Nightmares and Jobs

I was thinking about this today, and I want to know if others have the same experience.

I’m pretty calm in general, and not much gets to me in waking life, but…

I often have nightmares about jobs that I’ve had or the job that I do have now. They’re mostly focused on “not being prepared” or “helplessness/tension!” scenarios. I’ll dream that I’m back at my old job (7 years ago or so) waiting tables and nothing will be going right. Orders are coming out of the kitchen wrong, customers are unserved because I don’t know that they’re there or that they’re mine, I can’t figure out which tables belong to me, etc. Sometimes I’ll dream that I’m trying to teach a class, but I don’t have any idea where the class is located. Sometimes technology-stuff will go wrong (projectors won’t work, computer crashes) and I’ll be unprepared and desperate.

I know these dreams are tied to the things that I feel in general, but I’m sick of having them. Does anyone else get these sort of dreams? Did you ever make them go away? Is there some job/career that I could switch to which wouldn’t give me nightmares? I’d really like to have a job that didn’t give me nightmares. That would be swell…

I have work dreams all the time. Mine usually involve looking at the clock, realizing that I was supposed to be at work hours ago, and not being able to think of a reason to tell them why I’m not there. Also, I have dreams that I live at work, and I’m pissed because I don’t have any privacy or that my bedroom is in the bathroom and my coworkers lay down on my bed and breathe on my pillow when they’re just supposed to use the bathroom in there.

I’m sure these dreams are anxiety-based, at least for me. I have a high-stress job, where it’s very easy to become self-conscious or to suspect that you’re not measuring up in some way.

Sometimes I dream that I still work with card catalogues and that I or somebody else took the rod out and dropped the card drawers.

I had a horrible job for three months last year. Essentially, the work environment was just a very bad fit for me. I’ll sometimes have nightmares that I’m still working there, but there’s none of the unpreparedness or panic and confusion in the dream. Just being there is the nightmare.

It’s really not so bad, though, because whenever I wake up, I feel a rush of relief in realizing that I no longer work there.

I have work dreams/nightmares all the time, especially if I work late (I work from home) and then go right to bed. It’s utterly exhausting.

My dad worked for Nickel’s Bakery 30 years ago, for only 1 or 2 years while he was laid off. He says that the only work dreams he ever has is about the bread truck, not about the other 30+ years of work at Ford.

My grandpa used to drive a bread truck, too. He also has nightmares about it, some 35+ years on.

Yeah, I generally do. For the past couple of years I’ve been a full-time college professor, and sometimes I’ll dream that it’s the end of the semester and I suddenly remember there is a class that I’ve been assigned that I met once and promptly forgot about, which brings up all kinds of anxiety and stress (in the dream.) When I wake up, I always realize that there’s no practical way that could happen, but the dream still happens every so often.

So far, I’ve never even lost track of time and been late to a class, but I guess it’s a subconscious fear.

I was a waiter for nine years in an upscale, very busy restaurant. It was a pretty intense job. I think people who have never waited tables often underestimate the stress and pressure involved.

Anyway, I would often have nightmares revolving around my job: Way too many tables, food taking way too long. I’d often have a dream where one of my tables was at the top of a large, grassy hill and I’d be racing up the hill while carrying a tray full of food that was waaay overdue.

I had to resort to putting a small sign beside my bed that read: “You Are Dreaming”.

My job-related nightmares almost always have to do with quitting time and not being allowed to leave.

I’ve had this from the other side–I sign up for a course–the last one I need for my degree–and forget to go for the entire semester. I try to convince myself I don’t need the degree, but I fee like a quitter until I realize in the dream is a dream and I already have the degree.

I haven’t had that one since I retired from the military. I’ve gained some weight. Now my dream is that I can’t retire until I do one more PT test–and I know I’m over weight and I hate to run.