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bzaks1424

A cup of coffee would kill me....

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So I've not always been the most active and healthy person as I am now, but I've blogged about that before.

So I'm going to step out in front and say that Good (or at least Dedicated) Computer Programmers live like rockstars. Much in the same sense that we stay up late, get up early, abuse our bodies with massive amounts of energy enhancing drugs, and have no business being classified with "normal" people.

Working on a high profile project for my company, many of us were putting in between 90-100 hours per week. 6-7 day work weeks were not abnormal and sleep was a luxury not afforded to many of us. The glorious thing about this is we're all salaried.

During that time, I found I could survive on 4 low carb monsters a day. I wouldn't even need to eat. I did drop a LOT of weight, and I got so used to the constant caffeine buzz I wouldn't even be shaky anymore. I could sleep 2-3 hours, shower and be ready to roll again the minute I got into work.

I remember one night going home for Christmas, I drank at least 10-12 Red Bulls on my way back from Chicago to Iowa. I was up for 2.5 days straight and then ended up sleeping for about 36 straight hours.

On New Years Day, I had already quit the monster/red bull rush. I would have the occasional rum and coke, but that was it. Apparently the damage had already been done. I was drinking my rum and coke - watching the parade with my friends and suddenly, my heart started fluttering like crazy. After about a half hour it chilled.

This continued for about a week, until I finally quit drinking both alcohol and caffeine. I went to see a doctor, and we found out I had suffered from a caffeine poisoning, and was pretty much going to be "allergic" to caffeine for the rest of my life.

Occasionally - because I obviously am stupid - I like to test the waters and see if I can eat that chocolate bar, or sip on that coffee. As expected it almost never goes well. I usually have to lay down and let my heart rate return back to normal before I can do normal things like walk around.

So - LFMF (Learn From My Fail) as the internet has so wonderfully put it these days. Caffeine may be a lifesaver some mornings, but it can lead to some seriously miserable nights.

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Comments

  1. pwb's Avatar
    Damn. I thought I consumed a lot of caffeine on days when I'd hit 6 espresso shots, but I didn't hold a candle to you. I can empathize with you, though, as I had a period in my life (2004/2005) where I was doing massive amounts of international travel and was pretty harsh on my body by using a caffeine/alcohol am/pm pairing to deal with constant jet lag. It wasn't pretty and, coincidentally, was a time when I wasn't swimming or competing much.
  2. knelson's Avatar
    Working on a high profile project for my company, many of us were putting in between 90-100 hours per week. 6-7 day work weeks
    I wish people wouldn't do this because it makes normal people look bad! I'm actually serious about this. Companies shouldn't expect people to work like this. Instead they should hire more coders or just make the project schedule longer. People need to have a life outside work.
  3. aztimm's Avatar
    The worst thing I remember doing was at US Army leadership school (they called it PLDC). I was so tired I was falling asleep standing up (leaning against a tree was a luxury). I started eating raw coffee from the MRE's...and for a non-coffee drinker the results were quick and excessive. I was bouncing around, but I made it through. Thankfully that was only 4 weeks! And at least I got promoted right after I finished.

    Isn't your meet this weekend? Are you all set?
  4. pwb's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by knelson
    I wish people wouldn't do this because it makes normal people look bad! I'm actually serious about this. Companies shouldn't expect people to work like this. Instead they should hire more coders or just make the project schedule longer. People need to have a life outside work.
    Word. I admit to being guilty of doing it myself and of putting my teams in this situation, but it is something I'm working on and hope to change in my next venture.
  5. bzaks1424's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    Word. I admit to being guilty of doing it myself and of putting my teams in this situation, but it is something I'm working on and hope to change in my next venture.
    A venture eh? "What do you have in mind?" says the computer programmer......
  6. jim thornton's Avatar
    I have never heard of a caffeine allergy before. An interesting phenomenon. I would imagine the opposite is more likely--a habituation where it no longer works terribly well. Sort of like with alcohol, Valium, etc.