Monday, June 11, 2007

Heavy Things

The weight nearly crushes me. The lack of breathing room almost suffocates me. The possibilites of failure mortify me. And the pressure to get the job done here in Las Vegas charges at me at full force like a pregnant elephant.

I finished the toughest day of work so far at the WSOP. Not only was it a grueling 14 hour day, but the wifi conenction went out at work. I was using the wifi at the Rio for the past ten days but also have an aircard. I was able to get online with zero problems with the aircard while the rest of my colleagues struggled to connect. Since we were working for PokerNews as the official media provider of the World Series of Poker, we were totally fucked with three simultaneous tournaments to cover -- instantly for the world to follow. Since I was the only one who could function, there was an hour stretch where I had to cover three events at once. Talk about being slammed and overwhelmed especially since I was hungover like hell. I had no choice but to gut out the pain and get the job done.

Once the internet got back on track, everyone scrambled to catch up and I focused on my assignment. It was a tough one because of the multi-tasking involved with that event. I didn't have as many assistants as I had in the past yet I felt we stepped up our effort when it counted the most despite our lack of resources.

Over the past few days I have started to feel the pressure to perform... extremely well. The pressure never bothers me when I'm at work, but I feel it on my breaks and when I wake up in the morning and it often keeps me from falling asleep. Most of that pressure is internalized while some of it is legitimate. The Big Kahuna is in town, otherwise known as the guy Schecky and I refer to as The G. He's the guy who signs the paychecks and he invested a shitload of money in me over seven weeks. Plus he partnered up with several companies and corporations who will be super pissed if I don't get the job done. With him looking over my shoulder along with a bunch of suits, it's a tad nerve racking. The G said nice words to say about our progress yet I still keep pushing myself to work harder and harder and longer hours and writing to my peak ability in pursuit of a level of excellence that I had never achieved before.

In sports terms, I feel like a player who signed a huge-ass contract and now it's time to step up to the plate and jack 50 home runs. I've had jobs were I experienced pressure but that was on a different scale. The worst thing that could happen would be that I would lose my job. Alas, right now I have my career on the line, along with the careers of several other important people in my life. My biggest fear is that I have no one behind me to back me up if I made a mistake. Therefore, my work has to be flawless. Talk about pressure. Over the last week it's been clear that the rest of several co-workers have been deferring to me to pick up the slack, or if there's an important assignment to get done by the higher ups, that falls into my lap.

The last couple of years, I've had nothing to lose. Right now, I'm putting everything on the line with this tremendous assignment. I have 37 more days to go and I don't see a let up in the workload nor the pressure that swirls around me like a flock of vultures ready to pick apart at my carcass.

I usually don't think in terms of absolutes. However, in this instance I'm either going to be a bust... or step up and get an amazing job done while ignoring the pressure, the physical pain, mental anguish, and overall retardeness of the people I have to deal with on a daily basis (which includes staff, tourists, players, and other jackoffs that I have no choice but to interact with.)

Now I know how Mo Rivera feels standing on the mound in the 9th inning with a one run lead and runners on base and no outs. Either he does what he's supposed to do and the Yankees win, or he fails and the Yankees lose and he has the entire city pissed off at him and all the haters gloating over his demoralizing effort.

Oh well, it could be worse. I could be a soldier serving in Iraq. Now talk about pressure...

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