An Evening with Chris

June 24th, 2007

10.30pm
I’ve now been at work for an hour. Because it was very wet outside I took a bus and a tube instead of just getting the train, because while it takes longer, there’s less walking and less places to get soaked on the way. On arriving, I went to sign in (they like to know who has made it in to a nightshift), and discovered that because someone has called in sick, we have a dreaded ‘collapsed grid’. This means that the wastrel who didn’t make it in has had their various commitments farmed out to everyone else, meaning that my night just got a bit busier.

To get into the overnight time zone, I stayed up last night (after a full day at work) until 5am, then went to bed. I woke up this afternoon at 1.40pm, which isn’t bad for a first day. After the first one I sleep well in daytime, but the first one is always dodgy. On one awful occasion I woke up at 11am and couldn’t get back to sleep again, even though I knew that once I got up I wouldn’t be in bed until 7am the next day. So this was quite good. Right now I’m already feeling quite tired. No matter how much sleep you get, your body still knows that it is technically bedtime. This does not bode well for the fact that I still have 11 hours 30 minutes at work.

11.30pm
In the last hour, someone came in and asked me where to find a certain department. I told him. He went there. Apart from this, I have done nothing of any value. I have just played five games of Solitaire and in accordance with Office tradition, I closed it with one king left to put on the pile so I never won. I am slightly more tired than an hour ago.

01.30am
It’s been a bit busy for the last hour, and for the first time since 9.30 I can now leave the floor. I have to go do something in another building for the next hour or so, and then I’m free to eat. I am now feeling really quite tired. I am hoping that the 17 million people in India who are expecting to hear an informative breakfast show are not let down by my lack of alertness.

03.15am
I’ve just had a 45 minute break that wasn’t. Half-way through my lunch, or whatever the hell a hot savoury meal eaten at 3am is called, the phone rings and it’s an emergency call for someone to go help. So I drop everything and run over to another building, press one button to fix something, and return to my cold food with about three minutes left to my next job. I won’t have more than 15 minutes off now until 6am so it goes in the bin.

04.00am
Finished that job. Feeling more awake now, partly because I’m passing through the other side of tired, but mainly because of adrenaline I think. I have a big, important, scary job now dealing with a flagship programme that I’ve only done once before, the reason being it isn’t in my department. Off I go into the breach.

05.10am
Finished that one too. Hate it. Most was fine, then there was a change of producer with two minutes to go before someone came in to replace me, and the new one wasn’t helpful at all. As a result I made a major screw-up and he flew off the handle. Luckily he only had 30 seconds in which to do it before I was out of the door. His threats to take it up with my manager were rather futile as he didn’t know who I was or what department I work for. I win! Ha!

06.30am
Done all my proper jobs for the night. Now I have three and a half hours of sitting here, “supervising” something that has been happening flawlessly for a long time and doesn’t need supervising. I have just played five games of Solitaire again, and closed it before I won the last one. I will return to it in about five minutes.

I am now feeling quite listless and a bit odd. Usually I am on the train home by now and would be in bed within the next half hour. If I turn my head too quickly, there’s a bit of a motion blur, and while I was playing Solitaire, someone spoke at the other end of the room and it sounded like some sort of weird echo movie effect. I don’t know how to describe it because my slender grip on reality is becoming more endangered by the second.

A few minutes ago I had a small tangerine and a Tunnock’s caramel wafer bar. Later I plan to have a cooked breakfast from the canteen, which has been on offer and taunting me since 2am, but I’m choosing to wait until after 8am. This is for two reasons. First, it’s something to look forward to. Second, if I eat too early I won’t be able to sleep when I get home because I’ll be too hungry.

07.10am
Just lost eight games of Solitaire and gave up, for now. Tidied up the studios around where I’m sitting. All now have neatly coiled headphone cables and lights turned off. The cleaner is hoovering. Had always wondered when they did it, and it turns out that it’s at about 7am. It’s too noisy and has been going on for too long.

07.55am
About half an hour ago I spent five minutes using the swanky colour photocopiers up here to make two identical copies of the Mr Smith book. These will be in the post when I can remember how to write. I’m quite worried by the fact that I can’t remember what I’ve been doing for the last half hour, though I think I went out into the car park for some fresh air at one point. Soon I will go get some breakfast.

08.35am
Just finished eating breakfast while watching BBC News 24. I had a sausage, a slice of fried bread, two hash browns, mushrooms, egg and beans, with a cup of tea. This combination was calculated to make the meal as cheap as possible. It was made even cheaper by the fact that my fried egg became thoroughly doused in beans, and I forgot to mention it at the till. This saved me 19p.

Fresh air and a fry-up have made me much more awake and alert again. It’s like 5.45am all over again. Less than 90 minutes to go.

09.00am
I’ve spent the last half hour playing Solitaire and my eyesight has gone fuzzy because I think I’ve been staring at the screen for about 20 minutes solid without realising it. I only won one game in that time. I’ve finished my cup of tea and it’s leaving a nasty taste in my mouth. Over the course of the next hour I plan to correct this, and also search the internet to find out which mode of transport will get me back to my bed the fastest.

09.20am
I’ve decided that, like finishing a game of Solitaire by exiting just before I win, I should leave here about five minutes before I’m due to finish.

The woman presenting on News 24 at the moment has a wonky face. She speaks out of one side of her mouth and one eye is at a different angle to the other. I find this disappointing as, when I first turned the TV on, she wasn’t speaking and looked perfectly acceptable. Now I find her visually offensive and find myself staring when she is on the screen with a sort of morbid curiosity.

Epilogue
It’s now 7.10pm on Monday. This morning, someone came in to take over from me at about 9.45 and I left a few minutes later, meaning I couldn’t write my planned final installment here. I got to bed at 11am. I woke up again at 5.30pm, and couldn’t get back to sleep, meaning I had less than seven hours’ sleep after my 22 hour day yesterday. And tonight I start work again at 9.30pm! Hooray!

Luckily I finish at 5.30am. Tomorrow morning I will be doing a lot of sleeping.

Entry Filed under: Chris,Tragic,What I Did Today

7 Comments

  • 1. Ian Mac Mac Mac Mac McIver  |  June 25th, 2007 at 07:09

    Do you ever get the feeling Marshall hates certain parts of his job?

  • 2. Chris  |  June 25th, 2007 at 07:13

    Only certain parts. A lot of it I enjoy. But tonight is too long.

    Keep checking back for updates… 😀

  • 3. Kevil  |  June 25th, 2007 at 13:42

    Yous two should have better thing to do with yourselves at 7:09 and 7:13 respectively. I for one was in bed. Dreaming about a squirrel.

    Chis my dear fellow you both worry and amaze me. And I shall not explain.

    I am speaking in short sentances. Yes. Bye.

  • 4. Ian Mac Mac Mac Mac McIver  |  June 26th, 2007 at 07:36

    Yes, I should have been doing something more interesting at such an early time in the morning. Unfortunately I couldn’t and therefore I didn’t. Look at my extenuating circumstances that prevent me from writing short sentences like Kevin although if I pertain to this line of thought it does mean I am adding unnecessary words, and probably spelling them incorrectly, just to continue such a farcical charade.

    Loins!

  • 5. Chris  |  June 26th, 2007 at 18:19

    I’m glad I bring about such beautiful emotions in you Mr Hill sir.

    The epi-epilogue to the above story is that last night’s shift was even worse. It was only of regulation length, but due to dramatic and annoying circumstances we were two people down and had extra emergency programming to cover. So that’s more work with less people.

    I’m hoping that tonight will be uneventful and then I can return to normal life tomorrow…

  • 6. Big Red Chicken  |  June 27th, 2007 at 07:19

    Or me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 7. Ian Mac Mac Mac Mac McIver  |  June 28th, 2007 at 16:55

    You see you, right, if I were you I wouldn’t wanna know you.


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