Every blessed day you have with the person you are replacing is spent learning, orienting and trying to capture as much as you can to offer some kind of continuity from one rotation to another. But of course, the events of the day continue, so your spin-up is also dealing with solving problems, casting nets of solutions, and keeping the commanders informed. Fast paced, no doubt. It kind of like playing net in doubles tennis in a match that doesn’t end.
Surprisingly, in the first week here, I found I wasn’t too tired during the day. Chad (the great guy I replaced) had a nice balance of “in the office” and out-and-about/around base transition plan. Walking about was hot…and in the sun. Daily temps with dew point were at least 100 degrees. The office is basically an air conditioned container like building. No windows, metal door, A/C and florescent lights. In fact, all the buildings are like that, some larger but all boxes and rectangles. So even though it’s hot, folks are out under the shade canopies mid-day, picking up wi-fi. At night, the “campus” is full of people socializing, playing corn-hole (a big bean bag like game), watchingTV or attending one of the programs my squadron provides. That’s regeneration…getting folks to unwind. It’s also an essential coping mechanism since we all live in boxes and most with a roommate.
I learned quickly after Chad left and I was on my own that if I didn’t get out a walk about in the fresh air and sunlight my bio-clock didn’t have any cues it was time to go to bed. I’d get back to my room, take a shower and have some reading time and no matter how tired I was I couldn’t sleep.
So I’ve learned to stroll to where I’m going, I don’t pick up the phone, I grab my cap and walk to who I need to talk to. The hot desert sun is just what your bio-clock needs when you live and work in little boxes!