The Dream Job
Special Containment Procedures
To prevent SCP-838 from affecting civilians, Foundation agents are to be placed on the staff in charge of managing the classified ad section at major newspapers in the Chicago area. Alternatively, the cooperation of the newspaper may be obtained for similar purposes. No ads matching a form taken by SCP-838 are to be printed.
SCP-838 is the collective term for a series of job ads appearing in newspapers that print in the vicinity of Chicago, and whatever agency is behind them. The job offered varies between instances, and has included positions in accounting, management, and janitorial work, among others. These ads are entirely mundane unless responded to. Attempts to trace these classifieds have proven unsuccessful.
The next time a person who has responded to SCP-838 falls asleep, he or she immediately enters REM sleep. Upon awakening, the affected individuals report experiencing extremely vivid dreams of having had a job interview for the advertised job, in a large windowless office building at a company called Pellus, Inc. Subjects deemed qualified are offered a job. Anyone hired by Pellus, Inc. is to be considered part of SCP-838-1. Those not offered jobs are unaffected.
When members of SCP-838-1 sleep during the week, they report vivid dreams of working in what is believed to be the same building that the interview took place in. In these dreams, the workforce of Pellus seems to consist entirely of persons who have responded to SCP-838. Testing has shown that communication while asleep between members of SCP-838-1 is possible, indicating some degree of connectedness between the dreams.
During the weekend, members of SCP-838-1 experience good dreams. Though the exact nature of these dreams varies greatly between individuals, they are universally reported to be highly enjoyable. This effect appears to be "payment" for the work done during the week, as persons with higher ranking positions generally seem to report better dreams than those in lower ranking ones.
A "workday" for a member of SCP-838-1 seems to be 8 hours, with sleep beyond this point being normal. Consequently, if prevented from sleeping for 8 hours in a day for an extended period of time, a member of SCP-838-1 may be "fired". Affected individuals may be fired for poor performance as well. Fired members of SCP-838-1 only report dreams of being homeless.
Interview between Dr. Eisen and D-41157, who was an accountant before his conviction.
Dr. Eisen: Hello, D-41157. Could you please state for how long you have been a member of SCP-838-1?
D-41157: You had me read that ad five weeks ago.
Dr. Eisen: What has been your experience when you sleep?
D-41157: Rather dull dreams. In them, I'm an accountant for this Pellus company. And that's it. It's just like real life except I can't leave the building and there's no lunch.
Dr. Eisen: What happens if you try to leave the building?
D-41157: I just can't. There's no doors or windows. I'm not even sure if there's a first floor. No elevators.
Dr. Eisen: And how about during the weekend?
D-41157: Oh, that part is wonderful. It varies. Last Saturday night it was like I was five and I had a great birthday party where I got to ride dinosaurs. Yes, a bit silly, but it felt great. They're all like that.
Dr. Eisen: What kind of accounting work are you doing for them? What does Pellus do?
D-41157: Funny thing, that. I don't know. As far as I can tell, Pellus does nothing besides employ people to keep it running. But that makes sense. It's not like they're real or anything.
Interview between Dr. Eisen and D-2028, who was instructed to act to get himself fired.
Dr. Eisen: Good morning, D-2028. Could you please state for how long you have been a member of SCP-838-1?
D-2028: [EXPLETIVE] you. You told me to get myself fired.
Dr. Eisen: D-2028, please be cooperative.
D-2028: Why should I? Do you have any idea what it's like? I've been homeless for real and it's not a patch on what it's like in there. In the real world, the rats don't seek you out. In the real world, it's not always freezing. In the real world you can get another damn job!
Incident 838-2: D-1950 answered an SCP-838 ad for a management position, and was hired as a middle manager. After six months, he told researchers that he was going to be promoted to senior management, and that he was told that the job had many new rights and responsibilities. The next night, D-1950 lapsed into a coma, though brain activity matched that during REM sleep. D-1950 was kept alive on life-support apparatus for the next month, during which no major changes were noted, aside from massive dopamine surges during weekends.