Chaos And The Cafeteria

I intensely debated (except for my worst enemies, I don’t wish that anyone else ever experiences how that works) whether or not to share the details of a horrible dream I had this morning. I have forgotten many of the details and a sterile, less than three-dimensional exposition in black and white cannot convey the extreme anguish I felt as the dream unfolded.

I was, apparently, at work (yes, in real life I am not working and have not worked in a full-time job for more than a decade) and had the awful feeling that the company for whom I worked was trying to erase my existence, to make me a “non-person.” People milled about the gigantic office building, but no one acknowledged me at all.

I thought I should just leave the office, never to return, and not submit a formal resignation. However, part of me felt that action would be very risky. As I finally decided to leave I noticed papers strewn about the floor and that my name was on many, if not most, of these papers. As I looked closer, I noticed checks made payable to me attached to many of them although the amounts were small, like $7.43.

While all of this was going on, the noise level in the office building kept increasing until it was a din, seemingly emanating from the company cafeteria. I decided I was very hungry and would buy some lunch with my newfound “wealth.” I walked to the cafeteria only to find that, while the doors were open and I could enter, no food was being served and no one else was in there, despite the noise. At that point, I woke up with my heart racing and covered in more than a little sweat.

What is the source of such dreams and why have I always had so many of them? Once again, it is at times like these that I particularly miss my friend, psychologist Richard Segal, who died in February, 2017.


Maserati update…I still don’t have the car and I am only going to buy front tires, for now. The amount for the tires (roughly $1,000 for the pair) will push the total bill to about the bottom of the range I had budgeted. Replacing the front tires is absolutely necessary. I tried to send myself a photo texted to me by my “car guy” of actual tread separation of one of those tires, but did not succeed in three attempts.

He said the problem was as much about poor alignment as it was about unusual camber, but that until I buy a set of rear tires (he recommended I do that in no more than 3-6 months) an alignment was a waste of time.

My father, an auto mechanic, used to say to me that if you don’t take of your car then your car won’t take care of you. I once dated a woman who bragged that she had never had the oil changed in her then current car. I kept telling her that was a big mistake. About a month or two after our relationship ended, her car’s engine seized and her wealthy father bought her a new automobile. Maybe that’s why she didn’t care if her car worked or not.

Preventative maintenance is not optional, but when it comes to their cars many people operate in the “penny wise and pound foolish” idiom. You’re not outsmarting anyone except yourself if you ignore such care. Once again, a picture of the current object of my automotive affection.



If I may say so myself, that sure is a good-looking car. Oh, the No Reserve sticker is still on the windshield. In my highly idiosyncratic way, I like seeing it there.





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2 thoughts on “Chaos And The Cafeteria

  1. “Preventative maintenance is not optional”

    Lack of PM is what keeps many repair shops busy. My personal vehicles will receive an oil change at a MAX of 3,000 miles. Any grease fittings are lubed and a general “look and see” around the vehicle is done. Does it prevent every issue? No. Short of completely disassembling the entire vehicle you cannot find every problem. But you sure can cut down on breakdowns at a minimum. Our leased vehicles get the same treatment and get service more frequent than the OEM recommendation. I can’t afford to be chasing after broken down vehicles, scattered around the country (currently have crews in Texas. Minnesota, Maryland and Florida) and coming up with some form of interim plan.

    When I worked in plant engineering, I often had to show TPB why I needed a budget for PMs. My best method at the time was to take the sales amount of the product from a each production machine and breakdown the loss on an hourly basis. When shown losses of thousands of dollars per hour, most agreed to my budget requests.


    1. At least TPB listened to the evidence; that’s in all too short supply today.

      By the way, DDM, to you goes “the honor” of having the 8,000th published comment on the blog.


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