Saturday, August 4, 2012

diaper change; a desert of ideas; where's grandma?; family dollar buyout; pepsi distributor buyout; japanese contrasts

Good morning, everybody.

Dream #1

I was in "my bedroom" at night. The light in my bedroom was on, and the door was open. I was sitting on the edge, looking out the hallway. The hallway was dark and had a deep blue color. The hallway extended a little bit, then turned off to the left. I feel like there were a lot of bedrooms in the house.

A little girl walked down the hallway and toward my room. She was only wearing a diaper. She asked me to change her diaper. Just as she asked me, an older woman's voice told the little girl to get back to bed. The little girl stood in my doorway and pulled off her diaper. I could see that her diaper was a little messy.

Dream #2

I stood out on some desert road on a hot day. I must have been in a small town. I stood across a road from a wide dirt parking lot, at the end of which were two buildings like small factory buildings. I panned my gaze from the right to the left, moving my view off to the left of the buildings.

As I did this, I heard the guy from the PBS Idea Channel on YouTube winding up another one of his "here's an idea" segments. I can't remember what he was talking about, but it seemed to vindicate something I was thinking of. I think in my mind's eye I had a view of yellow and black tiger stripes, kind of like the pattern of Lum's clothes in Urusei Yatsura, except with a fading to white toward the bottom.

My view continued to the left, scanning through a vacant field, mostly of dirt, with a few green weeds here and there. The Idea Channel guy continued talking, but now referencing a totally different idea, like he was on another episode. His voice became really small and grainy -- it was like he was dealing with a subject he was a little unsure of, so he wasn't quite confident, while at the same time the "reception" (???) for the program was fading out.

My view continued to the left, where I may have seen an asphalt parking lot and a multi-story office building in the distance, beyond another vacant dirt lot. The Idea Channel guy may have been mentioning some kind of art project that had been funded by a bank. But one of the guys who'd responded to the guy's statements was now speaking directly.

I could see the guy in my mind's eye. He was tall and pale, and he wore clunky, square glasses. He had a kind of high, very whiny voice. He mentioned something about "the Citibank project," as if the art project in question, being funded by Citibank, was generally known by the bank's name.

Dream #3

I was in a car with my mom and possibly some other family members. We had dropped my brother-in-law and some of the kids off at some place like a recreation center, probably where the kids were taking lessons in some sport, maybe bowling. Apparently my mom and I were going to wait in the car while everybody was inside.

But now my mom suggested that we take the car and go take care of a few errands. I think she had to okay something about taking the car with my brother-in-law. It was like my brother-in-law would have to confirm with my mom that he was going to stay with the kids. If he was going to stay with the kids, then we could take the car.

My mom was thinking that we'd go see her mom, check in on her, make sure she was okay. But I think she was having a hard time remembering the directions to her mom's house. We had to determine directions by using some nearby McDonald's as a reference point. I think I was getting a little impatient. I think I felt like I had better things to do with my day than get lost driving around some McDonald's with my mom.

Dream #4

I was apparently the manager of a Family Dollar store. I was in some really big room like a break room. It was kind of dim, with just some natural light coming in through a high-up window.

A woman stood across from me at a long break table. She had come to talk to me because she heard that ----- was buying out Family Dollar. (I know this company was a specific, "real" company at the beginning of the dream, but I can't remember what it was. The company changed to Sav-a-Lot at the end of my dream. I'm pretty certain it was not Sav-a-Lot at the beginning.)

I knew that ----- was buying out Family Dollar. The woman had only reminded me of the fact, which I now knew was really important (???). The woman asked me whether I was going to tell the employees anything about it. I said I would. I told the woman to get all the employees of this Family Dollar together, and we'd have a talk about everything.

So everybody got together. There were crowds and crowds of people, all apparently working for the one Family Dollar I was the manager of, gathered in something like a plaza area. The plaza area was mainly a stone plaza amid some rolling, green lawns. But there were also balcony-like levels over the edges of the plaza area. Those balconies were also crowded with people from the Family Dollar.

I stood in an empty space near, but not quite at, the front of the crowd. There were other management members with me in this space. I wasn't quite paying attention to anything. I was kind of looking at the ground and fiddling with my hands or some piece of thin rope that may have bounded off the management speaking area. At this point I may have been an overweight, pale white man with a bald crown and grey hair on the sides of my head and wearing a black business suit with a white shirt.

I may have assumed I'd be introduced or given the floor. But before I was given a chance to speak, some person from the back of the crowd asked some question of a lower-level management person who stood up on one of the balconies. The question had something to do with logistics, making the logistics of work a bit easier. The man and the management person got into a long discussion. After this discussion another group of people had another discussion regarding some element of administration at the Family Dollar.

After this discussion, there was a bit of a pause. I had kind of begun to assume that I'd just walked into a normal meeting of the Family Dollar employees, and that, since I didn't have any concerns that needed addressing, I didn't need to say anything. It seemed, too, like nobody else had anything to say. So everybody assumed this meeting was over. They all began shuffling out of the meeting area.

But a management woman behind me and to my right whispered in my ear, "The buyout! You needed to talk to them about the buyout!"

I suddenly remembered that that was what this meeting had been called for. I said, "Oh, yeah! Stop them before they all leave!"

About a quarter of the crowd was already gone. But somebody had called out to the rest of the crowd to stay here, that this meeting had been called to address a concern they all had regarding the acquisition of the Family Dollar. The person said that I, the store's manager (and I think I was myself again), would be giving a presentation to everybody, so they'd see there was nothing to worry about.

Most people seemed inconvenienced. The people who thought everybody was going to get laid off "already knew" that everybody was in trouble. The people who thought everybody was fine "already knew" that everybody was fine. So why did I need to make a speech to them? I thought to myself, Well, then, they're basically right. So I'll need to give them a little new information, a little bit of unique information, that will make them feel like they didn't waste their time here.

For some reason, even though everybody was annoyed and in a hurry to get back to work, I decided I needed to make a big, showy entrance. So, as the person introducing me -- he had a voice like the Chicago Bulls announcer -- said my name, I came running up from the area directly behind the manager's speaking area.

This area was (now, anyway) a stone square with a pool or fountain of water on its left side. The pool was only about ankle deep at its edges. I ran through that pool, making a ton of splashes. I thought, Everybody who knows me will know I like water. So I'm sure they'll all think my running out here through a pool of water will be a really characteristic touch. It'll be endearing.

I now stood up on a black-painted metal railing, locking my feet into some of the lower bars of the railing and pressing my knees against a higher bar. The crowd was packed, from the railing, out as far as I could see. Off to my right was a huge sign, kind of like the light-up menu sign at a McDonald's, mixed with an LED  TV screen. I had a PowerPoint presentation playing on the screen.

I said, "I know you all know that Sav-a-Lot has announced that they are going to buy out Family Dollar. And I know that many of you are thinking, 'What's going to happen to me?' Well, let me assure you, you'll be fine. The business footprint of Sav-a-Lot is far different from the business footprint of Family Dollar. In fact, Sav-a-Lot planned to buy Family Dollar in order to expand its business footprint."

I also had an argument that Family Dollar was better run than Sav-a-Lot, so that if anybody was going to get let go, it would probably be the people from Sav-a-Lot first.

I now went through -- or tried to go through -- slides showing how Sav-a-Lot's business was so widely different from Family Dollar's business that there were no worries about efficiency-related layoffs. But I was having a hard time saying anything. I was comparing business segments and product lines for both companies. But it was so hard for me to keep focused on all the specifics. Plus, I wasn't sure I was telling the crowd something they didn't already know.

And now the slides started going really fast. And the more the slides progressed, the more the slides actually started to look like items off of a McDonald's menu. I remember looking at one slide that apparently was comparing a lineup of fruit-flavored smoothies at Sav-a-Lot with fruit-flavored smoothies at Family Dollar.

And, what was worse, I was even forgetting the name of the company acquiring Family Dollar. There was even one slide with three or four different names for the company acquiring Family Dollar. I knew that all the names except one were subsidiaries of the main company. I couldn't remember, now, whether Sav-a-Lot was the main company or just a subsidiary. But I didn't want to say "Sav-a-Lot" if Sav-a-Lot was only a subsidiary. It would make me look like I didn't even know anything about the company acquiring us.

Eventually I think I did just say "Sav-a-Lot" again when referencing the company, figuring that, if anybody gave me grief for it later on, I'd just tell them that everybody knew the company, anyway, as Sav-a-Lot, and that nobody thought of it by the main company's name.

Dream #5

I was in a room that kind of looked like a students' chemistry laboratory at a university. I stood at a long table with my old boss from a few jobs back, BS, one of my co-workers from that job, another unrecognized person, and a black man who was my boss' boss, the Director of our department.

The Director mentioned the acquisition of a Pepsi distribution company by some larger company that wasn't Pepsico. I can't remember the subtleties of the argument now, but the idea was that somehow this acquisition was either signaling bad sales on the part of Pepsi, or that it would signal bad sales for carbonated soft drinks in general, which would mean bad news for all the soft drink companies like Pepsi and Coke.

The Director was getting direct calls from clients voicing concerns over this potential bad news. He was coming to my boss to ask my boss' opinion on all of this. My boss didn't seem to have anything to say at first, and my co-worker jumped in. He said something to show that the issue wasn't actually a big deal at all. I can't remember what the argument was -- again! --, but it didn't seem to the point, in my opinion.

I had an idea that was more to the point, in my opinion (?????). The company that had been acquired mainly manufactured soda syrups for private label companies that operated out of Latin America. There may have been something about sugar cane involved in my argument. In my opinion, the acquisition may possibly have signaled bad news for the Latin American soft drinks market and for the companies that had been acquired and that made the acquisition. But globally, I probably didn't think the problem was very big.

I was about to mention this, but my boss finally told the Director, "It's not a big issue. I was actually writing a report on the whole thing right now, saying it's not a big deal. You should see that report within the next 24 hours." I knew that since my boss had spoken, there was nothing else for me to say.

Dream #6

A grainy, black and white image showing some young, pretty, Japanese women. The women looked mierable. They were probably victims of either the Hiroshima or Nagasaki bombings, or else they had somehow been displaced by the whole thing. They were very depressed, and they felt like they had no hope for life.

This image faded into a color image of the same young, pretty, Japanese women -- who may now have been the Japanese pop group Perfume! They were in the present time, and they all looked extremely happy, well-off, and full of hope.

This sequence of images may have been an advertisement for some kind of foundation that helps people. But I can't remember.