Skin jobs in the office

Last night I had the strangest dream.

At my job, one of my co-workers was an android…I guess “android” is really an outdated word. Showing my age I guess. Cyborg  sounds too sinister, though. Robot sounds too metallic. The point is it was not human. The strange part was everyone knew it wasn’t human but it had integrated so completely into the office that no one, including myself, took much note of it. It was like one of a hundred other things about my life in Japan that I used to think odd but now fly way below my remarkable radar.

She (it wasn’t an it after all; even I, in my dream, recognized it as a she) wasn’t hard on the eyes at all. I mean, she wasn’t a pleasure model, either. She was built to be a fully functioning attractive office lady. Not extraordinarily intelligent, but sharp. I mean she was no computer with legs. She was more like a woman who had been in the office for several years and moved up through experience and a proven track record of getting things done efficiently, and thus had the respect of co-workers and superiors alike.

Her personality was not inhuman. Damn, is she like one of those Replicants or “skin jobs” from Bladerunner? Maybe. Like the one Harrison Ford fell in love with. Sean Young, not the Darryl Hannah one. And, like them she seemed to know she wasn’t human, but not in a way that it should be of any concern to other people. Like, with every action, she whispered, “I’m just like you…” and had been whispering this message into the brains of staff so long that they’d actually stop hearing it and began seeing her as just like themselves.

Now that I think about it, though synthetic people from Bladerunner are about the closest thing I think of what this woman in my dream was, that doesn’t explain my feeling about her. She was not a person. She was not a machine.

It was a strange dream…

There was a memo going around the office email. I read it. It said something like: Due to the success of the current line of robots I’ve made a new line and one secretly sent one to China. Many of you might think it unwise of me to send our technology to China but I assure you it wasn’t my idea. It was Mr. Loco’s. However I think it was a brilliant one. I agreed wholeheartedly and I’ve gone ahead and sent it. Just thought you ought to know. It was signed some name I can’t remember but underneath the name it said: The Creator.

I call God, The Creator.

I woke up right after that. My cell phone vibrated me awake. The dream was still vivid so I started writing.

I mean, everyone in my current office is Japanese which leads me to think the cyborg skin job was Japanese, too. I’m pretty sure she was. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was speaking some English and some Japanese if it was any language at all. Language wasn’t a big part of this dream. Neither was race or ethnicity. It was all about the natural acceptance I would have of a co-worker who despite her artificial background was able to integrate so naturally into the office space. At least that’s what I felt strange enough about the dream to wake up writing, something I rarely do.

At one point in the dream I’m pretty sure I wondered what it would be like to make love to her, and I remember thinking she’d probably be just as unremarkable as some people can be, myself too at times.

Somehow I think this has something to do with my life here in Japan, but I’m not sure what the connection is.

It’s was a very peculiar dream.



12 Responses to “Skin jobs in the office”

  1. August 20, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Stop freting about the skinjob OLs.


  2. 2 headingforjapan
    August 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I’m no psychologist but my ego can be anything it wants 😀 But I beleive that the robot is you, you work in an all Japanese office and you might call yourself an “outsider”. But if you don’t care and your comfortable than, again, like the robot. I came here for a bit of Japanese know-how and found an awesome post! Thanks for sharing.

    • August 20, 2009 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks headingforjapan-san for the shout
      You just might be right…I don’t know how I feel about that either…

  3. August 21, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Wow that was definitely an interesting dream. Maybe it has something to do with you being uncomfortable in your office space. Sometimes dreams have a way of telling you what you really feel even if you don’t want to believe it. Did you actually recognize the people and your office or was it a random place you’ve never seen?

  4. 5 X_LostXcausE_X
    August 22, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Long time no see. As always, this was a great post. Dreams reveal a lot about ourselves. The only problem is trying to understand them….ah well. Let’s just wait and see.

  5. 6 C
    August 22, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Yeah gotta agree with headingforjapan, the skin job is you and it sounds like the dream is about your intergration into japanese society. Maybe you finally feel accepted/comfortable, or maybe you feel that certain set of people have accepted you. I dunno, thats for you to figure out.

    I mean come on, gone to China shoulda been a dead giveaway. I’ve had a similar dream recently (I was hanging out with some fat guy who apparently was my friend) and it didn’t click until I realised that this fat guy wore clothes I own.

    Good posts, love your work.

  6. August 26, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    pretty funny dude, I think you’re the robot and you’re being sent to China to work in a factory because you’ve been caught drooling on your desk, sleeping on the job.

    • August 26, 2009 at 4:39 pm

      If I weren’t on vacation I might buy that one (-; But I do sleep on the job quite often and I have been known to ooze a little hehehe

  7. August 26, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Concerning “skin jobs”–My standard explanation I provide to friends and family visiting Japan is that, “Tokyo is like Blade Runner, without the flying cars.”

    I spent 20+ years as a zombie at Hitachi in Yokohama and I have to say that Night-of-the-Living-Dead look scared me every morning but I rather enjoy your empty-seat-on-a-crowded-train effect ( https://goinglocoinyokohama.wordpress.com/an-empty-seat-on-a-crowded-train/ ).

  8. September 4, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I’m thinking she was a Cylon from the battlestar galactica series 🙂

    Nice blog by the way 🙂

    • September 4, 2009 at 10:09 am

      natsukashiiiii! Iwas a big BG fan back in the days. “By your command!”
      thanks for the shout Tiago-san

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