I remember years ago running across this Dilbert cartoon introducing a device called the “Life Suction 2000”. The cartoon revealed how the boss at your corporate workplace has installed a secret machine into the ventilation system that steadily sucks the life out of employees. That image has stood in my mind because something about it accurately described a phenomena that I have experienced in the corporate workplace.
There have been many days I can remember waking up early in the morning, not wanting to head into the office. But once I got going into the hectic pace of the office, I started to feel OK. I can push thru periods of sleepiness in my office and then my adrenaline kicks in and I’d be back up buzzing away at full speed. I’m starting on a workaholic roll and once again it’s becoming so easy to stay later and later at the office. Sometimes I think about stopping back home to eat dinner before pushing to work into the evening, but it seems that a sudden drop in my energy level occurs as soon as I head back home. Often by the time I enter the door I’m ready to just collapse into bed.
At first blush you’d wonder why I am energized at work and exhausted at home. I attribute this phenomena to the Life Suction 2000 machine that our IT department has installed at work. Actually it’s probably upgraded to the Life Suction version 2011 by now. I have not been able to find concrete evidence of it’s existence, but here’s my theory on how it works. This machine infiltrates the air you breath with an undetectable gas scientifically indistinguishable from normal air. This gas acts as a stimulant, boosting your perceived energy level. You start to become capable of levels of intense work and neurotic brain activity far beyond what you could ever achieve at home. The side effects are gradually increasing levels of stress and anxiety. In fact some may say it’s the stress and anxiety that are the stimulant; I mean haven’t you found that if you get really stressed you can’t sleep. Even if you’re sleepy, when you get stressed, you can suddenly become awake as soon as your head hits the pillow. This is sort of some of the aspects of how the Life Suction 2000 machine works.
So let’s say your energy level goes on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most energized and 1 being the most depleted. Say my true energy level at home is a 3 and I’m pretty beat. I enter the zone of the Life Suction 2000. I breath the air and suddenly I feel like I’m at a 8. And as the hours start to fly by I’m still at an 8. But in reality my true “unstimulated” energy level may be dropping to a 2, but I’m completely oblivious to this under the marvels of the Life Suction 2000. When you leave the workplace, the effects take about 15 minutes to start wearing off. So that when you finally get home, you suddenly feel your true energy level and you’re completely exhausted. If you get a decent nights sleep you may get back up to a 3, but no worries the Life Suction 2000 machine will boost you up to feeling like your at much higher energy levels.
So these past couple of weeks I’ve started to find that coffee is now becoming my Life Suction drink. It all started with my findings that my coffee machine makes better tasting coffee the larger the number of cups you brew at a time. I generally only wanted maybe a cup at most, but the best taste only comes thru when you brew 8 cups or more. However, I don’t like the idea of brewing 8 cups, drinking one cup and dumping the rest. So I discovered bottling unused coffee, refrigerating it, and adding milk or cream. Then end result is an excellent tasting iced coffee drink with caffeine effects somehow stronger than when I drank the coffee hot. The drinks generally taste a ton better than all the premium iced coffee drinks you can buy. And today I found that when you bottle one of these drinks while they’re hot, they naturally vacuum seal themselves during the cooling phase. What I mean by this is that when you buy a drink at a store it often mentions that it’s cap should be depressed to show that no one has opened it. Well my home made coffee drinks look like professionally sealed drinks, caps depressed and vacuum sealed! You turn the cap and it pops to let you know it’s never been open … and the drink tastes so good … so good …. so so good. … Oh excuse me I’m getting a bit off track. Pardon my excitement on the topic of making my own iced coffee drinks. It’s the effect of drinking too much coffee.
So the last few days I’d say I’ve been working longer and longer hours, feeling more and more drained and overwhelmed. But what has been pulling me thru more is my great tasting iced coffee drink, my Life Suction drink. The other side effects is that I feel less and less hungry. If I’ve skipped breakfast and lunch and feel exhausted and famished, a good gulp of my coffee drink, and my hunger disappears and I’m awake and alert again. And then when I get back home I can work and work up till midnight, go to sleep with a restless caffeine charged buzz, wake up with a struggle early in the morning, skip breakfast, grab a fresh bottle of chilled coffee drink. I start drinking and my energy level is back up and I’m clicking away at full speed again. I almost don’t feel like doing anything but spending the rest of my waking hours stuck in front of the computer screen doing more work on and on and on. Some part of me does feel exhausted and its only when I’m doing work that I feel alive. It’s a bit scary.
You know I also thought about this Life Suction 2000 machine. In some ways it resembles the concept of the machines in the movie “the Matrix” that use humans as batteries. The machines feed our minds with comforting dreams, and in return we willingly but unknowingly let it suck the energy out of our bodies. … Oh I better be quiet! I think there on to me. Oh oh it’s Mr. Smith … I oh oh oh.. Help help. I’m feeling terri ri ri ri …. just fine! I’m feeling great.
I’m think about curtailing a bit on my coffee drink. But man … it actually tastes so so good. Mmmm mmm mmm. Did I tell how neat it is when the cap pops when I open my bottles? Want to come over and try some of my coffee drink?