Holy Toledo, I still have time to hit the bar!
But I won’t. Instead I’ve come back to my room to do a little packing, a little sipping (red wine) and little explaining.
While most of the working world asks “Is it Friday yet?”, for eight years I’ve been working with folks who ask “How much time you got left?” or just “How much longer?” like we were prisoners serving a sentence.
I laughed when I first started here in northern Alberta a year ago. Twenty-one days? That’s nothing! Try ninety days or one hundred and fourteen.
Everything is relative of course. I still remember one of our travel coordinators in Kandahar who respectfully listened as one of our colleagues complained about how long he had left before heading back home for his month off.
“Two more months?” said Waqas. “How terrible for you.”
His tone was the perfect combination of polite and what-the-fuck-do-you-know-about-serving-time-you-privileged-twat. I think he still had seven months to go in his eleven month rotation.
So why do we do it? The quickest and most common answer might be money, but for me it’s more than that. It’s having big chunks of time off to do something. It’s unfortunate that it took me until now – when I only get one week off a month – to have a real goal for my time off. Oh, how I long for the days when I could work for three months and get a whole month off to spend how I please, while earning a whole whack of Aeroplan points in paid travel which always started or terminated with a quick jaunt to Dubai – just long enough to shake out the dust or snow from my shoes.
Somehow making a pit stop at Walmart after landing in Fort Mac just isn’t the same.
Anyway, I do find the twenty-one days here harder. For one thing, no days off. It’s twenty-one days straight, minimum ten hours a day and I almost always work more than that. I could totally do this job for three months in a row if only I could have one day off a week, or at the very least one morning off. I am sooooo looking forward to sleeping in when I get home this time (“I miss you Sleep! I’ll be there soon!”).
And tonight I finished at 8:45. I didn’t get all my work done, not even close. But if I had stayed until midnight it still wouldn’t have gotten done and I’d be toast. Which I pretty much have been my last two weeks here. Between work and the revelation that writing on-line could be a good thing, I’ve had very little downtime. I’m even looking forward to the flight home – and that’s saying something when you’re flying economy on Air Canada, especially when you’ve booked Tango and can’t get your hands on any of those damn status miles! But I digress.
I’m a daydreamer and there are times I’m quite content doing absolutely nothing. Sure sometimes I get restless and want to mingle or maybe stumble into a massage, but my overactive imagination is always there to keep me company. Hmmm… I wonder if it’s time to take a time out?
Still, I’m glad I passed up on the bar. That glass of wine really hit me. I gotta tell ya, that little bed over there within’ arm’s reach looks mighty tempting.
“You come here often?”