Sometimes you get a signal that maybe you’re a little preoccupied or anxious about work. Yesterday, I had the following dream:
I was at the radio station editing the afternoon newscasts as usual. We had a stand-in anchor doing the casts, and our regular anchor was in the office but on some sort of special assignment. We had our lineup ready for the 5 o’clock newscast, but about half an hour before air time, I couldn’t find our sub anchor. She had gone out somewhere and not returned. I couldn’t get her on her cellphone. Newscast time approached, and I asked the regular anchor to do the cast. He was busy and didn’t want to. Still no sign of the stand-in newscaster. I thought I’d better call master control to tell them we were going to have to blow off the cast and they should stay with the network, but I couldn’t remember the master control phone number. No worries—I’d walk down there. Except I couldn’t find it—the layout of the office seemed to have changed. Now it was getting very, very close to air time, and I was hoping that maybe our regular afternoon guy would relent and go and do the cast, but my first priority was to get to master control and let them know we had no cast. I happened upon some other employees and asked them to steer me to master control, as nothing I was seeing looked familiar. Oh, they said, they moved that to the fourth floor (fourth floor? I thought our building only had three floors) and they pointed the way to an elevator. I wound up in one of our TV studios instead, with no elevator in sight. I did see a stairway, though, and started bounding up two steps at a time. But the stairs got narrower and steeper as I went up. I remember thinking, “Whoa—this is a dangerous flight of stairs” as I looked down. I kept going, but soon the stairs were nothing more than strips of carpet hanging from the wall. I thought about whether I could use them as handholds to pull myself up and decided that was a bad idea. I turned and very gingerly climbed back down. I set out again to find master control, but before I did, I ran into the stand-in anchor. “Oh, man—we’re about to miss the newscast,” I said. “Where have you been?” I noticed she was kind of wobbly, like maybe she’d just come from a bar. She said she had been really exhausted and simply had to take a nap and had just awakened. She set off in search of the regular newscaster, while I continued to look for master control, though by this time I knew it was probably too late to warn them. I then started thinking about how I would explain all the above in an email to my bosses.
And then–I was taught in high school never to end a story this way–I woke up. I have to say that this was very vivid, but didn’t feel like a nightmare. Just one of those familiar (to me) stress-type dreams where a relatively simple,straightforward goal continually shrinks from your grasp.