I’m on the road for work this week, attending meetings and giving presentations. My job is mostly a solitary one but a couple times a year we all get together and share our various war stories, trying to impress our bosses.
This week, when I was supposed to be wowing my coworkers and supervisors I hit a mental wall. First off, as surprising as it might sound here, I’m really quite a modest person and don’t like tooting my proverbial horn. Talking myself up in real life isn’t something I enjoy doing. Secondly, I’d gotten less than six hours of sleep in the previous two days due to traveling and the time differences.
I got up in front of the group, power point ready to go.
We’d already been at the meeting for a couple hours, one of the organizers told me we had thirty minutes until the scheduled break. Would that be enough time for my presentation?
I look at him, totally serious, and said that was about twenty minutes longer than I needed.
I wasn’t kidding.
I whipped through my slides in a flurry, talking fast but also skipping large portions of boring information. Bosses like statistics. I don’t. They get the reports every week, they already know in detail how ‘effective’ and ‘efficient’ I am, how much I’ve ‘lowered’ costs and ‘increased’ profits, blah fucking blah. They don’t need me to verify any of that, but it was still expected that we talk ourselves up (maybe simply for their amusement).
I gave a quick summary of my job, where we’re at in my location, some goals and issues.
I looked around at the blank faces of my coworkers.
“Any questions?” (Any fucking questions?)
There were a couple, I answered as succinctly as possible.
Five minutes. Wham-bam-thank you ma’am.
Back to my fucking chair where I struggle not to fall asleep for the next four hours of presentations.
Fuck it. If they wanted more than five minutes from me they should have scheduled things better. With that little sleep I really didn’t give a fuck what anyone thought.
After we were all done, thank god, I got dragged out to dinner with a few coworkers. It went longer than it was supposed to, I should have guessed as much, and didn’t get back to the hotel until late. I had been nodding off for the past ten hours and went straight to bed.
And woke up, bright eyed and bushy tailed four hours later. At four o’clock in the morning.
Ten hours of sleep in the past three days. Fuck, I hate jet lag.
At least I don’t have a presentation today.