We’ve all done it. You’re warm, comfortable, and very asleep in your bed. Your alarm starts to sing. You groggily open your eyes, cack-handedly swing your arm in the general direction of that hideous noise, hoping to stop it on the first pass so you can drift off back to sleep. It takes you a couple of attempts but you finally manage it. The silence is golden, order is restored. You roll over, pull up the covers, wriggle a bit and start to slide. After all, today’s your day off.
No work. No having to get up, drag yourself into the shower, brush your teeth, pull on your work clothes (whatever they may be), and schlep to that place in which you toil. Today, blissfully, wonderfully, and absolutely without doubt, is your day off.
You’re almost positive it is. Almost.
Then, reality sets in. You suddenly realise with horror that in fact, it’s not your day off. It’s ok though, because you only closed your eyes for five minutes right? Wrong. The alarm went off an hour ago! You’re going to be late!
With a volley of swear words, curses and all round profanity you jump from your bed and try to do everything at once. You run around your bedroom frantically gathering your clothes, which get dumped onto the bathroom floor before you hurl yourself into the shower toothbrush in hand.
Hurry up! Get a move on!
In the shower it doesn’t get any better. You fumble, drop things, soap in yours eyes? Fight through it. Move! Scalded, half blinded and with a mouth full of soap flavoured toothpaste you only just about manage to get out of the shower without doing yourself a mischief.
After you’ve found the towels, dried yourself off (sort of) and finished cleaning your teeth, you need a second to get over the shock of seeing what’s looking back at you in the mirror before reaching for the hairbrush or comb. After a bit of faffing about and some more swearing your throw the brush or come away and turn to the pile of clothes on the floor with a “that’ll do” snort and start to get dressed.
By dressed I mean your clothes are at least on your body, whether they’re on the correct way around isn’t something you concern yourself with at this point.
Come on! Get a shake on!
Next order of business is coffee or tea. Everyones morning routine differs at this point. For the smokers, it’s kettle on, fags out, light your first happy moment of the day. For the non-smokers it might be something else. Whatever your routine is you’re doing it, and you’re doing it fast.
Ok, smokers have had their fag, non-smokers have done their thing. Kettle’s boiled, so you make a cup of whatever it is you have. And burn the gob (mouth – for anyone outside of Liverpool) off yourself as your try to drink it in one gulp. Oh happy times! Today’s going to be great! You can feel it already.
Right, so scalded, half blinded, severely irritated, with no feeling in your tongue or lips, you give yourself a quick look in the mirror and instantly wish you hadn’t. Final adjustments done it’s time to go.
You’ve missed your bus, the traffic is terrible, the train is packed to bursting. Now you’re really starting to wish it was your day off.
So after all this you make it in to work. Just about. If you just slip in quietly and start no one’ll notice. Until the tool who thinks he’s being clever shouts:
“Oh, good afternoon, what time d’you call this?”
Now, hey, listen, calm down. We all have to resist the urge to stab this gobshite, every workplace has one, so you’re not alone.
But that’s it. You’re late. Youre day is now completely out of sync. And it’s going to feel like you’re playing catch up all day. You don’t fully wake up and spend the day in a kind of haze. You’re easily irritated, and short tempered, wishing they’d all just leave you alone. It’s not going to get any better. It never does. So all you can do is try and get through the day.
Most of this happened to me this week. I’ve had a fairly busy one, with work, setting up my website, and one or two other things I have going on at the moment. We all get mixed up from time to time. There’s nothing worse than being late though.
The walk of shame into your workplace, looking, quite literally, like you’ve just fallen out of bed, carrying a ‘not quite right’ feeling in your gut. You’ve had no time to prepare. No chance to psyche yourself up for the day ahead. Your routine disappeared and you’re just in a bad mood. Why?
Because you thought you had a day off!
Are you in tomorrow? Better check.
Dave C. Bannerman.