Am I Awake?

For the life of me, I cannot figure out whether I am awake or asleep.

At 6:00 this morning, an alarm interrupted my peaceful slumber.  Still hazy from the night before, I stumbled out of bed.  I figured that it was probably a bad idea to go to work drunk, so I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep.

My phone rang at 8:00.  It was my husband calling to say good morning.  “I can’t talk right now!  I’ll call you back,” I exclaimed before hanging up on him.  The phone rang again.  “Is everything okay?” he asked.  I insisted that I would call him back and hung up the phone.  I screamed as the bedroom door crashed open.  It was 8:30 and my husband was standing in the doorway.  As I sat in bed terrified, he replied, “I rushed home to make sure you’re okay!”  Irritated, I went back to sleep.

I had a dream. I arrived to work at 10:00 and was walking toward my office when a teacher ambushed me in the hallway.  He pulled a table out of his pants and forced me to sit down.  As I sat in front of the office door flipping through a textbook, the walls changed colors.  The door covered itself in bright pastel-colored rectangular blocks.  The dim overhead lights became brighter as grass sprouted from the floor.  The colorful door inspired me to ditch class and get breakfast.  As I wandered toward the kitchen, a desperate mob of people cut me off and fought over a TV mounted on the wall.  Foiled, I returned to the office.

I stopped at the colorful entrance to badge in, but I could not open the door because there was no handle.  Someone had cut a large hole in the door where the handle used to be.  The hole was not large enough for me to crawl through, so I searched for another door.  As I traversed the hallway, my mother called and asked whether I had bought the growth hormone balls to put in the playpen.  I did not have time to figure out what that meant so I hung up on her.

I found a door with a handle.  It led to a secure area so I could not take my phone inside.  Fancy new phone storage lockers commanded attention near the door.  I held down the power button on my phone but it refused to turn off.  Coffee appeared in my hand.  Horrified, I struggled to remove the phone battery without spilling the coffee.  The hallway became very crowded with people entering and exiting the office but no one would help me.  A maintenance worker pushed me as he passed by, shouting at his colleagues to follow him.

As I threw the phone into a locker, a consultant emerged from the office to assist me.  She was short and blond.  When I closed the locker door, it tripled in size and grew steel bars.  The lockers rearranged themselves, moving my phone further up the wall until it was out of reach.  I jumped up at the phone jail but it was futile.

The alarm woke me up again.  It was 9:00 and my head was pounding.  Punishment for drinking a bottle of rum out of boredom.  I had to get ready for work, so I zigzagged to the bathroom.  As I brushed my teeth, a huge roach materialized in the center of the mirror.  I gurgled for my husband to “helf me” as I jabbed my hand toward the intruder.  He grabbed a roll of paper towels and chased the bug around the bathroom, striking the mirror, cabinets and floor until the bug was obliterated.

My hero walked me to the car.  I drove through traffic, weaving around aggressively slow drivers.  Suddenly, two birds flew out of a tree.  One changed direction and eagerly crashed into my car.  My stomach churned as I heard the definitive thud.  My car was an accessory to suicide.  I had a moment of silence for the troubled bird.

At work, I inspected my bumper for signs of impact.  Maybe the troubled bird had merely knocked himself out.  When he awakened, he’d be grateful to have a second chance at life.  He would be a proud survivor and push other birds to believe that life is worth living.  Or maybe he’d torment himself with thoughts of “I’m such a failure, I couldn’t even end myself.”  They were equally possible.

I floated around the office, “working.”  It was difficult to function while the building rocked like a cruise ship on the ocean.  I pondered how I had made it to work while feeling so unstable.  I began to wonder whether I was still asleep.  I typically don’t feel weightless when I’m awake, but everything in the office seemed normal.  Too normal.  I had to know for sure.

First, I would jump on my coworker’s desk and can-can his business proposal to the ground.  Next, I’d knock my boss’ lunch from his hands and smash it with the fax machine.  Then I would barge into the CEO’s board meeting and flip the table, screaming, “THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH!”  If no one noticed, then it was probably a dream.  If I beat it, I could wake up from this nightmare.

As I stepped away from my cubicle, I considered the consequences if I was not dreaming.  I panicked as I realized that I’d worn jeans to work again.  Startled, I looked down to confirm that I was in fact wearing business pants.  Uneasy, I sat down without causing a scene.

Things remained iffy until lunchtime, when I ate a bagel that brought me back to reality.  Slowly, the room became clearer and the floor stopped moving.  My paranoia began to slip away as I became mostly confident that I was awake.

How can you ever be certain that you’re awake?

inception

I’m Running Away!

This is the longest workday eveeeer!  I’m ready to run away.  I packed up all my stuff.

Every time I get ready to make a break for it, my boss walks by.  She doesn’t say anything – but there she is again.  She must have a sixth sense for potential escapees or something.

Men’s Health

8 hours is so long!  It’s not fair.  Being a grown-up sucks.  Who invented the 40-hour work week?

Work would not be as painful if we had recess.  Why don’t we have recess?  Now our only options for freedom during the day are to either take extended bathroom breaks or develop a smoking habit.  Neither of which are much fun.  Has anyone ever really enjoyed bowel issues or lung cancer?

Plus, your coworkers will inevitably notice your extended absences from your desk.

If you try to cheat by taking extended lunches, you will have to stay in the office longer to make up for it.  Took an hour and a half for lunch?  Tack that extra 30 minutes onto the end of your workday.  Otherwise, expect to see that money gone from your paycheck.

This is so bogus!  Back in the day, if you “got lost” on the way back to the classroom from the school cafeteria, you didn’t have to stay a proportionate amount of extra time after class.  Teachers did not care if you missed class.

Why is the office norm sitting at your desk pretending to work?  Normal behavior should be skipping down the hallway singing.  Recess for grown-ups.

WHY NOT?

Sometimes, I ponder whether I’m allergic to work.  I tend to develop headaches and become irritable in the afternoon, probably because I don’t get paid naptime.  Wtf??

If corporations modeled office rules after kindergarten classrooms, employees would be a lot happier.  We’d get recess, naptime, playtime, milk & cookies, songs, occasional learning and friendships!  Yay!  What could be better?

To my fellow office sufferers:

Is it suspect if I post a standard “Out of Office” message on my email just in case I make it out of here?  I wouldn’t say anything too obvious, just something like:

Is this okay?