Friday, January 02, 2009

Solidly in Stage 5

The fatigue that develops when serving the vacationing public for a protracted period comes on in distinct stages. I passed stage 4 yesterday morning, aided by a late night on New Year's Eve. This was after resolving to ignore celebration and get to bed before midnight. After a sociable dinner with friends and the drive home it was only ten minutes before midnight when I hit the pillow. This after a 9-hour workday with an hour of driving at either end. I'd been up since just after 5 a.m., and the alarm was set to wake me at the same time on January 1.

The Stages:

Stage 1: tired but hyper efficient. This generally lasts a day or less. Soon degenerates into going through the motions, doing the absolute minimum necessary to get the latest goon out of your face.

Stage 2: increasing impatience with idiots and their bullshit.

Stage 3: Temporal detachment: You don't know what day it is and it doesn't matter anyway. You've been at work forever and will be there for all eternity.

Stage 4: Short term memory loss.Whole sections of your day, particularly driving, will disappear from your mind as you do them. Combines nicely with Stage 3 to create a drifty feeling drugs only wish they could match. In Stage 4 you could kill an idiot and go back to eating your lunch as if nothing had happened. You would be able to deny it while hooked to a polygraph without showing the slightest distress. Not only wouldn't you remember doing it, you wouldn't be sorry when you found out you had.

Stage 5: Staring. In Stage 5 you'll find yourself enjoying the diamond-like fire of morning sunlight hitting the scratches in the glass counter top. You'll stare into it until the sun moves far enough to cast a shadow over it or the next dripping vulgarian lurches into the counter and drops a puddle of mucus on it while firing questions at you. After dispensing with the idiot in ways you will never remember, you will shift your gaze to the far windows of the lodge. This helps you in two ways: you get snow blindness and avoid eye contact with customers.

Caffeine or a good night's sleep will fool you into thinking you're back up to full strength. You'll start to act like you're in stage one until you lurch off the rails because you're going way too fast for your condition.

Two days to go. They're liable to be the busiest yet. When they're over, someone will have to tell me how I did.

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