Here’s the story of schedule, social etiquette, and angry milk.
I think most people would be alarmed if their milk started talking to them. Well, okay, I mean, it didn’t actually speak to me, otherwise I would be writing this from inside some sort of asylum. I woke up one morning and went downstairs. I opened the fridge and there was writing on the side of the milk carton. ‘We are normal!’ it said. It might sound like a strange message for milk to put out there, admittedly. But this was because I didn’t like the milk and so had written ‘normal milk’ on the shopping list, because I don’t know what kind of fresh hell that was in the fridge, but it sure didn’t taste normal. Dad, oblivious to the fact he’d bought the wrong kind, decided to write ‘We are normal!’ on the side of the milk carton, because that’s the kind of house I’m living in. Some would say I should just shut up and drink it, but you see, low fat milk isn’t milk. It’s like comparing Pepsi to Coke, or the Moon to Uranus. One is immeasurably tastier than the other, and we all know which one, right? The Moon is made of cheese, remember…
The problem with living with people on a diet is that you have to suffer with them. They have low fat margarine, you have low fat margarine. They have low fat milk, you have low fat milk. You have bacon, you’re a bastard. And so on. It gets to the point where you just think, you know what, I’m better off moving out. I’m six foot two inches tall. I weigh less than nine stone. I have a 28 waist and a 33 leg. If I eat much more low fat stuff, I’d be better off living on a desert island. Health nuts have to realise that many of us would rather stuff our chops with bacon than salad. Do you know how my body reacted after having that low-fat milk on my Weetabix? Not kidding, I threw up. It was in date as well! It’s like my body has started to reject all healthy food and treat it as an evil foreign invader. The point is, if you’re interviewing a new housemate, and they don’t eat the same things you do, show them the door, or pretty soon, you’ll be sat on your sofa, wasting away…
At least my dad is talking to me, albeit it through a milk carton, which sounds strange written down, but is far less strange in reality, which is kinda sad, when you think about it. We’re not very emotive people. Milk cartons are one of the few effective forms of communication we have. I enjoy our milk carton chats, to be honest. Well, it’s better than nothing.
Do you ever worry you’re not liked at work? Admittedly, it’s pretty hard for someone to like you if you never talk to them, but that’s not my fault. I’ve always lived by the philosophy that work is a place of work, not socialising. Mainly because socialising isn’t my forte, nor am I particularly interested in that aspect of life. I’ve never had a social life, but I imagine it’s an awful lot of work, far too much. I mean, I live a regimented and ordered life. I don’t know how I’d squeeze in a social life. Just think of the planning! It would take a great deal of bar charts and PowerPoint presentations to organise my regular life with this newfangled social life malarkey, let me tell you…
Let’s take the ridiculous notion of me having a friend. Now, I’ve never had a friend before, so I don’t know what it really entails, but I imagine it would get in the way a lot. I like my Friday nights to be quiet. Spent in front of the television, with a nice early night. What if this imaginary friend of mine, let’s call him Gerald because, let’s face it, that’s the type of person I would know, what if he wanted to go out? I couldn’t do that on a Friday. What about my plan? I went out a few Fridays ago for my brother’s birthday. It was nice to see him, sure, but what about my plan? I wanted to be at home watching my programmes. And that’s not all. What if Gerald wanted to go to a nightclub? I hate those. Modern music is crap and far too loud. Cinema? Even LOUDER! And… I don’t know, what else do friends do? Bowling? Oh, God, don’t get me started on bowling…
Okay, Ally’s not a Friday person, but I bet he’s a Saturday person! Nope. I don’t have time to socialise on Saturday, either. I need a lie in on a Saturday, for a start. Then I have to write my main blog post, which takes up to two hours. Then I have my other three to write for the week ahead, that’s three hours. Then I have the football to listen to on the radio. That’s another couple hours gone. Then I have a blog post to upload. That’s another hour and a half gone. Then I have all my programmes to catch up on because I’m out so early on weekdays, I have to go bed each night extremely early, meaning I have a mountain of programmes to catch up on, on the weekends. And I can’t stay up too late on Saturdays, either, because I have to be up at eight on Sunday for church. Which is then followed by three hours of blog writing and updating, yet more football, blog post uploads, yet more television and a nice early night as I’m off to work on Monday. Can you see why I don’t have much time to squeeze in a social life? I sure can!
Some might say missing a part of my schedule for, I don’t know, a date on a Friday night, is worth it. Is it, though? I argue not. I miss a piece of my schedule, then I have to make up for it elsewhere. Long days at work will be followed by long nights at home trying to catch up on everything else. Some might say that my blogs aren’t worth losing a social life over, but I only started them because I didn’t have a social life and therefore didn’t have anyone to talk to, hence why you’re here. Hello, my only friends. Now, yet more would argue that it’s therefore stupid to sacrifice a social life for a blog created in some way to establish a social life, but again, I argue not. Because even if I did subscribe to this way of thinking, I now have two established blogs, whose readers I can’t let down, but mainly, I don’t want a social life! I’ve had people ask me out and ask to me to go to the cinema with them, and I said ‘no.’ There’s nothing wrong with that. Some people enjoy a quiet life. But, sadly, that means you’re hated at work, right?
You all know somebody who is very quiet at work. I’m that person. I never say much. I’m far too quiet and often have to repeat myself. I’m better, actually, one on one with the clients, which is a surprise. But I can’t join in the social conversations of the other workers because I can’t. Have you heard about this? Done this? Been there? Do you do this, that, the other? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Normal social conversation. Nope. I’m rather boring, in fact. And it’s natural to ignore these quiet ones, isn’t it? Do you talk to that quiet person in your office? No? Of course you don’t. I bet you don’t even say ‘hello’ to them. Happens to me all the time. And it’s all because I’m not one of them. The social bees up to date with the modern world and modern etiquette.
Some would argue that I’m in the wrong. That I need to be social and talk more. Again, though, why? Why should I change to appease others? Is it too much to ask to not be ignored? It’s not just me, it’s all of us quiet folk. I get why it happens. Some think we don’t like the other office workers because we don’t talk to them. Others think we want to be left alone. But neither is true. We might have nothing in common, but a ‘hello’ goes a long way in the morning. Because, and I think I speak on behalf of all quiet people, we feel we’re not welcome when we’re ignored. We feel like we’re hated. And we know we’re not, but it does niggle at you to the point where you ask yourself, ‘Does anyone like me?’
I mean, I know the milk carton doesn’t, but still…
Canadian speaker, author and CEO, Brian Tracy (b. 1944), once said: “Never complain, never explain. Resist the temptation to defend yourself or make excuses.”
Peace Out :|:
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