Friday, January 29, 2010

On hierarchy

It's funny the way people just naturally establish a pecking order. If you left a group alone in a room for an hour I'm sure by the time you checked on them they'd have a ranking system sorted out based on their level of attractiveness, or age, or perhaps who had eggs for breakfast.

My company is probably similar to many out there in that personal prestige is often based on your length of employment. Our employee numbers are issued numerically, so it's possible to tell by this ID approximately how long they've been stalking the halls, so to speak.

It's so prevalent past employees who've left and come back to the company will often ask if they can have their old ID number back, so as not to lose their place in the hierarchy!

At school, it was a different story. I still to this day have no idea what attributes the pecking order was based upon. I am beginning to suspect however that it was a combination of level of confidence, lack of nerdliness and money. Strange for a small country town, but there you go.

These days the only other hierarchy I'm a part of is my family. Not sure where I rank there, but I'm definately #1 daughter. Mainly because I'm the only one!

Monday, January 25, 2010

On snobs

I have been heard to remark in my working career that there is only one type of customer that irks me. That really gets my goat, boils my potato etc etc.

I can put up with the screamers. With the criers, the whingers, the raging angry people. I don't mind the sarcastic ones or the dumb people who just don't understand.

It's the Mrs Buckets of the world who annoy me. That's Bucket, pronounced 'Bouquet'. If you've ever seen "Keeping Up Appearances" you'll know what I mean. They're those ladies (or men!) who feel such a sense of entitlement that the circumstance of anyone saying 'no' to a request of theirs is just... unfathomable! Used to having everything handed to them on a silver platter, the idea that perhaps their money/position/rank/power cannot get them what they want RIGHT NOW is often very foreign.

They react in various ways, and I deal with them according to how I'm feeling that day. But every time I get one, I'm reminded of dear Mrs Bucket and her twinsets, pearls and gloves.

Just once, I'd like to take them down a peg or two. But maybe in another life. Until then, I'm icily polite and bluntly practical. Sorry Hyacinth, I guess I DON'T know who you are. And if I did it wouldn't make a difference!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

On Travel

I don't often undertake long car journeys, but today I drove over 2 hours straight to reach my parents' farm. Once out of the city, it's a pretty straight shot up the highway so my mind can dangerously wander.
What never fails to amaze me is how the brain can always be thinking of two or three things at once yet still undertake all the responsibility of driving.
When I worked in a 24hr call centre some time ago, I used to drive 20mins to and from work. Sometimes, coming off a night shift at 2 or 3am, I would commence my commute and then, seemingly almost an instant later, I would come to myself and find I was pulling in my driveway. The scary part? I recalled almost nothing of the journey! It's like I had a driving autopilot that could go through the motions whilst my brain took a short break from reality.
Luckily that hasn't happened in some time.
I always find it interesting also that I get just as tired being a car passenger, as being the driver. What is it about car travel that is so tiring? The forced inaction perhaps? I doubt I'll ever know anyway.
Since getting a job in the city I have discovered the joys of train travel. I had undertaken train journeys before - in Europe, the UK and SE Asia, but never a commuter train. I now have a 45min ride each way and it has allowed me to get a lot of reading done, but I'm yearning for something a little more productive. I could almost consider this commute 'wasted time' except for the wonderful company of Georgette Heyer, Patrick O'Brien, Jane Green, Terry Pratchett, Kerry Greenwood and so many others.
I hope to get a laptop soon. Then maybe I can blog on the way. I guess we'll see.


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