I had a dream in which I was a member of a committee of about six people. Our assignment was to identify the “Hangers-on” among the employees of a company. Those were the workers who simply took up space, imposing their will upon others without contributing anything to the progress of the job at hand.
These people will create a position in which they can boss people under them. But, upon examination, they prove to be a drag and things run much more smoothly when they get left behind, or are un-elected and kicked out of the loop. Naturally, they work hard to hide that Hanger-On truth and to crush any fresh talent who might show them up or threaten their stranglehold.
Our committee got a memo every morning from the self-appointed chairman, insisting that we call him. I just never complied and, sure enough, he fired me! But, I was the only one actually doing any work and it soon came to light that he wasn’t even in town. He was actually one of these very hangers-on, who had invented a post of power to escape becoming a target of the group. Instead, he became a perfect example of those who extracted a salary while putting on a great show of importance; but who added nothing to the job.
This dream reminded me of an actual instance of a very officious cleaning woman at the local mall. She had set up her domain around two tiny bathrooms: male and female, which she ruled over, assisted by the crowded conditions.
The stall doors were so close together that she could run both male and female operations simultaneously. She is an employee, paid to clean; but she shamelessly angles for tips from the customers and actually got one from me on my third visit. I’m not sure why I rewarded this strange behavior, other than that it’s so original.
Upon my entry into the crowded sink area, she pointed out an empty stall and practically steered me in. Sometimes, she darts in first, to mop the floor for each customer, “especially for you!” she beams. Upon emergence, she waves her hand towards an available sink so you can wash your hands.
There were no paper towels, so when I started to dry my hands on my shirt, she physically took me to the electric hot air dryer and turned it on.
Surprise! My departure was “sort of” blocked by herself and the wide floor mop she was now using on the hall, while smiling broadly at me, very expectantly. If that’s not an example of blatant,”in-your-face” make work, I don’t know what is! It’s neither necessary, nor welcome; and certainly not what she’s paid to do; but she milks this scheme for all its worth!
This is just the type of hanger-on employee that my Dream Committee was empowered to fire…. until it turned out to be chaired by one!