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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Staring at screens is exhausting

Guest Column


I am, as an intern, experiencing my first bout of what can only aptly be referred to as Dilbert Syndrome or Office Fatigue.

I’ve been here at The Star for about seven months now. The hours, the days, the weeks, the months… all melt off the calendar, and I wonder where the time goes. Time, the thing which when lost, you cannot recover (unlike my jacket, which I lost and then found in the folds of couch and throw pillows in the throes of a panic).

Staring at the computer screen … day after day … hour after hour … I have to wonder if I’m frying my cornea. Typing, reading, editing, formatting, all activities that require staring at a screen. I get so exhausted that I can’t wait to go home, crack open a tall cool one, and stare at some sitcom on my TV screen. Stare at my phone screen and then go to bed and dream on the big internal mind screen.

But here at the office, I make sure to take a few minutes here or there for myself … to fix a nice cup of coffee, or go sit on the company lawn for a few minutes in between hours in front of the screen. Touch my toes a couple times. Watch the birds.

Some jobs require physical exhaustion, other’s mental exhaustion, and many jobs a combination of the two. But it’s nice to whistle while we work … isn’t it? Or to take five minutes to look away from the damned screen. It’s nice to mix things up once in awhile and go take photos, or do a little physical labor away from the computer. Nice just to be alive… and enjoy the taste of my toothbrush in the morning.

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