Hopefully you don’t. But if you find them sending you emails chances are one or both of you are spending too much time at work.
The midnight oil makes for a slippery slope, if you don’t mind a little merging of metaphors. At first you think you will just pop online before trundling off to bed just to confirm your appointments for the next day. Then you spot an interesting email from one of your work friends in another time zone, so being the friendly sort of team player you are you read it and offer a quick reply. After all, it never hurts to help a friend in need right? And why make them wait an extra 8 or ten hours for such a simple answer when you are already online and able to reply right now. Right?
Well then it cascades. You realize that you replied before you saw another note in the thread with another update. So you reply to that email as well helping to clarify your hasty “shot from the hip” reply of only moments before.
While contemplating the merits of writing yet another email to clarify some of the muddier points of your first two emails (after all, it is nearly midnight and you brain maybe wasn’t working at peak condition when you wrote them) you see yet another item appear in your inbox. This one from HR. You know you can’t sleep with unopened email from HR lurking out there… just waiting for you. Anything from HR must be either very very bad, or very very good, right? Wrong. It’s very very boring. A reminder that you need to complete your corporate compliance online training by the end of the week.
A quick peek back at the calendar confirms it: Between an out and back to Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday and your usual day full of conference calls on Friday with various team members around the globe, the only time you will have to get the online training done before the end of the week is well… right now.
An hour later the training is done, a note has been sent to HR confirming you completed the training (with only three attempts thanks to your sleep deprived state of mind!) when your inbox refreshes and the colleagues you wrote to before have written back realizing you are online and they can get your input in real time. They have more questions. Quick ones! Really! And maybe it would be simpler to just get on a quick conference call and hash our the issues? Surely it won’t take more than 30 minutes. 45 tops.
Now it’s coming up on 2 a.m. You need to be up at 5 to make it the airport in time for your early flight to Seoul. Congratulations sucker, you’ve just been drawn into the midnight email death trap. Do you stay up and keep working, pulling an all-nighter and hoping to eke out some sleep in seat 57E (middle section, middle seat, just in front of the toilet) en route to Korea? Or do you try to pack in 3 hours of quick rest, and hope to God you make your flight?
Neither. You get on the friggin’ web and update your blog which you’ve neglected for over a week!
And on that note friends, I have an urgent date with my pillow….