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Half of IT Workers Sleep on the Job 431

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the checking-eyelids-for-leaks dept.
Stony Stevenson writes "According to a new online survey by Harris Interactive, more than half of IT workers say they've fallen asleep at work, while nearly half of techies also are apparently in the mood for love. Forty-seven percent of tech pros admit they've kissed a co-worker, according to the online survey of 5,700 U.S. workers, including 163 techies. The survey didn't indicate if those work taboos were committed by the same respondents, but in both cases, men were more likely to admit doing both. Forty-nine percent of male techies say they've fallen asleep at work, while only 35 percent of women admitted doing so."
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Half of IT Workers Sleep on the Job

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  • zzzz...... (Score:5, Funny)

    by MaineCoon (12585) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:29PM (#20777103) Homepage
    er, huh, whu? I'm sorry, were you saying something?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Wake me up when the log gets to 100 comments or so zzzzzzzzzz
    • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:45PM (#20777263) Journal
      No, I was too busy kissing my coworker. Too bad they are all male. I guess we do have a female office manager, she is the only one, but does that mean 47% of my coworkers have kissed her? Ew can we end this conversation already?
    • by creimer (824291) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:52PM (#20777333) Homepage
      That strange noise from the PC underneath the desk wasn't a worn out fan. :P
    • Re:zzzz...... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Stripe7 (571267) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:55PM (#20777375)
      Yes, falling asleep on the job is one half of the equation, working 12-18 hour days or being on call 24/7 is the other side of the equation. I was at EBay once and saw people with sleeping bags under their desks as well as watched a father singing a lullaby's to his kid over the phone because something blew up and work needed to be done.
      • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:26PM (#20777669) Journal
        They got sleeping bags? Pussies.

        I can't imagine an "I slept at work" scenario in my job that didn't involve obscene overtime and after hours work. Where the hell would you find time? Where the hell do people get these JOBS?
        • by Frosty Piss (770223) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:47PM (#20777863)

          They got sleeping bags? Pussies.

          Exactly. Ingrates. All we get where I work is a box or rocks, and I don't mean those smoothe river rocks, I'm talking those sharp crushed rocks. And we're not allowed to actually sleep n them, we can only look at them.

          • Re:zzzz...... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by OriginalArlen (726444) on Friday September 28, 2007 @01:18AM (#20779063)
            I usually have a 5 - 10 minute nap at my desk after lunch. It's perfectly normal and natural, I refuse to be apologetic about it (even after co-workers stuck postit notes on me, took pics and stuck them on the noticeboard *) ) and anyone who doesn't like it can piss off. Luckily the war between workers and management at my employer is at a happy state of silent truce; we slog our guts out to help the boss buy a new Bentley, they don't fire us for minor infractions of rules. (I work in security and I've argued several times against aggressively trying to prevent people listening to music. What's the point? We can only manage with the consent of the managed...)
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by ubrgeek (679399)
            When I was a kid, we had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to kiss a co-worker.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hoi Polloi (522990)
      I thought the Seinfeld episode where George turns his desk into a bed was inspirational.
    • by MoxFulder (159829) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:04AM (#20778733) Homepage

      According to a new online survey by Harris Interactive, more than half of IT workers say they've fallen asleep at work ... Forty-nine percent of male techies say they've fallen asleep at work, while only 35 percent of women admitted doing so.
      Hmmm... less than half of male techs have fallen asleep at work, and less than half of female techs have fallen asleep at work.

      And yet, somehow, more than half of all techs have fallen asleep at work. Gosh, that's interesting. Those non-male non-female techs sure must do a lot of sleeping on the job!
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:33PM (#20777135) Homepage Journal
    I have an older employee who handles some contracts (hourly) that has a tendency to fall asleep. He's within a decade or less of retirement, and we've caught him napping a few times in recent months (as has the customer he's usually working at). We've talked, and it definitely seems like there's a medical issue here, so it leaves us with having to just compensate the customer for any billable time where he has fallen asleep. We've considered moving him to an internal job, but he's really good at the tasks he leads, and he also works very hard otherwise. The customer is also understanding because they have realized that his productive time more than compensates for his napping time, but there's always a fear that the contract could expire over this particular issue.

    I'm sure most of the people polled here are younger, but it's definitely not just a laziness issue.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)
      Of course, for every nap on the job, I suspect there are a half dozen sleepless nights where an engineer had to cover for an emergency, fix something, help with a high priority client, fly somewhere for an urgent fix, cover a sick employee or return from vacation early. Sorry, but I don't feel guilty if I take a nap here and there when I also often work double shifts, put in seven day weeks (sometimes multiple weeks in a row), cover for staff shortages, log in remotely while on vacation in a hotel, from the
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DaveCar (189300)
      Do whet they used to do with the people who would oversee production of nitroglycerin - give him a stool with two legs.
  • I Believe It (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated@ema . i l> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:36PM (#20777155) Journal

    Funny that I was just about to do an AskSlash about this issue because I was starting to get concerned.

    It's been very difficult for me to stay up or want to stay up at the current internship that I'm in, which involves writing software for a corporate firm. While the job itself can be stimulating and logically challenging at times, sometimes I feel like I just have a hard time really concentrating on anything. It's not so much the environment; most of the people that work with me are very active in talking about their roles and responsibilities (most conversations either directly involve or segway into this). Actually, I'm not really sure what it is.

    I really like to be mobile and move around in my jobs, but I am devoid of needing to do that for this. My main job is to sit down and review/rewrite/create code. I've never done this before, so maybe I'm just not accustomed to needing to look at a computer screen for 8.5+ hours every business day.

    In general, IT jobs can have some physical downtime; it's just inevitable. As for kissing co-workers, I would presume that this is more prominent in corporate environments because the physical quality of the girls are MUCH better than those of more research-oriented or specialized firms (forgive me if I've insulted anyone). I know that there are several women at my job that I would love to take out to dinner sometime, but it can be difficult dealing with a formidable age gap as an intern in a pretty established department...

    Good article.

    • Re:I Believe It (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Original Replica (908688) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:50PM (#20777313) Journal
      I really like to be mobile and move around in my jobs, but I am devoid of needing to do that for this. My main job is to sit down and review/rewrite/create code. I've never done this before, so maybe I'm just not accustomed to needing to look at a computer screen for 8.5+ hours every business day.

      I found out after college, that the realities of a full time job in the field of my major, were mentally exhausting and physically unmoving. So I changed career paths about a year after graduation. If sitting in a chair while looking at a computer screen for 8+ hours a day isn't for you, maybe you should find a different line of work. In the course of your life, you will spend more time at work than will spend with your spouse, you job should be something you enjoy.
      • by Yakman (22964)
        So what kind of career are you in now? Just interested :)
      • by MrCrassic (994046)

        Well, given that this is an internship and is only to last about 3 or 4 more months, I will probably stick it out (since I don't have a choice ;-). I'm more optomistic about it, since I have been anxiously waiting to have a real programming job, so I am hoping that there might be a larger opportunity for me waiting when I finish learning how to write Java GUI code without any GUI Editors to help me :-(

        I do agree with your first statement. Even in my firm, there are a lot of positions that are clearly inte

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anrego (830717)
      I`ve long thought that the work day is way to long. 8 hours is just too much time to spend sitting in a chair... or really doing any kind of work.

      I find that after 6 hours, I generally have no capacity to write any serious code, and usually spend the remainder of the day picking at what i`ve written (which is actually probably a good thing, because I find a lot of minor bugs/typos/etc..)

      I find that taking a 5 minute break to walk around the building or even pace around your office every hour or so makes _al
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by i.r.id10t (595143)
        I work on a college campus, its great. The women I work with all go and exercise at the gym for 45 min or so, all of us guys take a walk a class change time to check out the "scenery". Sorta miss the camel toe craze from a couple of years ago, although there are always hotties out and about...
    • I hear you mate. I've been in the IT industry for 15 years, and in software development for the last 8. I used to work insane hours when I ran my own show and studied at university. (Up to 20 hrs a day, 13 days a fortnight) I used to have energy, I used to have go, but that was all about adrenaline baby. That was back before 2004... I WANTED to work insane hours, but couldn't... I NEVER had energy, so I resorted to drinking fridge fulls of V. (Like red bull for those non-Australian types) But of cour
    • I have the same need to get up and walk around. When I first started working as a developer I thought I was going to go nuts sitting in a chair all day... until I realized that most of my coworkers get up and take a walk to clear their head whenever they get frustrated on a problem. The managers get it; they do the same thing. I'd guess that most of us are in our seats coding maybe 1/2 the time, the other 1/2 we're either walking around or chatting with coworkers. It's only the interns that we chain to
      • Re:I Believe It (Score:5, Insightful)

        by aca_broj_1 (1034904) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @10:46PM (#20778265)
        Shortly after I quit smoking, I realized the same thing. If you smoke regularly, you get the regular hourly ten minute break, once you stop, the breaks stop as well. It took me at least three months to realize that the reason I was less productive was not the post-quitting stress, but in actuality the lack of breaks. I have since started to take hourly breaks no matter what I do, and its made a world of difference.
  • Maybe ... (Score:2, Funny)

    by WinkyN (263806)
    Maybe those napping techs are just channeling their inner Ralph Wiggum in preparation for "Talk Like a Pirate Day".
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:38PM (#20777179) Homepage
    sleep debt [wikipedia.org] is a real phenomenon, and if you're falling asleep at work, you've likely got a large amount of it.

    Many people think falling asleep is a sign of "laziness". That's just nonsense, it just means that person needs to get more sleep, or get better quality sleep!
    • by JNighthawk (769575) <NihirNighthawk@@@aol...com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:18PM (#20777595)
      This is why I wish my company either had shorter core hours, or only have core hours 4 days a week. I really have trouble falling asleep at night, but once I'm asleep, I can stay asleep just fine. If I could fall asleep on my own time and come in on my own time, I'd be much more productive/code better, because I wouldn't be as tired.

      I think there's definitely something to be said for having only 4 hours of core hours a day. While everyone would still be required to work their 40 hours during the week, you'd only be required to be at work during those 4 hours, and could decide when you wanted to work the other 20 hours.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:39PM (#20777183)
    Yeah, and the other half is here posting on Slashdot!
  • by jwiegley (520444) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:41PM (#20777209)
    We're counting brain-dead as "asleep", right?
  • ... only because we were still at work at 4am trying to push out the current "Agile" development cycle, while management is off on vacation.

  • "The survey didn't indicate if those work taboos were committed by the same respondents, but in both cases, men were more likely to claim doing both."

    Clearly this indicates that a majority of the work force in the tech sector is committed to Apple and Apple-related products [slashdot.org].
    • by sqrt(2) (786011)
      You think they're kissing other men?

      (I have asbestos wrapped karma. Bring it on)
  • by Progman3K (515744) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:44PM (#20777251)
    Seems like a dangerous combination.
    Might explain all the buggy sotware, which I always attributed to too much coffee...
  • Because we are all overworked and thrown out of our natural rhythms. Not everyone is comfortable with getting up at 5AM to go to work; I honestly believe that "morning people" and "night people" exist, and that night people are being abused by being forced to keep the same hours as "morning people".

    And we've come so far technologically and socially but we still have even more demands put on us every day. 40+ hour week can be a bit much if you have tons of other things to do during non-work hours.

    We're sup

    • Overworked definatley is an understatement my job at the moment.

      I work in a small company, we effectivley are an external IT department to small business, which can be demanding juggling break/fix work and developing and implementing multiple projects at any one time.

      At the moment while my boss is on holiday's I'm working 16 hour days covering his work load and my load and it definatley is a strain on what I can take.

      Of course, the clients don't realise how hard you work, and when they log a job with you an
      • by SirSlud (67381) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:29PM (#20777697) Homepage
        Well, it never bothers them that you do. I'm sure some realize it. After 9 years of programming, I have just decided to under promise, over deliver. Lose a contract, or not get promoted? Fuck it, its not worth it. Sanity is worth it. In the end, somebody will pay you for making quality products or providing quality services without having to live at work. So I say it'll be fixed by tomorrow afternoon, and fix it at 10am. They'll be more appreciative, and you got more sleep so you can clock more quality work hours. I like to say that 25% of the skill of a developer is managing expectations. *Technically*, we could write a word processor in assembly on 386, but telling somebody who is responsible for purchasing computer equipment and software tools that is suicide. Having people realize how fucking hard and taxing your job is and how challenging it is to fix things that appear small to a customer or designer is key to keeping people around you happy to provide you the proper environment to kick ass.

        One other thing that people forget is that frequently the problems that crop up that programmers and IT folks have to fix are problems that may not have occurred had the work force been better rested. Near the end of a particular development cycle, we were working 12 to 14 hour shifts 6 or 7 days a week, alternating between folks during the day and folks at night. Near gold, it was basically a team would come in and have to fix the bug caused by the folks the earlier 12 hour shift caused fixing another bug. Everyone was so overworked that nobody could make rational steps towards fixing things properly. Seemed to me that we could have finished off earlier were we not pressed into 'work every hour you're awake' mode for the last 4 weeks. You end up causing problems that you then have to stay up even more hours to fix.

        If your clients dont know when you fix things or do things for them, change that. Send them an email timestamped at 1am when you fix the problem. Mention it offhand when you discuss the resolution of the problem. You'd be surprised how willing people are to compromise or help you change the situation so you don't need to be on call for them 24/7 .. they might cut you some slack on short term hack jobs to create better long term infrastructure, monitoring, fixes, etc.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Lonewolf666 (259450)

          One other thing that people forget is that frequently the problems that crop up that programmers and IT folks have to fix are problems that may not have occurred had the work force been better rested. Near the end of a particular development cycle, we were working 12 to 14 hour shifts 6 or 7 days a week, alternating between folks during the day and folks at night. Near gold, it was basically a team would come in and have to fix the bug caused by the folks the earlier 12 hour shift caused fixing another bug.

      • Overworked definatley is ...

        I do not wish to sound condescending nor am I attempting to troll, but I would diffidently suggest that you are more likely to become the boss yourself if you upgrade the quality of your written communications. It has a real impact on people who might otherwise promote you. Perhaps using an open document window on the side for scratch text, then running the spell checker over it before you paste the reply? Genuinely trying to help here. It's clear you have the dedication to

  • > Forty-seven percent of tech pros admit they've kissed a co-worker,

    "Admit"?

    An IT guy?

    Yeah, right.

    In your dreams maybe ... which would explain the sleeping thing.
  • by mpickut (721322) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:46PM (#20777283)
    Maybe they just dreamed they were kissing a co-worker.

    "and when I woke up my mouse was all wet..."
  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:48PM (#20777295) Homepage
    You ask a bunch of geeks if they've kissed a co-worker...and no surprise, over half of them have! Of course, 57% of us are also blackbelts and monster-truck drivers in our spare time. The girls we supposedly kissed? Yeah, they're totally hot. But they live in Idaho, so you wouldn't know them.
    • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpaM.gmail.com> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:29PM (#20777701) Homepage
      You ask a bunch of geeks if they've kissed a co-worker...and no surprise, over half of them have! Of course, 57% of us are also blackbelts and monster-truck drivers in our spare time. The girls we supposedly kissed? Yeah, they're totally hot. But they live in Idaho, so you wouldn't know them.

      You're all a bunch of liars who should be ashamed of yourselves. I, on the other hand, learned a little something called integrity and truthfulness back when I was going through astonaut training.
    • by jamesh (87723)
      Hmmm... perhaps the survey was actually done on IRC, in which case all the girls were probably guys anyway.

      I wonder if the survey clearly spelt out that cyber sex does NOT count as kissing a cow-orker.
  • by RuBLed (995686) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:48PM (#20777297)

    Forty-seven percent of tech pros admit they've kissed a co-worker

    Forty-nine percent of male techies say they've fallen asleep at work, while only 35 percent of women admitted doing so.
    Here is the explanation: Since only 49% of the men admitted sleeping at work, the 51% must be up to something. 35% of the women admittend sleeping at work, my best guess is that at least 35% ( +/- 5%) of the men who were awake are kissing women who are sleeping. That leaves us with 16% of the male who were awake and not kissing sleeping women. Since 47% admitted kissing a co-worker (we already know that 35% we're males), it means that 12 % of the women we're kissing some of the sleeping men. (This doesn't surprise me). Now we had 16% innocent males and 51% innocent females, if you assume that 5% of the remaining males are on the top management, that roughly equals around 15% of the 51% women being kissed and not admitting it. 10% read slasdot (male obviously) leaving 1% what.. well we still had 36% of the women left...
  • by dwater (72834)
    > Half of IT Workers Sleep on the Job

    Perhaps it's just the bottom half? ...which would might explain why it's *only* kissing.
  • Fallen asleep? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alshithead (981606) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:53PM (#20777339)
    I've never fallen asleep...gone to sleep? Oh, yes. With a former employer it wasn't unusual to bust ass for 7-8 hours starting at 8 PM Saturday to get physical maintenance tasks done (after working 50 hours during the week) and then being in the position of still having several hours before server jobs I had kicked off at the start of maintenance needing to finish so I can go home. Employee lounge with nice comfortable leather sofa...here I come. Management knew and preferred that to me killing myself falling asleep behind the wheel on my way home. Still, it's funny how you can miss the fact that a traffic light is red when you are really sleep deprived. I'm very happy to have a 9-5 now.
  • 90% of IT workers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kizzle (555439) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:53PM (#20777347)
    lie on surveys.
  • by Junta (36770) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @08:54PM (#20777359)
    That means... I really don't want to fall asleep around other men at work?
  • Power napping! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jacobcaz (91509) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:00PM (#20777421) Homepage
    Power napping [successminders.com] is where it's at! Depending on the culture at your work place you may have to be a bit "sneaky" to slip in a power nap, or you may need to scarf lunch and take a quick rest in the car.

    I highly recommend it.
    • by garcia (6573)
      It only works for some people or at certain times of your life. For me, powernaps were common in college and were a great thing but now that I'm out in the real world I have found that powernaps do nothing but absolutely crush the rest of my day.

      I used to do the whole eat quick and nap in the back of the car at lunch but found that afterwards my work level was diminished and the rest of my day was almost worthless. What did work for me, however, was cutting out the caffeine. I've mentioned the wonders of
    • Re:Power napping! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @11:01PM (#20778357)
      I'm not built for napping. For starters, if I try to doze off it usually takes me a long time. If I'm in a boring meeting, it's much easier. Hell, if the meeting is at the end of the day and I'm just trying to hold off so I can get home, by the time I'm home I no longer feel the need. If I DO manage to sleep during the middle of the day, it usually throws me completely off. I'll end up sleeping for maybe four hours before popping awake, then I'm not able to crash at a normal time that night and I can end up sleeping extra long. I usually do seven hours but if my sleep pattern is disturbed, like with a nap, I could end up sleeping for 10 hours. It's very weird.

      I don't disbelieve the benefits of getting a good nap in, I just don't think I'm physiologically capable of it.
  • Naps! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kabdib (81955) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @09:04PM (#20777463) Homepage
    As an Old Fart, I often take half hour naps in the early afternoon. I'm lucky to have worked mostly at companies with private offices (with doors that lock), but I've done this in cube farms, too.

    After thirty minutes of down-time, I grab a cup of coffee and hit the afternoon refreshed, thinking clearly and less stressed.

    Civilized societies have siestas.

    • Every time I try that, I spend the rest of the day in a foggy-headed state of total disassociation from the environment around me. Then again, I'm 22.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Renraku (518261)
      I'm 24 and nap through half of my lunch hour. Its right after you get some food in you and are looking to do some resting. People snicker at it, but they have no idea what its like for it to be 4PM and feel great instead of pulling their hair out because its almost time to go but not quite.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CortoMaltese (828267)

      After thirty minutes of down-time, I grab a cup of coffee and hit the afternoon refreshed, thinking clearly and less stressed.

      I've found that it gives me the best boost to have the coffee first, and nap before it hits the system. Wake-up and caffeine boost come simoultaneously.

      Also, I think thirty minutes is a bit long. An old boss of mine (!!!) taught me this trick: take some metallic object in your hand, such as a keyring, a stapler, whatever. Something that makes some noise but doesn't break when it hits the floor. Once you've fallen asleep and relaxed, the object will fall and wake you up. Works like a charm. Of course, YMM

  • Often IT jobs involve little normal busy work. I've equated many of my IT positions to being a fire fighter. There is plenty of down time, but when there is a fire, somebody has to go put it out. There was a Slashdot article just a few days ago asking about a metric to measure productivity in an IT department. I wouldn't focus on the amount of work done, or the hours slept, but rather whether or not services are ever disrupted.

    If IT is there to keep the business running, and it runs, then IT is doing th
    • by HaloZero (610207)
      Our failures are known. Our successes are not. I'm an infrastructure engineer for a corner of one of the worlds largest corporations. So long as business ops are proceeding smoothly, no one cares or complains.
  • This what you get when you work people 80+ H/W and you also want them there for the 6am even if they where there to 2am or later last night. And fireing people who do fall a sleep is not the way to fix it.
  • I would very much like to see the statistics for the non-techies.
  • oil rigs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FudRucker (866063)
    when i was working the morning tower in the oil field (7PM to 5AM) i made about 2/3s of my paycheck sleeping in the dog house, the driller would throw an old boot on to the top of the dog house from the drilling platform when he need me, and i would have to find that boot and bring it back up to the platform...
    • by guruevi (827432)
      And you actually climbed up all that way? I would have found a method that either involved a remote messaging system (IM on the oil rig) or if he just wants to throw the boot because of it, just attach a cord to it so you can hoist it up (maybe even with a little motor)... man, I'm lazy.
  • ... I used to sleep under my desk at work for 20 minutes pretty much every lunchtime. Perfect for productivity. I even had a rather cool fluffy leopard skin pillow.

    I have no idea why more people don't do it. I would wake refreshed and ready for the next pile of crap.

    Of course, now I telecommute, I can go the whole hog and hit the bed for 1/2 hour at lunchtime.

    Naps are good.
  • At my current job, I was told that the individual who occupied my cubicle before I started working there would regularly doze off in the afternoon. He would snore blissfully away in his chair. Apparently, my coworkers took high delight in ringing his phone from across the room, and listening to him splutter and snort his way back to consciousness.

    I, of course, would never dream of falling asleep at my desk. I usually dream of much more pleasant places.
  • When I've been sitting there for 48 hours straight babysitting a run, damn right I took a nap. A short one... and not during "normal" working hours...

    I think I'll just take one now and wake up in an hour to check how things are going.

  • Lights (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hemogoblin (982564) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @10:18PM (#20778043)
    It's not sleeping. It's relaxen unt watchen das blinken lights.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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