Friday, July 22, 2011

AA for Adrenaline Junkies

You've got it good, as bad as it gets.
You make your own incisions that come with regrets.
You're in it to win it and make every minute count,
You put it all together and dish it out.
-"Defeat You" by Smash Mouth

Risin' up, straight to the top,
Had the guts, got the glory,
Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop...
It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight,
Rising up to the challenge of our rival.
-"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor

I used to have to practice martial arts to sate my adrenaline thirst, but lately I've found that I get a very similar rush (though less physically beneficial) when hunting down the elusive part at work. My "sideways promotion" has done little to discourage that. I've been told that handling parts requests from the commercial sales reps that I support is more important than answering the calls piling up in the queue.

I get in "the zone." The Zone is an amazing place. For those few who've not felt it, the Zone is where every question you get asked, you know the answer; where every customer has a problem, you have the perfect solution; where every sales rep, commercial or otherwise, gets lost in the technicalities, you have the knowledge to show them the way.

Being in the Zone is as good as an adrenaline rush, and I'd be hard pressed to say which feels more intoxicating. Unfortunately, just like that adrenaline rush, it eventually can come to an end. The Zone usually doesn't die by not knowing an answer to something (though it's been known to happen) but instead by being proven wrong. The wrench from being jerked roughly out of the Zone in borderline painful. My addiction cries out with the pain of cold turkey.

I'm wrong sometimes. I won't hide that. There's no point. I do my job best when I have more information than I need, because then I can make accurate guesses on things that I don't actually know, which does happen all too often. If I'm wrong, I usually don't get caught, but I'm usually right. Or at least, my answer feels right to all involved parties, which, in the end is all that really matters.

Sometimes I love being a data junkie and digital pack-rat. Without those two qualities, I'd far more rarely sink into the Zone.