Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Changing Workplace

Is there a word meaning between dream and nightmare? Do you ever semi-wake-up while dreaming, know you are dreaming and want to get out of the dream - only to go back to sleep and still be in the same dream?
That is what happened to me last night. The dream wasn't the wake up, heart pounding, terror of a true nightmare. It was more a constant agonizing attempt to defend myself and my work. Each time I was conscious enough to know it was a dream, I thought, "I've got to quit dreaming this."

When I do remember dreams, I try to analyze them to the extent of meaning, why I dreamed such and whether or not the dream was a clue to something going on in my waking hours. I think last night's dream was inspired by something I read online about the changes in today's workplace - how 'older' workers can't keep up, therefore can't find jobs.

My forty plus paid working years were spent in offices as a bookkeeper/secretary/office manager/receptionist. In last night's dream, I was the older, most recently hired, bookkeeper and my much younger CFO boss was bawling me out (chastising is too polite a word) because he couldn't close the books for the year because I hadn't done my job right.

I knew I had done exactly as the person who trained me had told me to do. Trying to tell the CFO that was futile. When I suggested all we had to do was make some journal entries, he said we couldn't do that and sent me back to go over my work and correct it. When I asked the woman who trained me for some guidance, she not only wouldn't help, she made fun of me in front of the other office personnel (as if it wasn't bad enough to be on the edge of being fired).

I suppose this could just be termed a 'bad' dream. My Grandma Lynam used to say, "Don't tell your bad dreams before breakfast or they will come true". I have had my breakfast, so I needn't worry.

As to what the dream means? I don't plan to go back to work, although I wouldn't mind having a part-time bookkeeping job. I have already broken ties with the woman in the dream who made fun of me. The biggest question remaining from this dream is, "Has the workplace changed so much that everyone is only concerned with herself?" Are people so afraid of losing their own jobs that they won't help another newly hired?

I often find myself grateful for having lived my life in the years I have lived it. I worry about the future of our world and what my grandchildrens' lives will be like. There is some comfort in knowing that every generation has also worried about the future for their descendants. And there is a lot of comfort in knowing it was just a dream.

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