A Scavenger Dream

I’d just begun new employment. I wasn’t the age I now am, but I was middle-aged and experienced in office environments.

The office building was one of those old San Mateo buildings used by start-ups. It was dark and cramped inside. I don’t know what the company was doing or what my position was.  Those things were being explained but a haze covers that part of the dream. Then my boss, a director, said, “Here comes the CEO.” All present, except for me, started gravitating around the CEO and his words.

Beginning to sort the situation, I discovered a huge collection of parts. Looking at them, I realized it was a stockroom of one part. I don’t know what the part was. Taking one apart, I found batteries inside. Then I found and read paperwork, and spoke to others. The gist of what I understood about the company was that it was struggling and going through a re-organization. Resources were scarce. Investigating, I learned that the parts were old stock. They’d set it aside to get rid of it. I decided I’d remove the batteries, test them to see if they worked, or recycle them. Then I go find something to do with the parts.

The CEO came along while I was in the middle of doing this. “What are you doing?” he asked. I explained my plan.

My initiative impressed him. “This is the kind of thing we need to be doing until we get on our feet,” he told the others in a little speech.

I shrugged all of that off and kept going about my business. In another room, I discovered food being thrown away. I couldn’t understand that at all. Like the parts and batteries, I decided that wasn’t appropriate, so I began going through the food, checking the dates and packaging, and organizing it by its food group. Others entered while I was doing that. Many asked, “What are you doing?”

I explained myself each time. People most often replied, “That’s too much work.”

I didn’t argue with them or explain myself. I was settling in and had the time. It was a unique time and exercise; once it was done, it wouldn’t be needed to be done again.

I knew that, so I kept at it. As I worked, the food, battery and parts disappeared, as though I was seeing it through a time-lapsed recording. The office became brighter.

In the end, I paused. I was holding an armful of food containers. Looking around, I thought, I’m scavenging energy for re-use.

Understanding that, I went on, and the dream ended.

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