It was three hours before I was going to start my shift at 10 p.m. Despite almost no sleep for the last couple of days I felt somewhat decent and alert; but from past experience I knew how quickly that could change.
Sitting at home I felt uneasy knowing there was still three hours before my shift started. I was in a sort of a no man's land. I feared that by the time the clock stroked 10 p.m. I might be debilitated with exhaustion. I also knew that if I decided to take a nap, it may do me more harm than good, especially if I fell into a deep sleep. All I felt I needed was a quick snooze to recharge my batteries. My worry was there was no way I could control the possibility of a deep sleep and if I did fall into this state, when I got up I could be so tired that it would be nearly impossible to go to work. As I thought this over I could feel the tentacles of fatigue taking hold of me.
There was still over two hours until my shift started and I made the decision to take a short nap upright in a chair for 45 minutes. I set my alarm and leaned back in the chair and closed my eyes. The last thing that I saw was my digital clock that read 7:45. Within seconds I had drifted off into the realms of the subconscious. I don't remember what I was dreaming when there was a very loud banging noise and I was jolted out of my sleep.
I looked around, my heart thumping. I swallowed hard and realized that I was somewhat confused. The fringes of my mind were steeped in a fog like substance which narrowed my ability to think. I immediately looked at the clock and it was 7:45. I got up and stumbled around not knowing what had happened. I could not believe that I had slept through the night and it was 7:45 in the morning. I cussed myself knowing I shouldn't have taken a nap. I flopped down in the chair feeling spun out, disoriented and agitated. There was a sense of panic that went along with how I felt; nothing seemed quite right.
I groped around in the darkness of my room looking for the light switch and snapped on the light which intensified my irritation so I flipped it off. Moving to the the window I clutched at my chest as I my heart beat in random sequences. At the window I looked out into the early morning darkness and viewed the traffic moving along.
In my intense confusion I remembered that I was supposed to be at work. I grabbed my cell phone and called my supervisor to explain what had happened. The phone to the store rang three times before it was answered.
I spoke frantically, "I would like to speak to the night supervisor, Davis McPhee."
The lady said, "I'm sorry he does not come in until ten o'clock tonight."
I raised my voice and said, "It's only 7:49 in the morning. He should be there until 10 a.m. Could you please page him. I have slept in for my 10 p.m. shift by almost ten hours. Please put him on the line."
The lady paused and said, "It's not 7:49 in the morning. Its 7:49 in the evening."
I hung up realizing I had not fallen asleep for 12 hours but for less than one minute...