The more things change, the more they stay the same
By blinds-made-to-measure, May 7 2017 06:51PM
I’ve been looking up Wikipedia today because I noticed something about modern working man – and woman – that doesn’t seem to have changed since I (ancient man) was young. (I’d better admit that I’m ancient or ATOS will send me back to work and hand my pensions over to the Banking Cartel. Or is that already a done deal?)
A French chap by the name of Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, (Thank you Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Baptiste_Alphonse_Karr apparently coined the phrase – roughly translated – The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Well, recently we’ve had workmen around the house, fixing the garage door. (It must have come from China. It’s only been up there two years, but we have 1.3 billion of these bods to keep busy, or the whole world economy collapses, allegedly. Maybe that’s a done deal too. But, just like the good old days, there’s never more than one guy actually working at one time, unless operating a mobile phone is classed as working.
Then a couple of guys came from ‘through-by’, as they say here in the Borders when referring to the big city (the erstwhile industrial Central Belt). Let’s face it, local tradesmen aren’t up to the job. Operating a mobile phone is a bit of a stretch in the skills department, I suppose. You’d have to go to uni for ten years, which would set you back about twenty grand with interest payments until your dying day – to be passed on to future generations in perpetuity – for that sort of self-improvement planning these days.
They’re up to something with the electricity transformer just outside my house. Probably sneaking in some surveillance equipment for GCHQ or NSA (same difference) so they can keep a more up-to-date eye on what we, the hoi polloi are up to. (Guilty consciences I’ll say. I bet they’re petrified the sheeple are gonna wake up and rumble them some day).
So, the mobile phone operator says that they’re doing some building work and rough-casting – without me even asking (he’s definitely up to something, otherwise he wouldn’t think it worth a mention).
Well, I thought, rough-casting a wall around an electricity grid must be a much more urgent project than fixing the pot holes in the road. Anyway, if we’re all kept busy buying new tires and getting our tracking and suspension fixed, at least it helps the all important GDP and vat figures without which the entire economy would collapse even sooner. (That reminds me, does anyone vote in these local elections anymore? Someone must do. Otherwise, what would be the point of these irritating Dimblebys?)
Anyway, it used to be that when we saw working men at large, one would be down a hole, up a ladder or whatever and the rest would be standing around smoking and leaning on shovels. We don’t see so much smoking anymore. Maybe they all died off – not necessarily of lung cancer. They probably topped themselves due to their boring, pointless lifestyle. And JCB and their ilk have made man-operated shovels almost obsolete. But never fear the mobile phone has taken up the challenge, keeping auxiliary workers and gaffers’ hands occupied.
I still prefer the man operated shovels, mind you. At least you could have a conversation with a man leaning on a shovel (depending on his demeanor) but try posing a question to a mobile phone wielder and you get the kind of high five that isn’t so genial. The mobile trumps all. Even if you’ve bashed into their brand new Mercedes or are planning to elope with one of their most eligible daughters, you’ll have to wait until after the phone call to discuss it.
What do they talk about I wonder? Are they giving head office a running commentary on how the job’s progressing? Maybe the wife phoned to say bring back a loaf of bread. Mind you, it normally looks much more serious than that. They’re probably putting a bet on or ordering a pizza. (Don’t forget yer mate down t’ hole BTW! – and me! – triple cheese please.) I think they’ve recycled these old shovels for serving up pizzas – judging by the size of the pizzas and the people that eat them these days.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lawrencebraunphoto/35217500/">Lawrence.Braun</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/3ammo/5429245123/">AhmadHashim</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jillclardy/3494452044/">Jill Clardy</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>