Thursday, August 13, 2009

Vampires! Zombies! Tech Support Managers!

I've just woken up from the best sleep of my life. If you can imagine for a moment one of those sleep number bed commercials meeting a near death coma, you'd be pretty close to the sleep I had today. It was like that.

I am a night shift manager at a tech support firm. I have nearly twenty guys who regularly come bounce questions off me, and we are busy 364 days a year (Christmas seems to be the only holiday allowing respite). I have zero chance of sleeping on the job. And if you add to that fact that I am married and have four children, the marvelous sleep I had today feels like it should be important. More important than anything else, right?

It is true, I do own some black-out curtains, and my wife is a near-saint in the fact that she allows me to rest in as quiet an environment as possible. I won't try ear-plugs, living in the near-ghetto, and I absolutely abhor sleep masks; the end result is that I get something akin to half sleep.

Like today, she took all four of our amazing children to her sisters to sew. The kids went out back and played their little legs off (what with it being summer and school being out still), and daddy slept in till 4:30. Nine hours of solid sleep! Heaven's Bliss! I haven't slept nine hours like that since I was an infant. And I should know, I've kept a journal for years.

The only trouble with my deep and utter coma, my blessed boneless slumber, was that I had a mandatory make-up session meeting with upper management at work. Did I mention it was mandatory, and make up?

Yup, I slept through the last one three months ago. Slept straight through it like Rip Van Winkle, oblivious that two miles away some corporate type folks in kakhis and collared shirts were gathering in blue fabric chairs around an oval table, and discussing.

I woke up this afternoon, knowing I was supposed to do something. I should have been tipped off by the dreams I was having--they were frantic and involved an impossoble task. I call them naturs alarm clock. I realized, after looking at the time, that I'd done it again. I wondered at the quiet home, noting the whir of the fans instead of the bedeviling noises from three older siblings which I am so accustomed to sleeping to.

Horrified, I reached for my phone, but it was nowhere near. I searched the dresser, my bed, the bathroom, every nook of the house. I found it in my laptop bag. There it sat, shinily vibrating, left there after my ride home this morning. It was safe in it's cocoon, oscillating away furiously. I had both voicemail and a text message from 15 minutes after the meeting start asking where the *#$! I was.

I replied to that text, properly identifying where I was and asking if I still had a job to come back to. Who knows what this meeting was for, it could have been secret plans for taking over the world, and I missed out. The paradigm is that it was just as easily the plans for new scented urinal cakes in the men's room. I'll not get into the strange phenomenon of the quarterly meeting.

Now, lest you think me a slugabed, and one who periodically sleeps through gainful employment, recall that I am a graves shift manager. That's right, I work when most American humans are sleeping. My world is the polar opposite of yours. I take escalation calls from people across the dateline, and I am up and at 'em till most of you are just rubbing the sleep from your eyes, pouring youself a cup of joe, and scratching. It is then that I pack up my gear, put on my bike helmet, and pedal home for my bed.

Like I said, opposites. I talk to folks like Long Duck Dong in Korea, and Doobie Sellers in Adelaide (no lie). The night shift is entertaining; between my sleep deprived engineers and the international UNIX engineers we speak to, no day is mundane.

I am no vampire, despite the fact that I often claim I am infected with the night walker bacillus. I need my sleep. It's precious to come by, and if the studies are to believed my serotonin receptors are a bit jacked by my sleeping during the day. I walk about mostly tired all the time, like a zombie.

Last Sunday in Salt Lake, there was a second convention of zombie walkers. Amazing! Before this I never would have believed that many grave shift workers existed in the state.

-Jay

1 comment:

islandgirl said...

Ah, you had me at Long Duck Dong, lol! Thanks for the laugh today :)