Tuesday, 15 March 2011


I wasn't completely happy with that last post but I think I'll stick with the pictures - despite Blogger making it a bit of a pain to insert them.

As I may have already mentioned, I hate getting up in the morning. There is a problem I have, in that for a good 2-3 hours immediately after I have woken up, I am a complete idiot. My IQ halves during this time and recovers afterwards. I'm not entirely sure if this is normal. But it doesn't exactly seem right that I go to bed as this:

And wake up as this:

Let me explain. I'll roll out of bed, stumble into the kitchen, more out of a sense that the kitchen is a place to do one of the required activities of the morning than out of hunger. I will get a box of cereal. I will get a bowl. However I won't be able to figure out how the two interact to create breakfast. I'll stare at the two items, trying to fathom what I need to do in order to make them create some breakfast for me. I'll slowly pick up the bowl, and begin to insert it into the top of the cereal box. That is usually when the normal part of my brain kicks in. "Seriously? That's what you think you have to do? You're a fucking idiot. Cereal in bowl, not the other way around." For all the abuse that part of my brain gives me it is definitely required. So I'll stop doing that and pour the cereal into the bowl. I'll then get a bottle of milk. And the whole process starts again.

"Oh so THAT's how it's done."

It isn't just confined to the kitchen, however. My morning-idiocy finds other ways to torment me. I'll step into the shower with my glasses on and wonder why the shower has suddenly gotten so foggy. A few seconds will pass before I realise it was my glasses that had fogged up, not my eyeballs. I sometimes find it impossible to remember if I have already used shampoo on my hair, so I will wash my hair again just to make sure. I also find it hard to focus, sometimes spending 5 minutes staring into space. That's why I need to have a clock or watch close by at all times, to remind me that I have to hurry up and stop day dreaming. I also generally have a terrible sense of time.

"5:05? It was 3 o'clock ten minutes ago! No. No it wasn't."

Despite the fact I need them to see I still manage to forget my glasses when I walk out the door. But I won't remember in a normal way. No. I will find ridiculous ways to realise. Such as walking down the road, looking at a car numberplate and thinking to myself, "why that looks very blurry. I wonder if the writing is deliberately like that. Actually it isn't just the numberplate that is blurry, the whole car is. That's weird. It's almost like I'm not wearing my gla... Shit." Or I will be walking down the road and I will idly scratch my face or fiddle with my headphones. But when I realise that the glasses frame I expected to find there is, in fact, not, instead of thinking, "ah, I've probably left them in the bathroom" or "oh bother, they must still be on the mantelpiece" I think: "they've vanished!" This is where the normal part of my brain kicks in again. "Really? You thought that might be a possibility? You thought they must have disappeared, rather than, say, you left them on a surface somewhere while you were getting ready and forgot to pick them up again? What the hell is wrong with you?"

"To be fair I am going to be very well prepared if my glasses ever do magically disappear from my face."

While I was on my placement year I would start work at 9:00am which meant waking up for around 6:15am - I probably could have woken up later but I have to allow myself some more time to negate the morning-idiocy caused slowdown. If it was a bad day the phone could be ringing before you even opened to door to the office. I hated taking calls while I was still in my coat and invariably the resulting call would play out like an argument between a slightly miffed academic and a half-asleep dullard (which, really, it was). You would have to tell the user to wait while your PC started up, some expressed shock that you didn't get into work at 8:30 like they did. The fact that support hours were clearly stated to be 9 to 5, Monday to Friday was of no consequence to them. We weren't paid overtime either, so if a user called with a problem at 10 to 5 you had to fix it in ten minutes or it would eat into your non-support hours, general maintenance, planning and back up time - 18 minutes. If you spent more than 28 minutes on the problem getting it fixed you were working overtime and not getting paid for it. It was a horrible feeling. Anyway, usually I would have to tell the user I would "look into the problem" and then take an hour or two to collect my thoughts whilst performing other, more simple, job-related tasks. Occasionally we would be asked to work before support hours by a user, this was the worst as it meant I would be even more useless. I think I only had to do it once or twice, we shared it out evenly between the team but it turned out I was the only person reliable enough to actually get there when the user wanted. But after that work we still had to work 9:00 to 5:18. I liked the job but the hours and lack of overtime did start to irritate me towards the end.

So, in conclusion, if you want me to be of any use to you I highly suggest meeting me well after I've woken up. Otherwise it'll be like trying to converse with a terse hammer.

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