Friday, February 5, 2010

Are we sleepy yet?

The other day I was out visiting a customer together with one of our sales reps. The hospital in question had purchased one of our products and the company had been asked to train two of the nurses to operate the software management tool that came with it. I was participating more to observe what the customers reactions and see what the potential feedback is. Despite my jovial nature the young rep I travel with seemed a bit pressured and nervous with my presence, somehow believing that I was there to judge his performance and report to his boss if he did anything wrong (hey, generally I get along great with the reps, but first time to have me along for this guy).

As we sat down across the two nurses (actually both male if anyone is keeping notes) and the rep gave them the hand-outs and started to explain the software and operation to them.


After about five minutes into it both the nurses had closed their eyes and seemed to drift away, for a while they momentarily woke up when the rep asked them to turn the page; they turned the page and then again drifted away.

Ten minutes into the presentation they were harder to reach and no longer turned the page when instructed to, at one point one of them dropped the hand-out, momentarily woke up looking confused, but the rep handed him the hand-out, flipped to the correct page and the nurse again closed his eyes and went away. The rep soldiered on, didn't budge and kept talking and explaining to his semi-sleeping audience, I admit that he wasn't doing it particularly passionate, but the topic was quite sleep-inducing.

Fifteen minutes in, one of them had started to softly snore, I hinted to the rep that maybe it would be best to move to the practical exercises a bit earlier. The rep, also realizing the futility to keep talking, semi-slammed the documents on the table and in a both loud and mild voice (I was impressed) said "Let’s try this practically now, shall we?". Both nurses stirred to life and walked over to the computer at the nurse station like everything was perfectly normal.

...Japan must have the highest sleep deprived population per capita in the world...

3 comments:

sigma1 said...

Quite tolerant of these things too, as your post demonstrates. When I returned home to engage in my own salaryman job we were assured there would instant termination if we were caught dozing off at our desks (non-public office). Normally not a problem as the work hours do not compare to Japan, but under 2yo have a habit of messing things up sleepwise....really missed those "D" drinks.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Yeah, but I've tried those energy drinks but they've never really done it for me. But the skill the Japanese people have in falling asleep in the most awkward situations and places never cease to amaze me!

aimlesswanderer said...

If only the nurses were young, female and nubile, things would have been so different!

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