Ordinarily, I don’t share my dreams. I believe dreams are deeply rooted in our psyches. A manifestation of the events that are weighing on us or emotions we are full of or refusing to face. This dream was no exception. Yet, it was so crazy I want to write it down. I’ve actually come up with a title for it.
The Psychological Interview
I approach the building. It’s big and gray and surrounded by really high brick walls with coils upon coils of barbed wire at the top. It is very obviously a prison. I enter through the front gate, and the guard points me to where to park my car.
As I exit my car, a new guard is standing by, watching me. My heart begins to race. I greet him with a smile. He says not a word. He just hands me a visitors badge to clip to my shirt and points toward an obscure door I may have missed had he not shown it to me.
I enter through the door. The corridors are darkened and deserted. I begin to second guess myself. Do I really want to work here? I follow the corridors, hoping I’m going the right way.
I open a door, and there are young prisoners standing around. I apologize. Before I can step back and close the door, a guard is standing there pointing a gun at me. What is going on? he shouts.
I throw my hands up, apologizing repeatedly. My heart is racing. It feels ready to jump out of my throat. Another guard steps in to my rescue. He guides me back out of the door, closing it firmly behind us.
He’s talking about being careful around here. He’s telling me some of the guards are on edge and maybe even a little trigger happy. My anxiety levels rise. He offers me a tour of the place as he escorts me to my interview.
We make it to the hospital wing. This is where I will work, if I am hired. He shows me the nursing station. Ladies in pink scrubs are scrambling around, shuffling files, and tripping over each other. The nurses station is surrounded by thick (I assume bullet proof) glass. No one looks up from their work. No one acknowledges our presence.
We continue down the corridor. I am deposited into a room. My husband and daughter are there. How did they get here? Why are they here? A well dressed lady walks in and hands me a pen and a small business card. The business card is blank.
She asks me a question. I can’t understand her. She mutters something about them sending her another idiot and shows me the question on a piece of paper. She tells me to write my answer down on the business card.
I sit down at a table and begin to write out my answer. I notice the lighting in the room is blue. I vaguely wonder about the purpose of this. I can see her in the next room with other potential employees. One girl runs out crying. There is a man turning red in the face. He is so obviously angry he looks like he might explode.
I tentatively tap on the glass to tell her I have finished. She opens the door between the rooms and motions for me to come in. My daughter follows me. I blink, the harsh florescent light is almost blinding. She wants me to read her my answer. I pull out the business card she had given me.
All of my carefully thought out words are gone. It is just a business card. Her information clearly displayed on one side. On the other is a quote I don’t bother to read. I attempt to tell her what happened. I’m stuttering and flustered. She asks me to explain how this could happen.
I throw the card and pen into my purse. I send my daughter back to the previous room where my husband still waits. I begin to cry. I tell her that this is just how my life goes. That this has been par for the course for me lately.
I gather my composure. I promise to do my best to answer the question from memory. She tells me that isn’t necessary. I begin to apologize for taking up her time and prepare to leave. She stops me.
She explains to me that the moment I arrived my interview began. They had been watching me. I’d assumed they were watching me. What kind of prison doesn’t have cameras everywhere, right?
She tells me that it was all staged. The guard pulling the gun on me. The tour of the facilities. They wanted to see my honest reactions. She goes on to explain how the blue light makes the words on the card disappear and the florescent light does the same to the pen ink.
They needed to be sure I could handle myself under stressful situations. They needed an honest view of my personality when nothing goes according to plan. She offers me the job.
My thoughts on the dream
I woke up without accepting or declining the job. I believe this entire dream was just a manifestation of the anxiety interviews put me through. There they sit; judging you, testing you. And all you can do is put your best self forward and hope they see the real you and how well you will fit in with their company.
My certification as a Medical Assistant is probably the reason why I was seeking employment in a hospital wing. Most of my interviews have been healthcare related to some extent or another.
As for the prison, I bet it represents the confinement of going back to the grind of working a “normal” job. Being a freelance writer is freedom. I don’t punch a clock, I don’t conform to anybody’s rules. I work when I want, where I want, how I want. A traditional job is going to feel very confining when compared to that freedom.