My week at work was one that I wanted to forget. It wasn't that I had logged heavy hours, it was because the stress levels were extreme due to an owner that was under investigation by the police for abusing his employees. The owner responded to the police call by dropping the hammer on all of his managers to vent his stress, but what he really needed was a year in anger management. The fact that he was so high stress and unpredictable made the work environment toxic and reduced productivity dramatically because people did not want to come to work and started to call in sick.
For me, the stress at work caused my mind to race even when I got home. I couldn't relax which caused further anxiety. When it came time to go to sleep I knew it was going to be an impossible situation. Most several nights I would merely toss and turn and constantly look at the clock and watch the seconds tick by knowing I wasn't going to be able to get to sleep.
After several days I was operating with literally no shuteye, only catching the odd nod offs in my car or on my breaks at work. During this period I ate only garbage food and lived off 12 cups of coffee a day. My owner noticed that I was in rough shape even though I tried to hide it by attempting to look alive when he was around but nothing could conceal my bloodshot eyes and puffy face. I looked like I had gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson.
He started blasting me in the office and said that I had to shape up or he was going to show me the door. He asked me if I had a drinking problem and then started the rumor that I was an alcoholic. What a jerk. He was the only owner I ever worked with that started rumors about his own employees.
By the end of the first week of no sleep I knew I was on death's door. I had a hollow feeling in my chest. My heartrate was up twenty beats per minute and I felt dizzy all the time.
I remember for many days straight I would lay down trying to get to sleep and all I could hear was my heart pounding in my ears. I would try to sleep in a chair sitting upright so my ears were not against anything and that way I wouldn't hear the blood pounding in my ears. This I tried for a couple of nights but I found it impossible to sleep upright in the chair.
I went back to laying down and turned on the t.v. loudly to drown out the ear pounding. Now, when I laid down, for whatever reason, I would hold my breath as I was trying to get to sleep, causing my heart to beat wildly in rapid bursts which scared the hell out of me. Other times my upper body would start to vibrate in a series of violent mini tremors. I didn't know what the hell was going on with me. At times I thought I was just going to die in my sleep. One of the strangest sensations I had during this period was when my heart felt extremely itchy but I could not scratch it, which drove me nuts. There were other symptoms I had during this period of sleep deprivation that were so strange and bizarre that I couldn't find them in any medical books. I thought about going to a doctor to tell him about these symptoms but I was worried that if I told him he might put in the rubber room.
Besides the physical sensations I was experiencing I also had otherworldly thoughts that were so backwards that I could not relate to anyone because no words could describe their sheer madness.
I couldn't take it anymore and decided to check myself into a mental institute. I remembered lying down on my bed and staring at the ceiling, wondering what the future held. Then there was a knock on my door. I opened up and a guard said, "I would like to introduce you to your new roommate."
My owner from work appeared in the doorway...