Saturday, September 27, 2008

Surviving without 8 hours per night

I've been such a busy thing recently, surviving on too little sleep, leaving wet towels in the washing machine for up to a week because I've forgotten about them and all the time limping through each day.

I know I'm not good when I'm really really tired - I get worked up over little things and I lose my sense of proportion. The best thing I can do is to withdraw from people and sleep but I haven't had that luxury so I'm glad to say that I've managed to keep myself in check. To the world I've looked calm, cheery and very busy. One of my staff apparently commented to another that it was amazing that I could be so relaxed when I'm rushing from one thing to another, and as a result I was her idol.

I also managed to negotiate a difficult situation between two colleagues (Mr Elder Statesman and Mr Most Distinguished Gent). MRS and MMDG don't get along and we we all needed to work together on the urgent Very Important Thing. I managed to pull the VIT together without seeming to be taking one side or another, and put in extra hours to ensure that we went above and beyond the call in terms of what was required. The persons who benefit from VIT were happy. MES thanked me while MMDG who has never been my biggest fan told me he was very impressed and he recognised my diplomacy skills. All this while I've been getting 3-4 hours sleep per night.

So just as the crazy hours ebbed away I started to feel happy (maybe a bit too smug) and think that I may have conquered this tiredness thing I get a call from MMDG. I'd made a small but embarrassing mistake on VIT - one that I thought about at the time and made a call on. When he pointed it out to me, I realised that of course I was wrong. Of course this realisation came too late as I momentarily tried to explain my decision. I could hear him sigh over the phone and with that exhalation went his good opinion of me.

The mistake will have little practical consequence but makes me look unprofessional. I've apologised but I'm not sure it has had any effect.

So now I have enough time for 8 hours a night, but I can't get that much sleep as I have a hollow feeling at the pit of my stomach as I churn over my mistake again and again and again.


Watershedd said...

Ms. B., on so little sleep it is difficult to maintain a sense of perspective. So you made a call on an issue and slipped up ... is it any wonder? I think the pat on the back is still in order and the MMDG needs to keep in mind that in his mind. And that feeling in the pit of our stomach will hopefully go away when you get the sleep your exhausted being is no doubt creaming out for. No go sleep ... sleeeeep.

Kirsty said...

MMDG sounds awful, fully aware of the power of that sigh. I wonder if it's worth getting a bit angry about the injustice of the whole situation? Directing that self-flagellation outwards? I don't know, but sleep sounds good, and some kind of reward for yourself for working so bloody hard.