Thursday, August 13, 2009

One more thing

Another thing which I cannot get used to about corporate life is the feeling that you are on the clock. No, I'm not really on the clock. No one is timing my trips to the bathroom. No one is making sure I am there N hours a day. No one is making sure of anything. Yet, the feeling persists.

The primary effect this has on me is the post-lunch nap. Sometimes, I get painfully, unbelievably sleepy at lunch. As I've blogged before, I can usually alleviate this problem in about 10 minutes with a desk nap. It's all I need - to put my head down for 10 minutes and when I wake up again, I am generally really refreshed and ready to go.

Except that I feel certain that it would be frowned upon for me to do that. Even though no one cared in grad school.

The frustrating thing is, I *know* that if I just did it, I would be much more productive, but instead, I spend 45 minutes to an hour, just suffering and trying to fight it out. Staring at computer screens or pages and blinking, trying hard to almost fall asleep but not. I try some caffeine, but not too much because I don't want to be kept up at night, and chances are by the time the caffeine kicks in, I'll have slipped out of the danger zone anyway. I literally lose an hour-ish a day in this zombie-zone, and it drives me crazy.

I'm not sure if I should bring this up to anyone/my boss and just say, "look. I need a 10 minute snooze, and I promise you I'll be better for it."

What do you guys think? I think it really depends on the work environment, and I'm not sure how mine would take this.

10 comments:

Ambivalent Academic said...

Could you find somewhere quiet (where fewer people are likely to see you) that is not your desk and take your nap while "still on your lunch break"? Alternatively would a 10-minute postprandial walk outside help? Sometimes fresh air kicks the sleepies for me.

Amanda@Lady Scientist said...

I am jealous of your power napping abilities. I cannot do it.

Anyhow, I second AA. That's the only way I can get over my food coma. I go for a walk somewhere (usually to the library), even if it isn't outside, just the moving around bit can help me get out of the sleepy zone.

Mrs. Chemist said...

When I had a desk job I used to keep a blanket in my desk drawer, and I'd crawl under my desk (granted I had an office with a door too) and nap for the last 10 minutes of my lunch break. In the absence of an office I like AA's suggestion...find a nice quiet secluded place.
Good luck!

Nicky said...

Totally depends on work environment. I've worked places where many people took a short nap on their office floor in the afternoon, and I've worked places where that would be completely frowned on. If you're new on the job, I would wait a bit until (a) you have a better sense of how it would be viewed; and (b) people know you better, so they're less likely to judge you for napping, if they do think it's weird. In the mean time, the post-lunch walk is an excellent idea.

The R said...

It's well proven that an afternoon sleep boost business productivity. Some companies have invested in quiet sleep zones for their staff. Do a web search and suggest this to your company senior management. Don't forget to mention that (a) other businesses have recognised this fact (b) power naps boost profits ! ;)

Candid Engineer said...

Take your nap! Are there lounges or somewhere that you can snooze for the last 10 minutes of your lunch? If it's during your lunch break, I can't see how anyone could complain.

Skydaemon said...

The image to keep in mind is a picture of you drooling on yourself in the workplace and circulated via email, possibly with humorous caption attached. It might be meant as a joke and not serious, but try living it down.

Jazinator said...

I take my lunch way later than everyone else so I don't get that post-lunch drain. Instead of taking it at noon I usually take mine about 2:30, and have a little to eat during the day. This also releaves my post-lunch, I don't care about this anymore attitude.

The lab pixie said...

Oh I am so screwed in industry. I love nothing more than putting my head down on my desk when I feel the need, or hiding in the instrument room. I have not heard single friend in industry here tell me that they get a quick snooze. I guess I shall have to be the instigator!

Good luck Phizz!

PhizzleDizzle said...

i just found out a coworker takes naps at his desk. he's never mentioned it to the boss, but he does it. so maybe i'm good to do it too! :)