I had a nightmare about by job this morning. I dreamed that I was talking to a senior management person, declaring that the organisation’s strength was in the diversity of skills that its employees possessed. He was warning me "careful, careful" for some reason, then apologetically handed me a slip of paper, telling me that he was sorry. Then he left.

On the slip of paper was an evaluation of my performance and skills. My technical performance and knowledge was all rated highly, but the comments at the bottom said something like "Andrew’s distance from work has caused problems, including the introduction of a virus into the network". Angry at the lie, I raced down the corridor to my office to find the computing staff already packing away my PC without giving me the chance to copy any of my email or personal files off it.

I ran to my supervisor’s room to demand an explanation, only to be told she was away. Then outside, where a caravan of vehicles was arriving. My supervisor dismounted from one of the vehicles and came to talk to me. By this time the dream was coming to an end and things became strange, including the glass ball my supervisor was wearing over one eye (a Borg?) and I awoke to find that it was 5:20am.

I’m sure that the dream is yet another sign of the stress I’m am feeling at the moment. My contract ends in a week and a half and, after a month and a half, I’ve still heard nothing about whether I’ll get my job back. I should have been relaxing over Summer after a very busy and hard working year, but the uncertainty nags at the mind. Always a feeling that I should be attempting to cram in as much development as possible to impress those who will judge my performance. The fear of disapproval. Most of my colleagues, including my supervisor and others on the selection panel, have had long holidays. Right now I really feel I need one, really need the opportunity to relax.

While I can’t travel anyware right now, I have found an unsatisfactory substitute. On my new, faster computer Flight Simulator 2000 now runs at a reasonable speed. I installed a Victorian scenery pack and now I can fly over a satellite imaged landscape. The detail is good enough that I can imagine I’m really there. That’s now making me pine for a holiday in Melbourne. I so enjoyed our last trip, experiencing the perfect summer day’s weather, a brown, dry menacing stillness, that sucked the energy out of the city and suspended it in the atmosphere. You don’t get days like that in Sydney, but those are the days I live for in summer.

I do have one holiday coming up – a week in Rockhampton in February with my family. I’m not really in the mood to go north. I’d rather be going south to Victoria, the ACT or South Australia. Somewhere quiet with just my wife and me. That’s a pleasant dream.

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