If Only I Had Insomnia

by on Feb.27, 2009, under career, health

Tonight is the fifth night that I have been awake until 3:00 AM or later and it is catching up with me.  I wish that I could say that I’ve been up doing something fun.  I wish that I could say that I’ve been up doing something productive and worthwhile.  I would even be content to be able to say that I’ve been up because I wasn’t tired and couldn’t get to sleep or because my kids have kept me up.  No, unfortunately this series of late nights have been work-related and the majority of that work has been waiting  and monitoring.

See, I work for a company that hosts rich-media advertisements.  And my role in this company is (a) to be responsible for the base javascript code that gets delivered with every ad we host and (b) to offer support for issues with how our ads render on live websites (technically this is supposed to be as a second tier, but that suggests that our first tier offers such support) and unfortunately at times this support comes in the form of babysitting ad launches where the ad execution is above and beyond one of our standard ads.  There is a particular client that seems to be responsible for many such launches (I will not say who, but there is fruit involved) and most often these launches are only for a single day on the sites they choose to run on and they usually launch at midnight (relatively speaking – if the site is based on the west coast, I have to wait until 3 AM).  This week there have been such launches every night since Sunday and there will continue to be more of these through this weekend and the following 2 weeks (luckily those weeks will be on someone else’s watch).  Needless to say, it is exhausting in a quite literal sense.

I was about to go into the positives of this experience, but I’m having trouble thinking of any.  The toughest part is that with exception to today, I’ve still been going to work every day and working pretty normal hours.  I took today off to catch up on sleep but couldn’t manage to stay asleep past 10:30 AM.  It takes its toll – I can’t think straight, I feel like I’ve taken in too much caffeine (even though I haven’t really been taking in much of it), and I haven’t had much time for my family.  Oddly, my boss suggested I take today off to rest because he noticed yesterday that I wasn’t nearly as snarky as usual.  I didn’t really have a response for him on that count.

So anyway, it is almost 4 AM and I’m tired.  Only three more nights like this before I can go back to my normal circadian rhythm (and pass the sleeplessness back to my wife as my snoring returns to the bedroom).  It won’t be fun, but it needs to be done.  And for the time being it is my cross to bear.  10 to 15 years ago, this wouldn’t even have phased me.  But at 33, five nights in a row up past 3 – I’m phased … and fading.

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