to be wasted being miserable for no real reason.
Question #5: Which is better, a work from home job that’s insanely stressful or an in-office job that is so low stress you get only 10 emails a day? Asking for a friend
Commuting sucks, but the obvious answer here is a low stress, in person office job. Getting paid to chill on your laptop all day, go home at 5, and not think about work for a single second afterward is 100% worth the hour you spend on a train or in your car listening to podcasts on the way to work.
Working from the couch in your sweats is nice and all, but honestly, if the job is stressful it’s almost worse to be home. You’re isolated in your apartment with no co-workers to bitch with or shoot the shit in the kitchen while you complain about the job. Plus, it’s very hard to unplug from a stressful day when you’re physically in the same place that was giving you stress for the past 10 hours.
The one downside of a low stress in office job is sheer boredom. Of course it’s nice to be unbothered all day, but after a while it gets pretty old. There’s only so much Internet browsing you can do before you start to lose you mind a little bit. If you have a side hustle though, this is absolutely ideal.
This was kind of how Work Retire Die started. I was bored at work, realized I had way more time on my hands that I knew what to do with, and started writing blogs and making memes and recording Christmas albums of me whistling to fill the time. And here we are today.