Friday, August 19, 2005

For in that sleep of work, what dreams may come!

No, I don't dream of work. Work is something that's flung out of my mind the moment I step out of the building I work in. Thats the way I want it and thats the way it has been. Until yesterday. For those of you who have not read this post, I am your regular corporate whore who lives in Excel sheets to earn my daily bread - well, daily idlis when my mom was around which incidentally was until yesterday.

So anyway, yesterday at work my colleague M and I were trying to tally some numbers in one of my Excel sheets; I wanted to get home sooner than usual so that I could drop my mom at the airport. The numbers in question were more than a couple of billion dollars - we were able to tie up everything except a measley $151,723. Try as we might, we had no clue as to where the $151,723 vanished. After 7 hours of trying invain, I had to give up and go home to say good-bye to my mom. I saw my mom off at O'Hare and came back to my empty apartment all set for the depression that would set in - who is going to make idlis for me the next morning being the most important cause for this would-be depression. No such thing happened though; instead all I could think of was $151,723. Where the hell did that number disappear?

Thus the stage was set for my first ever work-related dream. Or nightmare if you want to be accurate. It is air and water show time in Chicago. Which incidentally is this weekend. And there I was(with a couple of friends) at my snooty best making fun of all the thousands of junta trying to make it to the city and find a parking spot - "Why do these losers come here anyway? Can't they stay home next to their monstrous malls and their cornfields?" We were walking past the statue of Grant in Lincoln Park - (Aside: do you know why they have a statue of Ulysses Grant in Lincoln Park, but they don't have a statue of the man in Grant Park? Long story, material for another post) - and we could see the lake and the beaches teeming with masses all set to watch the show. People were setting up their picnic chairs and their beach umbrellas; the mobile food vendors were doing excellent business. A record number of lifeguards seemed to be on duty and in total kumbh mela style, kids were getting separated from parents. They were making kids-and-dogs lost-and-found annoucements over the loudspeakers every other minute. Up above, the aerial advertisers were having a field day with all kinds of company banners flying from behind planes and choppers. Comcast, SBC, some tire company, some car dealer, and hang on, do I see $151,723? In bright red on a white background? Yes! The ad reads - "Veena, where is $151,723?" OMG! How did they know? Suddenly my two friends are looking at me strangely and are moving away from me. The masses on North Ave beach all turn towards me and ask in unison "Veena, where is $151,723?". And I wake up.

So you thought that was weird? Wait, there's more to come. So I get to work and M and I get back to figuring out where the $152,723 went. We actually figure it out pretty soon; all it needed was a fresh two pairs of eyes looking into it, I guess. All triumphant now, I tell M my dream.

M: Thats nothing. Thats just a normal dream.

Me: What do you mean?

M: I have had worse dreams. Like really bad ones.

Me: Yeah? Like what?

M: When you get dreams like mine, you know its time to quit. Its that bad.

Me: Okay, tell me about this dream.

M: I actually get it quite often. Even yesternight.

Me: Enough! Tell me what the dream is about.

M: Well, I dream of getting caught inside an Excel cell. You know, like cell C35. And you are inside this tiny cell, and you see numbers going up and down, left and right like its in the matrix. I try to get out of this cell but there's no way. I can't escape.

Me: You are freaky.

M: No, a lot of people in the company get the same dream. Its all Excel.

Me: You think Microsoft has something to do with it?

M: I don't know. Possible.

So there. Whats your work dream?


Anand said...

Good that the "fresh eyes" spotted $151,723 the very next day!

My wife wonders: How do you leave work at work? All of us can learn something from you there - certainly people like me who get stuck in excel cells and infinite loops 24x7.

Veena said...


I guess I don't care abt work too much and so its easier to leave it behind! Not exactly an ideal situation :)