Perhaps a Little Too Wrapped Up in Work

I swear to God this is true: Last night I was having a dream. The details of the dream aren’t particularly important; what is important is that in the middle of the dream it stopped. And this happened:

Excuse me, did you write your
column for the week? It’s due tomorrow at nine,
you know.

Why, yes. Yes, I did. I filed it last night.

Oh, terribly sorry, then. Please continue.

And then the dream resumed as if nothing had happened.

I suppose it’s nice that my brain is keeping track of these things. On the other hand, dear real world: I sleep to escape you. Stop trying to get in.

I think I need a nap.


27 Comments on “Perhaps a Little Too Wrapped Up in Work”

  1. I used to have dreams about work When I worked for Verizon, I would take a call and be completely unable to assist the customer simply because their problems were to dire of a situation to be solved by anyone on a phone. Worst of all, now I have dreams of moderating a forum and dealing with unrelenting spam bots.

  2. At least you stayed asleep. I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night, come completely awake from deep sleep, thinking, “Oh, crap, did I…?” And then I have to get up and check to see if I had done that thing, whatever it was. Because I will not be able to go back to sleep until I’ve assured myself that all is well.

  3. When I worked in bookstores, I had dreams about shelving books all night long. I would wake up exhausted and a little pissed, because I didn’t get paid for all that work. When I moved on to radio, I would have dreams where I forgot my newscasts, how to work the computer, when I was supposed to be on the air, or worst of all, how to read. Sometimes all four of these things would happen at once.

    These days I dream about Christmas shopping. I find the perfect gifts for my loved ones. Then I wake up and realize I have to do it all over again, but for real this time.

  4. Wow. I’ve never angsted about deadlines in my sleep. Now I will. You are full of poison for my subconscious this week, what with the incest and now THIS. You owe me FOUR cute pictures of your pets now.

  5. Next you will have a narrator doing voice-overs in your dreams. Soon to be followed by hearing your own theme music.

    I rarely remember dreams. The only ones I seem to remember are the classic/cliche being in my underwear in public or forgetting to study for a test. Sometimes both at the same time.

  6. I once had a very large job to do, upgrading a system and converting hundreds and hundreds of files to the new format, and it had to be done during the week between Christmas and New Years when no one else was at work, and I was working long hours to get it finished in time. Middle of the week, I went to bed about 3 AM and had a vivid dream in which I got up, went back to my desk, and got back to work converting files.

    I continued to do this for several hours of dream-time. I made a point of saving my work frequently, too. It was still all gone when I woke up, though, goddammit.

  7. This only ever happened to me during the first year after I opened the bookstore…but it WOULD wake me up. And then I couldn’t go BACK to sleep until I’d confirmed or otherwise taken care of the deadline. Freaky, huh? I’m with you – sleep should be a respite.

  8. I had this dream where I was explaining to my ex-boss how to implement an OpenLDAP architecture to allow servers located at a colocation site and running in the cloud to authenticate against your central authentication servers. The dream was amazingly detailed and I remember describing how you needed to create the LDAP schema and DIT, which ports you had to open in the firewall and which packages you needed to install and how you needed to set up TLS to encrypt the data channels used for authentication. That wasn’t the weird part though. The weird part is that we were naked and in a hot tub while I was explaining all of this.

    Now, I can handle a certain amount of homo-eroticism in my dreams, but homo-eroticism mixed with UNIX authentication schemes? That’s just wrong. I want to know what kind of drugs to do so I can those cool Inception style dreams with Penrose staircases and Ellen Page.

  9. #10 by Evan:

    I continued to do this for several hours of dream-time. I made a point of saving my work frequently, too. It was still all gone when I woke up, though, goddammit.

    Did you check the virtual server?

  10. #12 by Wile E. Quixote:

    Naked in a hot tub or not, the discussion would’ve nullified any eroticism as far as I’m concerned.

    But YKIOK.

  11. During a cellbiology course during my first year at uni i had a pretty strange dream. I was a transmembrane protein. I can still remember how I moved around gently in the lipid bilayer. I had been very nervous about studying too little but after this dream I realised that I probably was fine…

  12. didn’t someone review Blair Witch Project with the summarization being ‘interesting if true’.

    I think this is another one of those times.
    except the only one who will know if its true is Scalzi.

    My dreams? We don’t want to talk about my dreams.

  13. Thanks for sharing. This made me laugh and laugh; you have such a polite superego. I dream work all the time and like Elaine @2 if it’s a question of possibly not having done some required-by thing, I wake all the way up.

  14. A few years ago, I had a kidney infection, which gave me a high fever. I got into a very bad state, and when my husband took me to the ER, they gave me several bags of IV fluid and said that I’d gotten dehydrated because of the fever. They told me that although my body was screaming for sleep and was sick enough that it would cheerfully sleep for 24 hours straight, allowing this to happen would be a very bad idea, because I needed to wake up frequently to drink.

    So I went home and went to bed thinking about this. Four hours later, I was awakened out of a sound sleep by Melissa Etheridge singing very loudly in my head. The lyrics?

    Somebody bring me some water.
    Can’t you see I’m burning alive.

    This is, I hasten to add, a real Melissa Etheridge song. (She doesn’t have a kidney infection in the song, though. :-) ) I woke up, drank a full glass of water, and immediately went back to sleep.

    My unconscious often speaks to me using song lyrics. Psychologists claim that the unconscious doesn’t do words very well, and I guess pairing them with music is a way around this.

  15. The other night I had a dream in which I was stuck in an alternate timeline Australia where I had to fight dinosaurs. But since I was Batman, everything worked out (though sometimes I had to remind people they couldn’t see me hiding because, you know, I was Batman).

  16. Okay, you see I wasn’t kidding. This is how suggestible I am. In the middle of my unrelated dream early this morning, I heard my husband’s voice saying, “The kitchen is on fire,” and woke with pounding heart. The “we interrupt this dream for a special announcement” meme has taken root. I would be a great hypnosis subject. The hypnotist would say, “Catherine, please watch this pendant I am holding before your–” and I would say, “COMMAND ME MASTER.”

  17. Someone didn’t read the Google Calendar terms of service. The tenth page of small print clearly gives them the right to send you reminders for scheduled deadlines whether you’re logged in or not.

  18. You do realize that while you might tell the voice in your head you’ve filed the piece, you’ve not posted your customary link yet.

  19. I know that dream. Back in middle school I’d have the art teacher turn to me in the middle of class, ask if I had done my social studies homework for chapter 9 question 1-8, 10, 12 and 35-50. If I didn’t have it done she’d pull out a gun and shoot me in the head. I only recall twice that I was able to honestly answer “yes”. Then she’d just continue teaching class.

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