As predicted yesterday, today was a long day.
It started for me at 4:30am, when my alarm went off. Surprisingly, I jumped straight out of bed and switched it off - usually I just bury my head under the duvet and try to ignore it. However, this morning the knowledge that I had a lot to do at work today made me get out of bed. Sadly, the knowledge that I only lived five minutes walk from work managed to convince me that I could afford to go back to bed for a few minutes.
This was a dangerous strategy, as I had not snoozed my alarm, I had switched it off. The moment I got back into bed the mattress, pillows and all the bedding switched into "Ultra warm and comfy" mode, and I felt like I was sinking into it's lovely comfortableness. Fortunately for me, the knowledge that I had a lot of work to do today was still there - and was annoyed at being ignored first time round. It unceremoniously poked me in the bladder, which instantly made me feel the need to pee and therefore exit the bed. That was it; I was up.
Breakfast was a watery milky affair: I didn't have enough milk for my three Weetabix, so had to top it up with milk. Although not as enjoyable as Weetabix and just milk, I ate it all the same. I felt like death warmed up - which when you think about it, is probably the worst metaphor going. Generally I believe, that anything "warmed up" is an improvement - soup, hot water bottles, summer to name a few, and as Death is a cold dark place, warming it up sounds like a great idea. Nonetheless, I felt rubbish. I was half awake, and only my core functions were being operated - breathing and movement. Thinking was like the most unpopular soup in a restaurant - it wasn't even on the menu. However, I knew I had to get to work, and so I somehow shuffled out of the door.
The world is a very different place at 5:00am. It was quiet and still - and freezing this morning. A mist hung in the air, and the only sounds were the far off calls of owls and foxes. It could have been badgers, I'm not sure. I didn't pass a single soul on my walk to work, and yet felt strangely uneasy. The quietness, and the dark that enveloped me made me feel........like I was in a big dark envelope in the library, and if you've ever been in one of those, you know how unnerving it can be. When I got to work, the creaking of the metal gates to our yard sounded magnified in the stillness of the early morning. I half expected to hear a voice from the nearby estate shout out and tell me to be quiet, but no-one did.
I got into the office, and made myself a coffee and started my first job of the day - entering 43 orders on the system. All of these orders were for the same customer, but for a different location. The quantities were often the same, but not enough to allow me the luxury of not checking. At first, my fingers struggled to get up to the same speed my brain was at (it's marvellous what a cup of coffee can do), but soon I was in full swing. We had a container due in at 8am, and I knew that I would need to get some pallets into place ready for it, and move other pallets out of the way to make space so I gave myself a deadline of 7am to stop entering orders and start preparing for the container. At 7am checked how many orders I had put on - 22. My heart sank as I realised that I had only done half of what I had hoped. I would just have to finish off later.
The container arrived on time (a nice change), and we rattled through it in three hours. But no sooner had it left, when a lorry arrived to collect 19 pallets for delivery to one of our customers. I had to explain to the lorry driver that the goods were not ready - I had asked for a collection at 4pm, but what do I know? - and that he would have to come back. That suggestion went down like a leaking bouncy castle, and the driver (after a brief conversation with his office) said that he had been told to collect what was ready now. So I then spent the next thirty minutes rushing around moving pallets, wrapping pallets, labelling pallets, and then loaded the lorry. I beginning to flag I hadn't stopped since 5:10 am when I got into work, and it was now 11:45am.
With the lorry dispatched, I stumbled to my office and flopped in my chair. My boss and his partner had gone to lunch, so I was able to have a break. Suddenly, I remembered that I had bought a lottery ticket for the previous nights draw - I did a "Hotpick", and had chosen two numbers. If they came in, I would win £40. Well, paint my face orange and call me a satsuma - they only came in!! I had won £40 - and not a moment too soon. I was running out of cash, and still had two weeks until payday. That put a smile back on my face, and - like a man who has eaten two curries - gave me a second wind.
The rest of my day was busy. I picked another order, helped our QC manager do some QC, did more data entry - although not more order entering, that will be done tomorrow morning - and was generally a busy little bee. Which makes a change, because usually I have the habit of being lazy. But busy is good.
And so here I am, waerily sat at home with aching feet and legs. A nice shower before bed will help me relax, although I won't have any trouble sleeping tonight. And tomorrow is Friday, and that is always a good thing.