Wind up: Summer

Summer’s here.  I think. Actually I have no clue and I no longer care. My summer holidays were cancelled and I am on a business trip. My boss made it clear to me that being away is expensive for the company so make sure to work hard while you’re away. I have planned my trip carefully. Two company visits per day and a lot of driving in between. And a backup plan, just in case. After my 12-hour days I stay in my hotel room checking emails and summarizing the day. I am no longer hungry. Besides, who wants to have dinner alone? I stay up late and get up early for the last preparations. Luckily my body adjusted to 4 hours of sleep long ago.

Final day, final visit. After the work is done I am talking to the CEO. We haven’t met in a few months and she looks at me carefully.

“How are you doing?” she asks.

I look surprised. That did not sound like courtesy.

“I’m fine, thanks”, I reply. “Lots to do.”

“You look kind of beaten. Sure you’re not working too much?”

I laugh. Me beaten? No, perhaps a bit tired.

“Well, I’ve had a couple of tough days, nothing serious. But thanks for your concern.”

She is not letting it pass.

“You need to take care of yourself or else… Well, I’ve been there and I can recognize a warning sign when I see one. “

I listen. I say thank you. I leave. There is nothing wrong with me. I can do anything.

My flight home is cancelled. Next one is in five hours. I call my boss to share the news. She sounds irritated, like I’m enjoying getting home in the middle of the night. “Make sure you use the time efficiently.” I sigh, but I find an empty corner and open up my laptop. I’m efficient.

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