The other day, what with lunchtime growing smaller in the rearview mirror and home time depressingly invisible beyond the ten-mile tailback of the dead afternoon, a colleague of ours recounted a recent dream he'd had.
'It was a real nightmare,' he said, 'Just awful! I was dreaming about my job at this place.'
Now, this man is employed to negotiate commercial contracts for Klueless Corp.
This is a job requiring the holder to be able to assimilate, internalise and generate contracts of labyrinthine and inprenetrable complexity. Contracts which clients will happily sign, believing they have just won the Lottery when, in fact, according to the acres of small print, they've just signed over all rights to the internal organs of themselves, their families and their pets, in perpetuity, to Klueless.
This is a job requiring an extensive knowledge of the kind of cut-throat and underhand commercial practices undertaken by Klueless and others of its ruthless kidney in the Business Process Outsourcing sector.
This is a job which, while it requires the incumbent to take on the aspect of a member of the genus Mustela*, is not really a job, one would have thought, to epitomise the very essence of terror. Stress, maybe, but not terror.
Anyway, in the dream, my colleague was having to draft an important and urgently-needed document in MS Word, and every time he got to the end of the document....
'A slavering monster appeared, bent on ripping out your gizzards**!' we cried, not being ones to allow a story to unfold without interruption.
'Nope,' he replied, 'It was more subtle than that.'
'All your clothes disappeared and you found yourself in a public place!'
'Nope. I was properly attired the whole time, and anyway, that's not a nightmare***.'
'You had to play a Chopin nocturne in A minor to a really big audience and you'd only learned it in F sharp minor!' I cried.
The others looked at me in stony silence.
'Just me then,' I mumbled, 'pray continue.'
'Every time I got to the end of the document,' he explained, 'all the formatting disappeared!"
So there you have it: disappearing bullet points, random font changes, erroneous tables of contents and hanging indents that just don't hang.
Truly, the very stuff of nightmares.
Twenty-first century nightmares.
* Behave like a weasel.
** The word 'gizzards' is not used nearly enough in general conversation, don’t you think?
*** Go figure