So I have been on call for work this week. This in itself is a regular occurrence and something I knew fully well that I would be doing on a regular basis at my current job. It’s not the most pleasant time of my life but it’s bearable. There are some aspects I really enjoy about on call; mostly because it keeps me at home and I do stuff around the house but also because I feel like there’s an extra boost in the team camaraderie department when all of us on call folks are working together (one of us from each relevant department). I get a better sense of teamwork with those I don’t work closely with during the normal workday. It’s not a bad feeling.
One of the things that on call does is make for some irregular sleep patterns. I opt to sleep in the boys’ room when I’m on call because I occasionally have to get up in the night and I don’t want to disturb Earl with my trips back and forth to my office. I sleep on top of my pager, which has been set to vibrate, because the dinging of the pager makes me insane to the point of a rabid response: I foam at the mouth, spout out obscenities that would make a person with tourettes blush and then I throw something. I am not wired to handle the wide variety of the pseudo friendly beeps from the pager but I can easily handle something vibrating under me in bed. Go figure.
Erratic sleep schedules make for some interesting dreams. If I sleep for an hour or two, get called for work for an hour or so, go back to sleep for another hour or two, rinse and repeat a couple of times, by the last sleep cycle before morning I usually am in the midst of intense, whacky dreams. Such a thing was happening this morning around 7:45. I was in the middle of a very vivid, engaging dream that was taking place in a palace of some sort. Smells, sounds and color by technicolor was involved and quite frankly I was enjoying the experience immensely. I was in some sort of third person role and simply observing the action taking place in the dream when everything just froze with the “freeze” sound effect from “Bewitched” (you’d know it if you heard it). From here I walked around my surroundings a little bit a looked at everything frozen when I heard another “ding”. With the sound a Windows XP dialog appeared right in the middle of this frozen scene in my dream. Still fully asleep and dreaming, I was standing in the middle of a palace with all action frozen and a three dimensional Windows XP dialog box in the middle of it all. I walked all the way around the Windows XP dialog box that hung in mid air and then read the contents:
Wake Up And Look At Your Pager
I remember reading this message in my dream, musing to myself about the contents of it and then I awoke with a start. Next to me, my pager had accumulated 20 pages in about three minutes and I had slept through the vibrations because the pager was lying on the bed next to me. My subconscious found a creative way to communicate to me and proved one thing to me at the same time.