It’s pretty bad when I start getting bad job-related dreams when I don’t even have the job.
Phone rings and it’s the program administrator from the grant-making agency. Seems he’s a trifle bent out of shape because I’d sent in an application for a grant from his agency — seems to be at some government level — without alerting him first, especially because there hadn’t been any action on MY part regarding the FIRST grant his agency had awarded, and that he’s supposed to be overseeing.
I tell him the reason we hadn’t implemented activities from the first grant is because the artist responsible (so this is some kind of arts grant, I guess) had been preoccupied with tying up loose ends from another project, a total fabrication even in the context of this bad dream. Great — when it comes to work, I can lie in my sleep. Very valuable attribute in most professions.
I also tell him he’s caught me away from my desk and files — well, that’s accurate, anyway; I’m asleep in bed ferchrissakes — so I couldn’t be more specific, but please remind me — I have a lot of active grants working — which project was this?
He reminds me that it was a cultural awareness initiative focused on bringing ancient Chinese characters and symbols into contemporary settings. “Oh, right,” I say, actually remembering in my sleep this very specific program, and also realizing that No, we hadn’t made so much as one move toward bringing this one to fruition. I totally ignored it. And may I add here, I have no damn clue what this program would even look like, why I would apply for it under ANY circumstances in my life so far, and what the hell it was all about.
A development officer’s nightmare. And I’m not a development officer, although sometimes I play one at meetings.
“Wait a moment,” I say. “Look, I’m not at my desk and I can’t check this now, but did we actually get confirmation from your office that we’d even been awarded this grant? Because now that we’re discussing it, I can’t remember getting notified one way or the other.”
At which point I awaken, somewhat shaken. Which rhymes because I’m an artist and a musician, see.
There’s nobody to complain to about w/r/t these matters, of course, no Bad Dream Complaint Department, but if there were, I’d have a legitimate claim. Like everybody else, I’ve endured troubling work-related dreams, but to this point, literally all of them had something to do with real work. A missed deadline. A bad budget. The absolute wrong thing said to the wrong person at the worst time. Hell, even stark bare-assed naked in public — I’ve had that dream dozens of times. (Guido says it’s not a nightmare, it’s my fantasy.)
No, this is a first, and with any luck there won’t be a further episode. But just to be on the safe side, I checked my emails and files, and in fact, there doesn’t seem to be a notification of this grant award anywhere, so if anybody fucked up, they did. That’s my story, dammit, and I’m sticking with it, asleep, awake, or in between.