All Day, All Night
By Jimgris-Oracle on Feb 19, 2009
I'm looking forward to taking tomorrow off and not working on Sunday.
On Saturday, I'll be at the Tokyo Open Source Conference for half a day
or so, but that's not work. That will be fun. I'll take pictures.
These past two weeks have been brutal. Multiple events late at night all over Tokyo followed by meetings with the guys in California right up till 4:30 a.m. on far too many occasions. And then up early many mornings as well. If you haven't worked internationally with direct ties to a country piles of hours away, this experience is difficult to describe. It's sort of like having a constant jet lag and never being able to work on your local time zone even though that's where you live (or you think you live). You know, you don't fly for many months, and then you take an 18 hour flight (in 3rd class, of course) to someplace far away. How do you feel when you arrive? Jet lag. Now, do that every single week for three years in environment where communication is challenging at best. It's not exactly like traveling frequently, which is easier in some respects and harder in others, but the jet lag feeling is identical. You get used to it to a certain degree, but every now and then you cross way over the line. The last two weeks have been like that.
Someone once told me that I should "go right to sleep" after my last call. But that's not realistic. It takes time to wind down. I mean, how many times do you go home after work and then just jump into bed and fall asleep? You don't. When I finish a 2:30 a.m call or a 4:30 a.m. call İ'm all wound up and pacing all over the place. Heck, some of these calls are pretty stressful in that you have to brief large numbers of people (you're not just listening quietly in bed, in other words), and you have to be on your toes. Literally. Then, after a call, since everyone's around, you may grab someone for a quick one-on-one via phone to follow up. Engaging in real time is critically important, I can't stress that enough. But before you know it, the sun is rising and the birds are singing and all that crap. It's enough to drive you insane. I'm figuring out little tricks to work around this, and I'm developing some skills that will come in extremely handy some day. Oh, well. We all have challenges, right?
But what's cool on this
schedule is that I can take out the garbage way before anyone else
(even breaking the rules and no one notices!). And in Japan, that's cool because there are all sorts of interesting rules involving