Posted by: normanlgreen | August 20, 2011

Dream August 20, 2011 too much help

dream, home, 5:34am

The print shop is configured much as it is in the waking world — normally the dream shop has odd additions or impossible omissions.  The production floor is bright from the flourescent tubes over-head.  The paths between pieces of printing and bindery equipment are disjointed but with one avenue down the middle.  It is a busy day with multiple projects moving forward.  Printers are stacking paper in preparation for cutting and binding.  Other jobs accumulate by the hydraulic cutter with its 30 inch blade.  Someone has designed a  colorful little book of illustrated quotations — each page flooded with a different color, so it has a chaotic look.  The finished pages are cut to a full bleed and to a size of 2.5 inches wide by 4.5 inches tall, and the book itself will be 3/8 of an inch thick.  A lot is happening visually in the confines of such a tiny book.

Though there is  much being produced in the room, a string of visitors come calling.  Some of them are former employees — Wiebe amongst them — and we exchange hugs as each new group arrives on the floor.  Since so many of the guests have experience in the shop, they decide to pitch-in while we all catch-up on each other’s lives.  But because so many projects are in various stages, and because so many people are stepping into the middle of the flow, I must further sub-divide my attentions.  I step from one cluster of workers to another and clarify how their portion of the work fits into the overall scheme.  Upstream, my explanations lack clarity, so when I reach the people working at the last step — coil binding the tiny books — there is a jumble to sort out.  I am frustrated at myself when I see the disordered pages inconsistently stacked.  There is little hope that I can express what needs to happen to anyone else, and I don’t want to offend the volunteers by taking the work away from them.  I decide to risk the offence and ask everyone to stop what they are doing while I calculate what can be salvaged and what must be replaced.  The room falls quiet as I move upstream in the workflow to identify the point where the disorder has come-about.


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