Massachusetts Vacation Week approaches. When snow conditions are good, this brings a herd of city and suburb dwellers to cram a winter's worth of recreation into a single week. In recent years most of them don't even seem to get the full week anymore. They hammer the weekends, particularly the three-day President's Day weekend at the start.
The fatigue that comes on during any sustained period of serving the public occurs in distinct stages. While these can occur at any time during a tourist season, they're inescapable during the high-pressure concentration of Vacation Week, with its accompanying overtime.
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
Stage 2: increasing impatience with idiots and their bullshit.
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
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.