Tuesday, 6 October 2009

An (Un)Interesting Dream

I'm not a workaholic, and I never will be. I find workaholics a dull and preachy bunch. For instance, one workaholic, via facebook status, lamented at the "80 hour week" they had ahead of them. What a workslut. I guess some people's definition of a fulfilling life is suddenly waking up aged 55 with some house in the Home Counties, with a boring family, kids going through "uni" so they too can become some godforsaken workaholic who squanders their youth (and a good chunk of their adulthood) pursuing goals they don't really want.

Yes, I'm not a workaholic. Though I am by no means workshy either. However, in my current line of employment (freelance data work) the urgency with which the work has to be done varies and, accordingly, the time at which I work changes too.

Last night my venerable employer sent me work at 6pm. It was only meant to take 4 hours (including breaks), and initially, it did. However, on completing it, it was clear that there were other things which needed to be done which had not been pointed out to me - so I took the initiative and did them too.

Suddenly, it was midnight. Realising I was past my best, I slithered to bed. Set alarm for 5, got up, finished work around 8 (i.e. within the last hour).

However, despite this five hour rest break, as far as my mind is concerned I never actually stopped working.

What is this riddle I puzzle you with? Well, let me elucidate.

I dreamed about work.

I remember two distinct segments of the dream (although curiously enough, not the order in which they occurred).

One segment involved me walking around what looked like a mixture of a children's playground and a cemetery (yes, very sombre combination). In fact, there were actually some children playing, seemingly insolent male youths probably around the ages 9-13, but they did not notice my presence. The climbing frames/swings they were on were seemingly suspended over a pool of water. I tried to get out of the place I was, but it was surrounded by either bars or hedges, and the entrance was in fact a golden/red gate which, confirmed to me, that I was trapped. I saw some sign which told me where I was, confirming indeed that this was a cemetery. (I should note at this point that the data work I do is for Cemeteries and Crematoria) I think the place was 'Salisbury' or something. In the dream I remember having had the distinct feeling that the place I was in was somewhere between Coventry and Brighton which, as it turns out, Salisbury is. Also, for the entire time, I was lugging around in my hands what appeared to be various computer parts - a mouse, a keyboard, a falling-apart laptop, and I was having difficulty balancing all these things.

Some interpretation: like most young adults I am irrationally scared of children in that age group, as they tend to be uncouth and armed with knives (or so the Daily Mail would have us all believe, anyway). The falling apart computer equipment is clear - my laptop IS falling apart as I write. And the water? Well, obviously I must have needed the toilet.

The other segment involved me looking at a huge department store from a side glance, as if it were an architectural paper. The building was arranged in such a way as it was easy to tell from outside where one floor ended and another started, and the horizontal segments of the building were visible too, creating the effect where you had probably around 24 floors high and 17 rooms across, each room per floor resembling the proportions of a railway carriage. They were not all the length, some were even slanted away from my point of view slightly as if the building was not built in one straight line. It was when I heard the voices of two of my work colleagues in the background that I realised that the building was just a strange visual representation of a spreadsheet, and that Column E (which was long, and slanted away from me) was 'not as important as the other columns' and the data didn't really need to be recorded.

This subconscious conceptualisation of the 'everyday' has happened to me in dreams before. In one dream, I think in July, I dreamt that a metaphorical game of Civilization 3 was being played on the staircase in my house, with the more modern military units at the top (large, ghostly figures, but their colours and contours clearly distinguishable) fighting some earlier military units (mid/late 19th century).

Anyway. It's 9AM now so will get leave the realm of the imaginary and move on to the less important stuff, the so called 'real world'.

1 comment:

royalfish said...

N.B. One point of interpretation I forgot to add: the fact that I imagined a location between Coventry and Brighton is interesting, as two nights ago I was discussing with a friend who graduated the same year I did that we should have a reunion at some point.

The only problem is we all live in different parts of the country. One in the far far North (nr. Newcastle), one in Warwick (doing a Masters) and two in Cambridge (also doing Masters). Thus we are trying to find some central point between these four places. I still think Cambridge is a good compromise, but my friend says it'd be best to meet somewhere 'neutral'.