Monday, August 10, 2015

Fairy turtles saving my office building from flooding! (dreams)

Photo by L. Shyamal, animal courtesy Saleem Hameed (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons


I'm a worker... underpaid, untrained and a little bitter... who's supposed to prevent a total electrical system collapse in a building used by an organization I'm working for. If I don't figure this out, the consequences will be mine to bear- and mine alone. I'm expected to be able to do this all by myself. I think my bosses and coworkers are expecting miracles from me. Still... I do feel a strong need to prove myself worthy of employment.

I guess.

The real problems is how I don't at all feel invested in this place or these people. They're pleasant, but very superficial. I don't trust them for a second, although I feel bad for admitting my cynicism. Despite my awareness that these are assumptions I'm making and that my feelings could be clouding my judgment, I can't help secretly having a very cool attitude toward this job, and having a self-protective attitude isn't my preference for the things I do or the people I work for.

I know I'm capable of doing the work as well as anyone else at my pay scale. To be honest, I think I'm better qualified than most, considering what I'll take for compensation.

I'm going over some of the leads I've been given about how to stop the entire building from flooding,  which would cost the company an untold amount in damages. The company has backed up what information they can in their computer systems, and fortunately, that's most of the information they need. But there's still a ton of older paperwork and other older equipment that they want to keep that'll be lost if the water rises more than a foot.

So far, the carpet is just a little soggy in some of the rooms I'm gathering information in. It oozes and squishes under my footsteps. The more rooms I go into to look for clues, the fewer I find. My options are narrowing.

By chance, I find an office worker in an empty conference room that's starting to flood. I sit in on part of his presentation. Most of it goes over my head. He's willing to give me a little more advice though. He shape shifts into a couple different men with different experiences and perspectives. He has quite a bit of seniority over me and more skills too. I wish he'd take over my task for me, but he likewise has faith that I'll be able to figure out how to save the 10-20 office floors in time.

These people are absolutely nuts if they think they can depend on me to resolve some sort of freak accident that's never happened before.

But they do! They all do, him included. I thank him and take his lead. One of the scientists who used to work here should have left some sort of explanation for what's going on.

I figure out what office the scientist used to work in and where their stuff was moved to. I manage to dig out some old notes and materials they left behind. I have a hunch that a homemade VHS with handwritten labels about "water" and "ocean exploration" and "tidal flooding" is going to have exactly what I need to hear.

I go from room to room looking for a VHS player. I don't think I'm going to find one that works. I try a couple out. One does turn on, and I'm so excited! But I'm even more scared now. If this doesn't give me something that works, I don't have any other ideas and I'm running out of time. This is one of the upper levels. And if this level is beginning to get squishy, I don't know what the lower ones look like by now and I don't have time to check.

I check the brown ribbon under the black plastic covering. The ribbon looks a little crinkled- not a good sign. But I cross my fingers and put the tape into the VCR player, glowing a calm, blank cerulean blue.

I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear that familiar hiss, blasting out my eardrums at VOL 80. I turn it down as I watch those flecks of black and white and gray shimmer.

When the image clears up and the pixelated "PLAY" vanishes from the screen, I see a grainy home video of  an ocean. The tape cuts in and out. I can't quite make out what's being said, but it's hardly out of the ordinary. It's someone rambling. I need that key information to come up and the narrator is not being up front with it. The voice sounds like a woman... a strong, in-control woman... it might be narrated by Captain Janeway from Star Trek.

Then I turn around. I see a lumpy, crude, green plastic statue in the middle of the floor. It has begun to spout water from dozens of pores.

That wasn't there a minute ago...

But this is the heart of the problem. And it wasn't in the video at all! I'm too late to fix the damage it's causing. I don't know how I'm supposed to stop this odd statue. If it keeps going, it's going to completely flood the room and there's electronic equipment all over the floors. I'm especially worried for all the extension outlets that are practically glued to the floor by all the gnarled, plastic-coated wiring- stiff with age and layers of greasy dust.

Then a green turtle with bright blue and light pink highlights flies around the corner and onto the statue! It begins to lap up the water coming out of the statue.

Then another turtle flies up to the statue to drink the its gushing tears. Then two more! Then dozens of these green, blue and spotted pink flying turtles- perhaps hundreds! come flying into the room. They lap up all of the water, no problem.

I know I don't have to worry about that strange statue's leakage anymore. I forget about my problem and marvel at these beautiful creatures that have come to our rescue. They belong here and so did the statue that feeds them. Everything was just a little... disorganized.


I've been having a lot of problems recently with rumors some people are spreading about me at school. I believe that one of the people helping to spread the rumors is the same as the one represented by the statue. But there are several possibilities. Someone (probably more than one someone, at least one of which works for my school in the summertime) spread a rumor about me about 2 weeks ago to the scientist I was volunteering for. It's undeniable from his sudden change in demeanor toward me and by reading between the lines of our communications that it is the exact same rumor that originated in the school's drama department.

Of course the theater students are causing drama. They're certainly not going to be spending their time doing anything productive for society- I've learned that, for sure.

The woman who started the rumors about me was an assisting graduate student I caught talking some serious shit about me to her friend. I told the teacher, and then the rumor-spreading started in earnest. She seemed proud of herself too!

The bitter bite to the first part of my dream's tone comes from my feeling about colleges in general. I dislike college. The feeling of a free-floating mistrust about the organization in the dream echos this. I resent that trapped feeling I get when I have to go from A to B rigidly in a sea of thousands of other people. The dream echos this in the feeling of mistrust I have about the people who work for this place, specifically, and not just the structure of college itself. But I do feel that I'm being compensated enough to work with them. The dream is quite accurate in creating circumstances that simulate how I feel about these things in waking life.

The repairs I'm expected to do on the office building seem to represent what I have to do if I'm going to continue working with the college institution. Concessions always have to be made, and I'm about 70% satisfied with this temporary position. 70% isn't bad at all.

The dynamics surrounding the rumor-spreading are complicated. There are many players. I generally ignore the sort of people who are into gossip- their thoughtlessness, their  unprofessionalism, their ignorance and their questionable ethics... probably because I've gotten used to being treated rudely by people here. It's the new normal in my life- even among adults. After a hard day in my new college, I returned to the part of town I used to work in. I was treated with kindness and respect. And I was surprised at how alien the feeling was. One often hears that all one has to do to be treated well is to treat other people well. That is naive. "Good" things do not happen to "good" people and people's "bad" deeds generally do not face any kind of justice.

I've stepped back so far from physical reality and into my books that I've even found it comical that people I've either never had a conversation with or have known for less than a few months believe that despite their lack of information, they have still grasped enough patterns of the universe to be qualified to tell me who I am. Some weird part of me enjoys watching this.

So I have generally just gone about my business, concentrating on my schoolwork since it hasn't been particularly harmful for them to believe whatever they want. But now, it's undeniable that their rumor spreading has begun to damage my ability to function in my new major.

I'm going from room to room and level to level looking for that one bit of information that's going to solve my problems. In the dream, that bit of information never comes. I was looking for something in the technology- something ordinary, easy to understand, and easy to find and trace and plug in and plug out and move. The answer was the turtles and the statue having gone out of balance. So the explanation and the solution are probably not going to be as simple and direct as I've been hoping for.

I think the fairy turtles are sort of like white blood cells... surrounding an impurity and incorporating it into the ordinary processes of the system.

I am sitting in a cafe right now. And in this cafe, I saw four women... pregnant... middle management sorts... all backstabbing all their friends and neighbors and coworkers by accusing them of gross narcissism. All four people who have taken it upon themselves to bring new people into the world in their own image, without those future adults' consent- even knowing that their children will suffer and die... all four of these white women took turns backstabbing their friends and acquaintances. None of them seem to be capable of putting themselves in the shoes of the people they're accusing. I don't hear any depth of insight in their descriptions of their relationships. It's all too hypocritical.

They're a thing now. They're an easily stereotyped type of person here, like "bros" or "valley girls." I never knew what a "bro" or a "hipster" or a "bro-hoe" was until I moved here. But I guess some people really like to do and think the same things over and over and over again to the point that they're walking cliches! There's nothing at all wrong with that... I guess it's expected. But this powerful urge to fit into a category is something I haven't quite gotten used to yet, even after three years of trying to adapt to Southern California.

Janeway's narration about the open ocean represents an older woman who tried to mediate the problem but didn't quite solve it.

But my dream suggests that I can also sit back and trust that goodness will prevail. There are factors I'm not aware of (the flying turtles) that will balance out things that have been in this organization's structure long before I was here (the statue and the old equipment).

All I'm interested in, in both the dream and in real life, is to solve the problem, to do my job, and to prepare for the better offers that will eventually arise.