This isn’t a news or analysis post, so if you’re looking for one of those, please go here.It’s also not a philosophical work-related post, how-to post, management post, advice post, or any of the other kinds of posts that you normally find on sites like these.
And it’s not about Microsoft. At least, I don’t think it is.
(I apologise in advance if you were hoping for one of those kinds of posts. I certainly would have been.)
In this post, I’m just going to tell you about a strange dream I had last night.
Maybe you can interpret it for me.
Maybe you can also tell me how it would have ended if I hadn’t woken up in the middle of it.
Because I’m at a loss.
In the dream, I was “on the case,” so to speak–investigating a story.
An athlete–a cyclist, maybe–had died mysteriously, and the suspicion was that he had died from a screw-up related to performance-enhancing drugs. The screw-up, it seemed, might not have been the athlete’s fault. He might not have known he was taking PEDs, for example. Or he might have been given contaminated PEDs. Or he might have been pushed into taking PEDs by some as-yet undiscovered conspirator.
I was following the information trail from person to person. And eventually the trail led me to Steve Ballmer.
Steve wasn’t a “suspect” in the story or anything.
He just knew the guy who had died.
Steve also, I think, knew something about what had killed him.
Normally, in such circumstances, I wouldn’t have expected Steve to talk to me. But he did. I think he had liked the guy and wanted the truth to come out.
The story I was investigating wasn’t a “tech” story, and, as far as I know, it had nothing to do with Microsoft. It was just a story in which Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, knew a guy who had died mysteriously and knew something about what had killed him.
And so there I was, in Steve Ballmer’s kitchen, sitting with Steve at a kitchen island, talking about what had happened.
It was a normal-looking kitchen, not some over-the-top McMansion kitchen or anything. There may have been pots hanging from the ceiling. Steve’s wife and kids were in the other room. (The real-life Steve has adult kids, I think).
And Steve and I were discussing the athlete’s death over bowls of something (Soup? Cereal?). And we were getting somewhere.
Eventually, after a lengthy build-up, Steve gave me a name–a name of a person who was going to be critical to the story.
To my great frustration, I have since forgotten that name.
And then, yes–sincerest apologies–I woke up. (Because one of my own kids charged into the room.)
And I was pissed when I woke up, let me tell you.
I was pissed because the mystery in the story was about to revealed, and I wanted to find out what was going to happen!
And now I will never know.
I will also never know why I was dreaming about sitting in Steve Ballmer’s kitchen talking to Steve about an athlete who had died mysteriously, perhaps because of a screw-up with performance-enhancing drugs.
Maybe you can play Freud and tell me.
Here’s some more background, in case you were wondering:
I’ve met Steve Ballmer a couple of times over the years, and he has always been perfectly charming. But I certainly don’t know Steve. And I actually don’t think this dream was going to end up being about Steve Ballmer, really–I think he was just going to make a cameo appearance in it.
I’ve also followed the Lance Armstrong story closely, so I have performance-enhancing drugs on the brain. And I follow Microsoft closely, obviously. And Steve Ballmer. And I’m certainly looking forward to finding out how all those stories are going to end.
But I can’t for the life of me figure out what this dream was supposed to be about, or where it was headed.
Maybe the dream was going to reveal some secret about the future of Microsoft? (Miraculous recovery? Toast?) Or some special insight into Steve? (Stepping down soon?) Or maybe it was just going to be an excellent Pacific Northwest athlete murder mystery that just happened to have Steve Ballmer in it.
Hopefully, it will be a recurring dream. If so, I’ll update this post with the ending.
In any event, I’m sorry to interrupt your Saturday morning with a strange tech-CEO mystery-death dream, especially one with an annoying cliffhanger ending. For some reason, it seemed worth opening to broader interpretation.
Now back to our regular programming…
(My colleague Alyson Shontell thinks Google might buy UPS, if you’re looking for more practical information…)