I think it's fair to say that I'm not particularly career orientated. I often work long hours and I like to do as good a job as I possibly can, but it's just a job and I certainly don't live to work. I do not define myself by how well I am doing at work.
After yesterday though, perhaps that's just as well.
Let me explain: for the last few months, I have been working on multi-billion pound merger. As you might imagine, it has been fraught with politics and emotion and and has often been really heavy going. Yesterday, I was invited down to take part in a big presentation to the bigwigs at the company's executive offices in Central London. My slot was fairly early in the day and went reasonably well, but I then had to spend the rest of the day sat patiently at the side of the room, listening to the other presentations - all of which I had heard before - and by about 2pm I was nodding off in my seat.
To be honest, I was tired before we even started. To get down to London in time for the 09:30 start, I had set the alarm for something like 05:15 and caught an early train. Perhaps going to the pub quiz the night before hadn't been the best idea, but the nervous excitement of the presentation and a few cups of coffee had kept me going nicely for a while... but after a break for lunch, the presentations resumed and I suddenly found it impossible to keep my eyes open. I tried to snap myself out of it, but every couple of minutes I could feel my head tipping forwards and my eyes shutting again. I felt helpless. I needed some fresh air, but the room appeared to be hermetically sealed; I needed some coffee, but the presentation on the supply chain was in full flow. I was trapped. I stopped listening and focused all my attention on keeping myself awake.
The feeling lasted for about ten minutes and then passed and I was fine again. The (no doubt fascinating) supply chain presentation finished and I was able to leave the room, splash some water on my face, get some coffee and walk around for a few minutes before the next presenter was up. As far as I could tell, I hadn't actually fallen asleep, but for a while there I had really been struggling. All I could do was hope that no one had noticed.
I looked across the room as I sat down and caught Hannah's eye. She smiled at me, nudged the guy sitting next to her and then mouthed "Are you awake now?" at me across the room.
I did what anyone else in my situation would have done: I scowled back at her and - much to her amusement - mouthed "Fuck off" across the room.
Way to get ahead, ST.
Me and my brilliant career, eh?
Alcohol-Free Beers (Part Twenty-Three)
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