You Know What Grinds My Gears? DBi Hangovers!
Published: Sunday, January 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 30, 2012 17:01
We've all been there. Your head is throbbing. The floor won't stop spinning. The voices of your classmates screaming the lyrics to "Jesse's Girl" keep playing over and over in your head. You are crammed into a bus on a ride that won't seem to end. The people in the front of the bus need to communicate with the people in the back via "outdoor voices." You can taste relaxed emissions regulations with every breath you take. Meanwhile, you can't stop thinking to yourself, please don't let me throw up on a CEO's shoes today.
These are the unmistakable symptoms of a DBi hangover. You have flown halfway around the world to learn about another country's culture and business practices and naturally, you decided to start your education by exploring this country's last call laws. Your findings: they do not exist. What makes a DBi hangover different than your average US hangover? To begin with, normal hangover staples such as your couch, a greasy breakfast and the Sports Center not-top-ten-list are replaced with a crowded bus, a rushed hotel buffet breakfast and missing classmates. You also begin your day by staring down the wrong end of a fully loaded day of classes. You might as well have a full day of work ahead of you. Additionally, it should be noted that there are classes on Friday.
The most painful part of your hangover may actually be the fact that without it, you would be really interested in the topic in class that day. Whether it is a corporate visit or a discussion about deal making in China, somehow your hangover makes the college football National Championship game a bigger distraction. Don't worry about this hangover getting in the way of your education, because you're going to have to write about all these topics when you get home either way.
A few first-year students might be considering a DBi as a way to learn about the world, and think that they are mature enough to avoid severe hangovers while studying abroad for two weeks. Let me debunk that myth right now. If you hope to do business in a country other than the United States, you'd better be prepared to drink with your host. Each time they drink. Until it's time to go to work in the morning. And let's be honest, we're such a heavy drinking community at Stern that it became necessary to organize our Thursday night drinking in Stern's basement in order to hide us from the rest of the world. No trip around the globe is going to change that.
So if you plan on learning how to do business in a foreign country at some point during your two years at Stern, pack your drinking shoes. Also pack as many hangover remedies as FAA regulations will allow, because your bus will not wait for you beyond the 8:30 am scheduled departure. At least not past 8:45 am. Fine, 8:50 am. Okay, they'll send your roommate back up to the room to check on you. Twice. But that bus is not going to wait a minute past 9:00 am. Unless there is an acceptable wardrobe emergency.