How You Feel When You Might Fall Asleep At Work

Your eyes really hurt.

You feel both jittery and sluggish at the same time. Coffee has absolutely made this situation worse. You’re way beyond that 2:30 feeling that 5 Hour Energy magically cures for teenage ravers/interns, ex-cokehead businessmen and child-ignoring housewives.

You’re in big trouble because you’re probably going to fall asleep at work.

Your head starts drooping and the small shaded space under your eyes feels like it’s darkening with sleepiness. You picture a cartoon coyote using quivering toothpicks to keep his flapping eyelids open. Is that possible? Could you use toothpicks to hold your eyes open? Would it hurt? Would the toothpicks break? Would splinters go in to your eyeballs? Gross.

You are so, so tired. Your head spins like you’re on the Dumbo ride at Walt Disney World. Up and down. Around and around. The ceiling lights move like a drinking scene in a movie set at a 1970s disco.

You’re at your desk, but then suddenly you’re at the vending machine. How did you get there? Did you float? Oh. Is there a tiny unicorn for sale in the vending machine?! It’s waving at you from E7. Its tail is multi-colored streamers. Its hooves are Oreo cookies. No, wait. You’re blinking. Your eyes were closed. How long have your eyes been closed? Where did that unicorn/cookie go? A unicookie. Ha. Oh, too woozy for laughter.

Go sit back down. You can’t even walk a straight line. Your knees just buckled. Sit down and at least look like you’re doing some work. Move your fingers. Type. Type type type type. Don’t close your eyes. Don’t close your eyes. Don’t close your… Oh my god, did the lights just go out?

For real, was there a power outage? Lift your head up out of your cubicle like it’s the ocean and your head is a periscope. Is anyone else looking around? Everyone’s still staring at their computers? Oh god, so there was no power outage then?

Stare straight ahead. Just stare straight ahead and don’t blink.

Could you sleep in the bathroom? What if you just sat on the toilet and leaned your head against the side and closed your eyes for a minute? You could stay sitting up. Horses do it. You’re better than some horse! You can eat cheesecake and wear a sweater and go to the movies. That’s more than any horse has ever done! You have thumbs and a degree from a real life college, for Pete’s sake. Horses don’t have either of those!

Unless… Did Mr. Ed ever go to college? Did he ever work in an office? What if Mr. Ed was going to fall asleep at work but then he went into the bathroom and leaned his snarling head against the little tampon box and took a nap? No one would notice, right? Because he’s a horse?

Whoa! Sit up! Your head was just down! Your head was in your arms at your desk! I don’t think, “I was just remembering that awesome game from kindergarten called Heads Up 7 Up! Ha ha ha ha ha. Remember that game?” is going to work as an excuse when your screechy boss catches you. You’ve got your keyboard imprinted on your forehead and drool stringing down your mouth. Was that part of Heads Up 7 Up too, you barely-functioning baby?

What can you do? You’re just going to fall asleep, that’s all. There’s nothing else to do. You’re a human. You have human needs like sleep and crossword puzzles and Netflix. No one can fault you for this! This is beyond fault! Are they going to fire you just for being a person? No! This is America! You’ll sue them for disruption of a heightened anabolic state!

It just hurts to stay awake at this point. Christ, you should have your shit together by now. You should go home after work and cook (Yes! Cook!) a healthy dinner and have one glass of classy-ass wine and read that book that’s covered in cobwebs on your night stand and go to sleep at a decent hour like 10 or some bullshit.

Today is a wake-up call in the most ironic sense.

This is the last time you’re going to be this tired at work, you promise yourself.

The vending machine unicorn is your only witness. TC mark

image – Jun Araneta

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.wilfordlauren.tumblr.com Lauren Wilford

    Good-natured, hilarious, and oh-too-real. Gaby Dunn, you are my new favorite, unicorns and all. 

  • saritapatrice

    Love this! I went through a similar train-of-thought at a meeting very recently. Kudos!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Moore/677652869 Jeffrey Moore

    You question how you managed to fall asleep, while sitting up reading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9383035 Scott Muska

    “You’re better than some horse! You can eat cheesecake and wear a
    sweater and go to the movies. That’s more than any horse has ever done!”

    This was hilarious.

  • http://dirtyyoungmen.wordpress.com Maxwell Chance

    I was falling asleep at work so I came to TC and read this article. I am awake! I AM AWAKE!

  • Dee

    pretty sure i could go to sleep at work right now and no one would notice. serious lack of custys

  • guest

    time to quit your job.

    • Anonymous

      Way ahead of you, dude.

  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    you can sleep in the bathroom but you need to wedge your feet and head or you will slip off very slowly

  • http://twitter.com/MissKimball misskimball

    you can sleep in the bathroom but you need to wedge your feet and head or you will slip off very slowly

  • Rachel Butters Scotch

    This is exactly what I am feeling right now. I could fall asleep at work, but the anxiety of getting caught always keeps me awake. 

  • Guest

    Have you been watching me at work?!

  • Devin

    I have definitely gone to the bathroom (luckily a private bathroom, without stalls) and fallen asleep on the floor while at work. I set my phone alarm and woke up ten minutes later only slightly more alive. When I went back into the office, nothing had changed…everyone was still online shopping, gchatting, and silently planning their escape. Fuck work.

  • mp90909

    During the summer i would take a poop break around 2pm. I’d pinch a few logs then fall asleep on the toilet for ten minutes.

  • http://distractionetc.blogspot.com Jennifer Schaffer

    classy-ass wine.  As always, a pleasure to read, Ms. Dunn.

  • hoyce

    “You should go home after work and cook (Yes! Cook!) a healthy dinner and have one glass of classy-ass wine and read that book that’s covered in cobwebs on your night stand and go to sleep at a decent hour like 10 or some bullshit.”

    lololololol

  • http://twitter.com/MelanieAvalon Melanie Avalon

    I still want to know if the “looking down” method actually works. Like, “I’m not asleep I’m just looking down!” experiments should be conducted…..

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