Workload Vertigo

Sometimes we just have too damn much heaped on our backs. We’ve all had those days (weeks/months/millennia) where it seems as though our agendas and plans are insistently and directly crapped on by the cosmos. If you are one of those sick people who thrive under this sort of pressure (or, for the sake of the metaphor, enjoy getting crapped upon), then you are a mutant and don’t belong on this planet. Science doesn’t understand you and neither do I. You’re like one of those people who lament that they “Just CAN’T gain weight” when someone mentions being on a diet…and then wonder why you wake up in a hospital bed, unable to remember anything since your 5th birthday.

For those of us normal people, balancing hectic schedules and trying to make changes becomes rather difficult. With all the overtime at work, I am raking in the money, but I’m in this vicious cycle of work, eat, bed, repeat. I might be able to play a video game here and there (thank you PS Vita for allowing us to suspend a game instantly and without penalty) or write a little with stolen work time (as I am doing right now) or read in bed, but the cycle perpetuates itself. I’m trying to incorporate more reading into my life, which is something I have failed at so far, yet finding the time to really just sit and read and dive into a book has proven impossible. I always have at least one audio book I’m involved in and will listen when doing anything — dishes, cooking, working out (when I get the time to do that), laundry, etc. — but there’s no substitute for getting in there and reading for yourself, sort of communing with the written word, and as a writer (aspiring, established, ongoing, anything), it’s pretty much your obligation to do so.

But overtime IS a factor right now. My whole team is slowly going insane and it happens every year. One person began emulating a wind-blown, wacky, waving inflatable tube man…for the second year in a row. Over the weekend, on her sixth work day of 10 hour shifts, a woman fell asleep and hit her head on her desk. My friend just notified me that she has worked for nine hours today and has only just realized that her underwear are on backwards and she’s too tired to go turn them around. After all, she’s only going to be here another two hours. However, it must be better than previous years because we haven’t had the paramedics show up since January 1st. (For the record, I’m not exaggerating any of this. By this time most years, paramedics and a fire truck have been here at least twice. And yes, I work in a country and a state with labor laws.)

Even if overtime wasn’t a factor at the moment, it’s still difficult to balance this workload of intentions, obligations, and desires. After all, all work and no play…makes Jack try to kill his family. (If you didn’t get that one, please watch The Shining immediately). I’m trying, but I have workload vertigo. I feel like I’m spinning, trying to clutch onto anything for some balance. I’ve been able to do a little of a lot of things, but the attention span tends to waver when you’re at work for at least 10 hours a day and the only amount of caffeine that will do anything anymore is just as likely to kill you as to wake you.

What shocks me is that I’m managing. I’m not doing much, but I have to realize that working myself into the Nervous Wing of the nearest sanitarium isn’t going to be very productive…and all my work would still be waiting for me when I was released, twitching and with a newfound phobia of keyboards. The writing is coming along at a pace I’m too embarrassed to admit to. My reading isn’t faring well, either. But any movement is good.

Something is better than nothing. So, I shall grin and bear it and plot my escape for tomorrow having done only 15 minutes overtime. I hope my Workplace Location Chip doesn’t go off…

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~ by Darren Endymion on February 4, 2016.

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