Office Perils

Office jobs can be perilous.  And I’m not referring to your average paper cut or superficial burn from the coffee urn either.

I’ve been told by my employer that I will become a “continuous improvement facilitator” and have endured two days of a three day, internally run, course to learn this.

I’ll bet you’re wondering about the peril factor right?  No, it’s not the fact that I detest having a career change chosen for me without my consent and subsequently may be tempted to punch someone or that the lunch provided is no doubt a salmonella sandwich.

It’s sleep.

Seriously, if I sit motionless for longer than about 15 minutes I will fall asleep, guaranteed.  Some may think this is a benefit and it totally is if you’re in bed or on the couch.  However, I tend to do this during daylight hours when I’m in a public place and someone just talks at me.

This is no “long blink” either – I’m talking the full head-lolling, open-mouthed, drooling, noddy-smack type sleep.  Once I woke myself up mumbling incoherently, another time I snorted (which I think was actually the start of a snore) and had to pretend I was coughing.  Often I twitch violently as I nod off which I’m sure makes others think I’m about to enter a grand mal seizure.  Thankfully I am not a bed wetter – that could be awkward…

It was more important than usual that I remain awake for this course as several managers and my director were also in attendance – the CEO was even going to make a cameo appearance.

This was a high risk situation people.  I’ve assessed the risks as follows:

Job Security – falling asleep during training does not bode well with senior management.

Etiquette – it is impolite to sleep while someone is imparting knowledge to you.

Injury – sliding off a chair or noddy-smacking the desk with your forehead hurts.

Stress – avoiding inevitable sleep is stressful.  I understand why sleep deprivation is such an effective torture tool.

I’ve tried many tricks to prevent sleep – digging my nails into my hand until I draw blood, drinking a lot of water so I have to make constant visits to the toilet, countless cups of coffee and I’ve even tried the old “I’ll-just-shut-the-eye-closest-to-the-facilitator-and-maybe-they-won’t-notice” trick.

After much failure – I’ve found the answer!


I’ve discovered that if I draw I can remain awake.  Not only that, I actually listen and learn.  Because I’m relaxed, yet focussed on something both tactile and visual, both my mind and eyes are open.

Here’s today’s life job saving creations.

I had three of these before drawing one of the cups.  Liquid personality refers to the fact that I am much more amicable after coffee than before.

My future is bright!  I not only stayed awake and participated but I also got to practice my drawing.

Of course I could have just put these on and had a snooze behind the lenses but I think the head tilt and subsequent dribble might have given me away…

9 thoughts on “Office Perils

  1. I used to pinch myself and “because of my bad back I can not sit for long” scenario, I used to get up and walk around the meeting table or training room and chuckle to myself as to how much I was putting people off. Definitely something in the genes……from the way you have written this piece I felt I was reliving my past. Beautifully written and great drawings. Looking forward to more of both..:)

    • hahaha that’s so hilarious because today I did that too. I got up from my chair and did old-school Merve Hughes style back stretches – like the toilet paper advert! And duly noted the subsequent reaction! What a gene pool eh?

  2. sound like an oddities in the corporate world. the survival guide list is fabulous and funny but i has a lot of wisdom on it. love your hand drawn. thanks for sharing Nonoy Manga

    • Me too – there’s nothing worse than being desperate to sleep but being in a situation where it is inappropriate to – like courses or driving 🙂

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