January 9, 2003

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if you fell asleep at work? That's not even a hypothetical question for me, as I have to admit it's happened a couple times. In my defense, it was usually after I spent more than 24-hours straight at the office trying to get an issue completed. Fortunately for me I never made the newspaper, until now. But some poor sap out in Seattle was one of the lead stories on all of the biggest television news stations after he fell asleep on the job.

Of course this guys little nap on the job brought a major airport to a standstill. The baggage screener at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was found asleep on the job and may have dozed off for as much as a half hour. The result was a two-hour security blitz at the airport resulting in delays for dozens of flights to and from the airport while bomb sniffing dogs and other top security measurers were taken to search the facility to make sure nothing had sneaked past the sleeping security guard.

Fortunately for us, security is not that tight at the Memphis Democrat. So if Wanda dozed off over her computer for a few seconds (we're not sure but we think she may actually sleep for an hour or two after she puts in her 120-hour work week) we would not have to evacuate the office and bring in Lake to sniff out any explosives. I always wondered why there was a bell on our entrance door, but now that alarm-clock-like ring-a-ling-ding makes perfect sense. Besides that our phone rings every other minute so our naps are pretty limited.

Still even the most dedicated worker might find himself challenged by drooping eyelids. I guess a smart boss would consider installing a nap period. Hey it worked in kindergarten so why not at the office? Experts have indicated that a small power nap actually can boost an individual's performance and output.

I suspect there were plenty of other folks at the Seattle Airport that wished they had simply stayed in bed that faithful day and never went into work. They say when it rains, it pours (and it does rain a lot in Seattle) because later that day the airport began receiving bomb threats which once again brought the traffic to a standstill. Makes you wonder if someone in Seattle was not too anxious to have a certain person return home from the holidays. Maybe that guy was enjoying the time at home without his wife and kids and thought he would like to have just one more day of peace and quiet. Or maybe it was simply a security guard that wanted a little more naptime.

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