My biggest gaffe: Trying to get away with the mother of all hangovers

Richard Fogg, CEO of CCgroup, recalls the time a conference round of liquid refreshment became the topic du jour at a telecom community gathering.

I knew something was wrong, but through the haze of my gargantuan hangover, I could not make out what. My boss’ boss was standing over my bed. Agitated.

I’d missed a briefing with Reuters – oh dear. Head swimming. But both client and journalist had bailed out anyway – lucky. Get to the conference centre. Quickly.

As he left, I gradually became aware of my surroundings. An apartment in Cannes. It is the Mobile World Congress (3GSM back then). I’m fully dressed – shoes, suit, tie (it was 2001). There is an odd smell.
I wrenched myself up and peered over the side of the bed. I’d been sick. Horribly, horribly sick. On a white, crocheted bedspread. Did he see? He’d have said, right? What happened? How the hell am I going to clean this up? Oh God, Rich. You idiot.

Up. Kitchen. Find door. Washing machine! Salvation! In French. Find washing powder. In French. Doesn’t matter. Shove it all in. Feel sick. Wait for 30 terrifying, possibly career-defining minutes. Oh God.

Machine beeps. It’s clean! Thank the Lord above! It’s clean! I’m going to get away with this! Yes!

Walk out of apartment. Pavement thronging with delegates waiting to cross the street. I’m in the clear! Wait for traffic to stop. See Ian Channing across the road. Editor of the highest-profile telecoms magazine. Gruff. Devonian. Loud, booming voice.

"All right, Foggy! I ‘eard you got wankered last night and puked everywhere!" A dozen delegates collapse in laughter.

Thanks, Channing. Thanks a lot.

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