Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tired, but surviving

(Which should really have had the title "The Things That You Think About While Driving." Oh, well.)

One of the worst aspects of the job that I'm currently doing and the schedule that I'm doing on is that for four days I pretty much have no life outside of working, sleeping, and eating breakfast and dinner. I'm basically cut off from all other inputs. Even the news that I get is skewed: I can watch World News Now, ABC's long-running overnight news show, over breakfast at 3:30 in the morning (and typing that actually just kinda stunned me: I eat breakfast at 3:30 in the morning?!?), but that show tends to devote as much time to fun stuff as to actual news; or I can read the previous day's papers, which arrive after I leave for work.

So that means I'm not only tired and drained during the hour I have allocated for evening online time, but I also have a dearth of ideas for things to blog about.

I've been getting a quick refresher course in DVD press operation from someone who started in the department in August 2007, same as me, but has been working there continuously since then. (I had been on a "special project" doing data analysis from the end of January through the end of November.) One thing she stated is that she doesn't find the work very challenging at all. For me this was astonishing, since I have a hell of a time just keeping up with the machines even when they're running at their best.

Twenty years ago, in a different factory under very different circumstances, someone commented to me that my stream-of-consciousness banter during the long, hot shifts inspecting TV faceplates reminded them of "the things that you think about when you're driving." I didn't understand this. When I drive, all I think about is driving: where I am, how fast I am going, how much fuel I have, where my car is relative to the other cars around me, what potential hazards could exist outside my immediate limits of perception...I'm constantly scanning ahead, and behind, and to the sides, working under the assumption that all the other drivers are idiots who are trying to kill me, and the deer and other woodland critters have it in for me, too.

But apparently it isn't like this for everyone. Other people will begin woolgathering, daydreaming, letting their thoughts go on random walks. Not me. If I let my focus drift for more than a few seconds, I'm going to plow straight into the nearest wall.

But now I'm winding down. Time for bed, and then a 3:00 AM wake-up, a 3:30 AM breakfast, a 4:00 AM shower, and a commute starting at 4:45 to a twelve-hour job that officially starts at 6:00. One more day of this, and then I'm off for four - or possibly longer.


Anonymous said...

I rarely think about driving when I'm driving.

piglet said...

I drive like you, which makes me avoid driving as much as possible.

I think if we all drove with full consciousness of the crazy improbability of us all getting to where we are going in one piece, we would all live closer to work and save a lot of gas.