I woke about an hour ago from a dream in which I was playing basketball. We were at the new fitness center on the Missouri State University campus and it started as a friendly game between me and some co-workers and student workers. There were only 4-5 people per team, and we were playing on a full-sized court (rather than just half a court), so we had lots of room.
But then other people kept wanting to join. This was fine at first, but I started getting annoyed because people were right up in my face while I was still holding the ball on the sideline and looking to pass in. In friendly games, I prefer people stand a bit further off for the initial pass, and really I prefer the defense always maintain a half court press and stay on their side of the court.
More people kept joining the game, almost all of them ex-student workers. They kept just walking onto the court, walking up to me, and standing right in front of me. Everyone thought it was ludicrous that I wanted them to back off a bit, to at least go halfway to the free throw line, and when I looked behind me to back up a bit I discovered that another 20 people had filled in that space and were standing behind the hoop.
I’m not really a basketball guy, so I’m surprised my dreaming mind used this as an analogy for what I’ve been dealing with. I’ve been frustrated by an issue at work the last few weeks, which is that I keep getting emails or phone calls from people about a variety of issues that blame me or my group for whatever problem has arisen. In some cases, we’re at fault, and that’s fine and we’ll fix it, but in a lot of cases the other party hasn’t done their homework and we have nothing to do with it.
We’re missing a hard drive! Did you all take it? No? Oh, wait, here it is.
Our printer isn’t working! Did you all break it? No? Oh, wait, it’s not plugged in.
I can’t get to our computers! What did you all do? Nothing? Oh, wait, they’re not on the domain.
I did play basketball for a season when I was in second grade, and a few years ago I joined JT for some games after work for a few months. Other than that, I haven’t been involved with the sport, and I don’t watch it or read basketball news. But while I am surprised that my dreaming mind would use an aggressive basketball defense to make sense of this stressful feeling, I think the analogy works well. Technically, this aggressive full court press is legal play and they have every right to do it. (Of course, people shouldn’t be able to just walk onto the court and join the game, especially since they were all joining the opposing team…) But that doesn’t make it sporting in what should be a friendly environment.
And now I have been awake for an hour. My third shift person called in sick last night (though he called my work phone and left a voicemail, not my cell. It is only through happy chance that I happened to check my work email, see that I had a voicemail, and listen to it, otherwise I wouldn’t have known he would be out), and I just saw that one of my first shift people are out sick as well. Since I keep thinking about this and can’t sleep, I thought I would blog and then send an email or two before trying to go back to bed.
I suspect this will be a long day.