You may or may not be aware of the fact that at this present moment in time I am on beamtime and this means that I and 3 other people are sort of stuck with each other for next few days. In the normal world you can go home and ignore that person but here at beamline land you can not. You end up eating, drinking and working together probably too much for any sane person to be able to stomach. I should also state that being on beamtime is not like going shopping, being in the pub or being on fucking HOLIDAY. To explain what it is like I think you need to experience it first hand, if that is not possibly then think about being on a transatlantic flight sat next to the engines on the plane. So you have the constant drone of the engines or in this case vacuum pumps, fans and other things. Then every now and then chuck in a psssht, click, pop and beep, beep, beep. Now do all that for 12 hours a day over and over again. Plus add bad food, no daylight and the stress of how much this is all costing and the need to make sure you get a good result for person X’s thesis or person Y’s boss or person Z’s boss etc, etc. This can sort of lead to a bizzaire high pressure situation which unfolds very slowly. Now I’m no fan of terrorists but I think that if they had literally made camp X-ray be people spending time on a SMX beamline then well there would be a lot less terror and a lot more hugging going on.

So all this sleep deprivation, noise and general beamlineness lead me to some self reflection and soul searching, well actually being snapped at lead me to that either way they are two things you should never do, especially on little sleep and the wrong timezone. This of course gave me the idea for the title of this blog. Now being rather useless I can not remember if have I’ve used my real name in this blog or not so to protect my anonymity the best I can I thought I would use the most common English first name for the title which is John.

I could of called it 10 reasons why I should smack you in the face but I had a queen song in my head at the time so it won. This also being another side effect of sleep deprivation the continuous song.

So lets start this with a top 10 reasons why I annoy you:

  1. My voice and the need to fill the silence with it

  2. My face as that is where my mouth and well refer to 1

  3. My tendency to get worked up over the scheduling of shifts

  4. My constant asking if everyone is happy with that

  5. My constant checking if people are ok

  6. My inability to go and have a walk on my own when on the beamline

  7. My general depressingness

  8. My not letting you do anything on the beamline?

  9. My not letting you process the data?

  10. My getting the big room?

To be honest I’m sort of out of real reasons other than me, my voice and my face the rest of it is just fill. Now I bet your annoyed at me for making you read them - muppet - its just one of them not one of those and so on etc.

My deep reflective period spent on my own walking about campus was useful. It reminded me that working with people every now and then I need to isolate myself from them - decompress and reset my settings so that they do not get too ticked off with me. The problem with this is that on a beamtime if you do that then you get accused of being sulky and well there is item 11 on the list straight away.

Bearing all this in mind I have come up with a plan. I am going to be myself - fuck the beamtime, I will take my space as and when needed and if I am sulky then so be it. I think all in all you can not please all of the people any of the time so you should at least make sure you are at least a little bit happy. I mean the 5th November is bon fire day - Guy Fawkes night but being stuck in American land means no fireworks as they save them all up for the 4th April which I’ve always felt to be a little too close to the 1st for my liking. But what else is the 5th it is the day I rushed back from Uni as my mum’s partner at the time had died of a massive heart attack. How does that make me feel? Not very much sadly. I am now so insulated from the world I’ve forgotten many things that should make me feel a lot worse than I do.

Well I think that is enough self serving misery for one blog. Take heed young reader beware the beamtime……. punch to the face - fill that space with alcohol instead.