I hate back to work dreams... but I had one once again last night. I was receptionist at the YMCA for 13 years, and while I loved my job, and all of the members I checked in every day became my friends, I hated the politics of the place! I counted once, and in all of the thirteen years I worked there I had more supervisors than I had years that I had worked there. In reality I should have and could have been supervisor, since I was there as a volunteer even before we had a real building, but because of my 4wd tours, and family obligations, I didn't want to be tied down like that, nor did I want the responsibility.
My second supervisor actually had been my best co-worker friend, then suddenly my supervisor quit and the friend got the job attached to her existing job instead of a new supervisor actually hired. We both did ok with it, until I realized she was manipulative and using me. Since I only worked part time I didn't get a lunch break. If the back office all went to lunch and my friend wanted me to go with them she would arrange someone else to watch the front desk, yet when she started getting chummier with one of the fitness directors, she suddenly didn't want me around, and couldn't find relief for me even when I was sick., let alone an all office lunch date.
The worst time for me was when my Dad needed me to take him to a doctor's appointment and my friend/supervisor wouldn't let me off for it because it was time for annual reviews and she had scheduled a review with another one of her staff at that time, so there was no one to take my 4 hours. This angered and frustrated me because it was the first time my Dad really needed me and I couldn't be there for him, and in all of the years I had worked there my review was always overlooked, and I figured it would be overlooked that year too - which of course it was. There were more things - personal things outside of the work place - but I won't get into all of it here - other than to say that her family went into some financial problems and my husband and I did everything we could to help them out short of giving them a place to live or loaning them money. Years later, when things were back to normal for them and they moved on I found out from other co-workers that she had lied or exagerated about things in the work place and in her personal life, and used everyone to her advantage. It's also important to this story to understand that they were both born again Christians and very outspoken and active about it.
I had a lot of baggage about this supposed friend, for many years, and it sort of ruined me for developing close friendships, particularly with women. Occassionally, like last night, I will dream about all of this.
I retired from the YMCa in 2002 after my 50th birthday and a leave of absence to experience living at my friend's ghosttown. I new if I went back I would have to train my umpteenth new supervisor, and there was an office manager who I got along with fine so long as I didn't have to work with, but she was a real bear in the office. I just couldn't imagine going back to all of this, especially after getting a taste of late 19th century ghosttown ambience and freedom to do what I wanted for a change without answering to anyone.
I worked out at the Y occassionally, then my trips and life got in the way. Eventually, all but one or two people in upper management were gone, and the Y finally accomplished raising the money for the serious remodel that needed to be done, so the place just wasn't the same any more. When I went to the grand opening a few years back, my old reception desk was gone, and a modern new one was on the opposite wall. Fortunately, my husband & I did have a plaque on the big donor wall....where I had contributed several months worth of my meager part time salary to get that, so there was some satisfaction in that. But I knew that after the hoopla of the grand opening was over, I would never come back to the YMCA again. Even the old executive director who had become a dear friend of lowly front desk reception me, was gone, so there was nothing there for me any more, and I could work out at hom, so it wasn't like I needed a gym to go to.
But last night in my sleep I decided to go in to the Y to see a couple of the old pre-school teachers and aerobic instructors that have remained tried and true through all of the management changes, and facility upgrades. I walked in, and the front desk person was worried because their relief had called in sick, and they couldn't go home. Something I could so relate to! So for some reason, which I hope I would only succomb to in a dream world and never in reality, I told them who I was and that I could watch the desk for a few hours so they could go home.
It started out all fine - some of my old members - primarily seniors - were still there. They were, of course, delighted to see me, they always loved me, and I adored them as well. But it soon be came apparent that some things never change, inspite of the new facade, and I commented outloud a few times on this. In this dream world, my old supervisor who was supposed to be my best friend, was back, and she overheard me. She came up to me and began reprimanding me for thinking outloud in front of the members, and before you know, someone was calling me to new executive director's office.
I remember walking in the back office which was a sea of new and old employees, and feeling that everyone was eyeing me. I waited outside the executive director's office, but nobody ever opened the door to call me in. Meantime, things were chaotic at the front desk - because no one had bothered to take over while I was gone. Just like old times in the reality world. I was always expected to be two or three places or once, and somehow still run the reception desk.
I decided the members were more important than a meeting with the executive director, and hurried to the front desk to take care of them. After all, I was no longer an employee, so they couldn't hurt me for my decision. So I went back to the reception area, and suddenly realized that my old friend/supervisor, and several others were standing there with big grins on their faces. The biggest grin of course, was the one on my supposed friend. The members were all deliberately being ignored by them, and they were getting angry. I looked at them and this old friend. I was about as furious as you could be. She was playing a joke on me, and thought it was hilarious.
Here was my chance... I had nothing to lose. I could finally get back at her. I grabbed her face with my claws, and tried to rip it out. As I did so I shouted out her name and screamed, "You goddamned Christian pathological liar! You haven't changed a bit!"
Then suddenly, I woke up in a heated anger with my heart racing from the emotion of it all. My holy terror cat Darwin had somehow stepped on the remote control to the ceiling fan in the bedroom which I use all night to keep my room from getting too stuffy, and the lack of gentle whirring sound, and something falling from my nearby nightstand woke me up.