Remember When: A Drunk Pilot, A Pool Party and A Deli Slicer

A story popped up on my “MSN Landing Page” aka: “Default home page I am too lazy to change”, about a drunk Pilot from the Portuguese Airline TAP. An airport staff member noticed the guy was stumbling and smelled like booze, so the flight from Germany to Lisbon was grounded, and passengers rescheduled for a flight 3 DAYS LATER!

Three days? How bombed was this guy? And they don’t have a standby pilot who can get there within 3 days? I know Europeans are laid back and all, but that’s kind of extreme.

This pilot, meanwhile…what a friggin’ amateur. You can’t even make it to the plane before some “airport staff” member realizes you’re hammered? What a Lightweight!


drunk pilots


I handled a similar situation much better than this clown.

I remember once, summer of ’98, me and the Lil’ Dogg were hanging at My Buddy Matty’s. We were chilling by the pool, had some classic hip-hop going (and maybe MmmBop…ok definitely, it’s a totally underappreciated song), and knocking back a few 40 oz’s. Just three dudes, having a mid-week, early afternoon gangsta pool party…no big deal.

pool party


I’d had about three 40’s before the Dogg had to drop me off at Stop & Shop in Winchester to work my shift in the deli. It was about 2 pm- that’s how we rolled.

When Dogg dropped me off, my sole intention was to get out of that place as soon as possible…I even considered the pros and cons of cutting my finger on one of the deli slicers…”it’d have to be when the blade was turned off, I’m not The Wrestler (which won’t come out for another 10 years), I’d have to be cleaning it, but what if I ended up cutting it so bad I needed stitches…backfire. Plus with the amount of booze I’ve had, I might not stop bleeding….yeah this is a dumb idea”

Then genius struck, and a calm came over me….

I strolled up into the Stop & Shop, punched in, made a little small talk with some cashiers, said hi to Malcolm at the service desk, had a conversation with Pam at the fish counter…nobody could tell a goddam thing. You got to be able to keep your shit together…act casual. Like Damon in Ocean’s 11…they have to like you, but forget about you the minute you walk away.


the wrestler


Now, and here is the key, when you get to your station, casually let the manager know something isn’t right…you’ve got allergies, you were up all night working on something, you’re just getting over being sick, etc. Make the excuse fit the occasion. (Pro tip: Tell it to someone else within earshot of the manager…even better. But have to make sure it registers, because if you have to keep repeating it…it’s fishy)

The effects here are threefold

  1. If your performance isn’t up to snuff (it won’t be), they’re going to notice it soon enough. Subconsciously, they will write it off to whatever perfectly crafted excuse you’ve given them.
  2. You should be beyond suspicion as far as attempting to bag out of work, as long as you don’t jump the gun and ask to leave to soon. Casually tank a couple of easy tasks, take a little longer to do things, drink a ton of water (if you were sick you’d be concerned about hydration).
  3. If you play this right, the boss will probably suggest you can go home, as soon as (some arbitrary point is reached). If you play it perfectly, you will actually end up earning respect for having come in, and not just calling in “like Matt did last week”.


In my case, I was on my way back to My Buddy Matty’s in an mmmbop, with my finger (and my buzz) still intact, and Andy the Deli Manager none the wiser.






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