While you sleep
By Robert Lynch
‘With entry levels jobs harder and harder to find, why not apply for a position at Sleepercise? No experience needed, just a good work ethic.’ Adrian had read over the ad thirty times at least. What was the harm in applying? Sleepercise needed workers and Adrian needed work. The hours were pretty flexible, you could work any time and it just meant that they paired you with clients in a different time zone.
“Screw it.” He said aloud starling the people on the bus around him.
The next day he walked into the Sleepercise acquisition centre. He was greeted by a bored receptionist, who herded him and the other potential applicants into a dreary room with a lot of chairs. There were 30 or so applicants in the group.
“Welcome.” The person and the front of the room said once the group were seated. “I’m Clara and I’m responsible for intake here at Sleepercise. Who can tell me what it is the company does?”
Silence. It was always the same; in group interviews, in classrooms, and lecture theatres when the group are asked a question, no one says a thing. I hate that silence, but I also hate being the know it all who speaks up do remove that silence. On the other hand, it was also a tactic for determining initiative and I didn’t plan to wait to see how long it would take before Clara guided us to the answer.
“We exercise people while they sleep,” I said.
“Very good… Adrian.” She said looking at my name tag “Sleepercise uses neural technology to control sleeping clients, to exercise them while they sleep so that they can focus on the important things while awake. They get the benefits of a good workout, without having to waste awake time exercising. With our program, we see healthier people all over the world, but also happier and more productive people too. Because they can spend more time with their loved ones, more time learning skills to better their lives, or even more time at work if they choose. I myself was able to allocate more time with my 2 children, as well as work full time, learn the piano, and even start learning oil painting; all because of the time saved by the Sleepercise program.”
The propaganda about how good it was to work for the company continued on for a while, but eventually, we started training. We learned how to use the VR interface to log into clients, we learned about balanced exercise regimes – muscle building regimes were not for novices – and we learned a sack of company procedures.
After a month of training, we started accessing real people and doing the routines we’d been trained. It was hard work. We were supervised extensively to ensure that we didn’t hurt anyone, there was feedback from the interface, but if we pulled a muscle it wasn’t our muscles we were pulling, so the company was very focused on health and safety of its clients. Our training group was now at 23 people.
The first 2 months of training with clients is done with clients who sleep alone. They buy cheaper programs knowing that they’ll have inexperienced trainers. I completed it with flying colours and began working with general clients.
My eyes opened, but they weren’t my eyes. It was dark. “I have been activated by sleep trainer 517163.” I said aloud.
Next to me I heard movement. “I have been activated by sleep trainer 493261.” A woman said next to me. I turned to see that there was a woman in the bed next to me. She was gorgeous. Blonde shoulder length hair, beautiful figure, wearing tight spandex exercise attire.
“Hi.” I said to the woman. “The readout says that the client has only one set of Sleepercise approved equipment, would you like to use it first while I go through the Pilates routine, or the other way round?”
“Hello, hot stuff.” She said to me. “I was thinking that perhaps we could try another type of exercise.” She took off the client’s top.
I turned my back, embarrassed. “What are you doing?”
“They’re married,” She said, “I’m sure they won’t mind.”
“That's ridiculous,” I said, “You can’t do that with other people’s bodies.”
“They’ll never know.” She said. “No one will ever find out, the company doesn’t monitor our actions.”
“I’ll know,” I said, “And what kind of excuse is that? Because the company won’t know, you’ll happily violate clients?”
The link cut out with a jolt. My VR module turned off and I was back at work. I took the VR module off to find the Clara standing over me. “Well done, Adrian.” She said. “You’ve completed the last part of training.”
“It was a test?” I asked, groggily trying to adjust from the VR.
“That’s right,” Clara said, “Your group did pretty well; 6 of you passed. You can now work with general clients.”