… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Stages of exhaustion

As I was shuffling into work yesterday morning doing my best walking zombie impression (Brains, Brains…), I was thinking about how many people come to work everyday in various stages of exhaustion. Stress, anxiety, kids, second jobs, health problems; You name it, and probably at least one employee’s sleep is being negatively impacted by it. It seems that more and more people these days operate on deficient sleep as their norm. And that sucks. Personally, I’d sleep like a cat given the opportunity and can be pretty worthless at work when I haven’t been sleeping. I can’t imagine operating like that normally. This is why I think every company should have nap rooms.

But until my world domination is complete and I can dictate mandatory 1 hour nap breaks after lunch, here is how I categorize the stages of exhaustion so that you know how far gone you actually are. Not that it’s based on recent personal experience or anything. Nope, not at all. (Brains….)

Stage One: Sleepy
You failed to get a full 8 hours, but you are only a good nap or a diet coke away from being back on your game. *Yawn* “I guess I shouldn’t have stayed up late to watch those South Park re-runs”

Stage Two: Brain functions start slowing down
At this stage, you start noticing problems performing your job at your normal pace. Simple things get harder and creativity doesn’t come as easily. “Man, this spreadsheet seems a lot harder to read than it did yesterday, why does Math have to be this hard?”

Stage Three: Emotional & grumpy
In this stage, you start reacting to things more emotionally than normal. Little mistakes by your co-workers become personal insults and it becomes a struggle to remain professional. “Gah, why are these managers so hard to deal with? This place sucks, everything sucks, and I need a brownie.”

Stage Four: Loopy
This is the stage of exhaustion where you can become funny, if only in your own head, because you are out of it and you’re more likely to do something foolish. “You know what would be a great idea? Doing a blog post about exhaustion! It’ll be hilarious!”

Stage Five: Robot
This is when all emotional and mental responsiveness shuts down, no affect is displayed, and your actions become mechanical. “Why does Shauna look so pissed off? She hasn’t smiled or giggled all day. It’s just creepy man…”

Stage Six: Passing out
At some point, your body just gives up and will be denied no longer. “You know, I should probably lie down…” (falls asleep standing with eyes open)

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