There are many reasons why someone might fall asleep at work. A late night, a change in medication, the fact that their job is really, really boring. Whatever the reason, it will sometimes be impossible to keep your eyes open and this could lead to some awkwardness or disciplinary action or accidentally leaving your watch in the lower intestine if the man you were performing surgery on. At the very least someone will draw a penis on your cheek.
I know from experience just how fraught with risk falling asleep at work can be. When I started my current job, I found that it was a real struggle to stay awake and concentrate. I would be staring at the computer screen, fighting to keep my eyelids open and before I knew it I would be head butting the desk or trying to explain to my line manager that those snore-like sounds he may have heard coming from my corner was in fact my hayfever playing up again.
I’m better now. Turns out the Doctor was wrong to increase the dosage of my medication. And I quote:
DOCTOR: So you’re falling asleep? Not to worry, I’ll just halve your dosage again.
ADAM: Shouldn’t you have told me that might happen? What if I was doing something important, like driving an ambulance or something?
DOCTOR: Were you driving an ambulance?
DOCTOR: Then what are you complaining about?
I love the NHS, don’t you?
Anyway, this probably doesn’t solve the problem of you falling asleep at work. And while I cannot really do anything to help you stop drifting off, I can share with you a few hints and tricks that will help you avoid being caught napping.
1. Trust the nod. When you feel your head go down, snap it up back up as quickly as you can. Whiplash is a small price to pay to look like you are at least trying to pay attention.
2. Put some paperwork on your desk in front of you. Eyes shut? No! They are just squinting at all the vitally important documents you have spread in front of you. For reals!
3. Try to time it so that you sleep while your boss is at lunch. If you can’t, then drop a pen under the desk and pretend that’s why you spent so long down there.
4. Wear sunglasses. Even if you are not tired. Sunglasses are cool.
5. Draw attention away from yourself by making your coworkers look bad. If you start dropping off, turn to the person next to you and say as loud as you can “We’ll, I think that is incredibly homophobic!” The line manager and the coworker disappears for twenty minutes for “intervention talks” and you get a window to get some shut eye.