At the beginning of every year its the same. People bolt out from starting blocks as it were, panicking, running around in circles and creating a huge fuss in their efforts to Get Things Done. My postbox overflows with mailshots, the sim on my mobile clogs up, the house phone itself – thank the good deity is behind massive solid walls in another room and cannot be heard from the bath, kitchen, balcony or if I am asleep. I have no intention of moving it.
All this gabbling, mailing, and consternation usually boils down to someone trying to get me to do something they should do themselves. This seems to be the modern default – to “shed” as much as possible onto someone else. It’s usually tolerable, but at the beginning of the year, people have Plans, and so the hunt is on for someone they can use to further those plans.
This year, end of January now, the rushing around is still in full spate up yere where I live and it’s driving me pretty much up the wall. There’s a fair clutch of people who Can’t Do It until I Do Something needing to be re-educated. Our block of flats standing since 1960-something has never required a certain certificate. A big company is doing maintenance as I speak but a pair of technicians from that same company with their own agenda (a nice drive to the next job with a bacon sarnie each most likely) demanded this certificate. A visit to the housing committee & one irate phone call got my central heating fixed but they were honestly trying to tell me I’m the only person in the whole block that needs this thing. Or.. it’s a new policy and I’m the first one who gets caught out by it. Something. I stopped listening once I got them working. The only hot air I want to hear is coming through the fans.
That kind of stuff. This year I’m going to see when it subsides. When people finally realise that it’s 2012, the shine is off, they juuuuust have to do whatever it is they are supposed to do, and get on with it until almost the same thing happens mid-year, after the summer holidays when they can have another go at fishing for someone to do stuff for them or give them money.
Nope, I am not starting the new year with a sudden yen for double glazing, an itch to sort out my finances a different way, a change of heart vs any particular charity… just looking through this lot… the state is also in there with it’s latest drives/policy implementation….. “austerity” this time, we’re in the world war era again… sending the usual overnosy, overlong, overcomplicated forms… the health people are suddenly interested in my bowels and sent a kit… apparently my specs are falling apart too and I need to check in & naturally my teeth are falling out…
It is all deliberately intrusive of course – the folk yammering out there are absolutely on the hunt. People I haven’t heard of for quite a while are hoping for someone useful to them also. The unregulated, untrammelled personal intrusion that we go through (and are now used to) is hardly healthy. I always find the first month(s) of the year a time in which it is difficult to get on with anything important due to the stream of people yittering for my attention by mail, phone, email and anything else they can think of.
Getting rid of all the noise is quite a skill really – no unnecessary communications allowed here I’m afraid. Bang on my metaphorical door unannounced & you don’t get a response. Write for no good reason & it gets binned.
I do find that if you stubbornly don’t respond to anyone yelling “it’s urgent, you have to…” they calm down or go away – both are good results and I’m perfectly capable of figuring out the urgency of anything as it comes along without all the hype (mind you Reader’s Digest never did work it out). Forms I will fill in, bills I will pay. People I like I write back to/return missed calls. The rest goes in the round filing cabinet, to be evicted when the bin collectors cometh. I have my own problems to deal with – whoever you are and whatever you want, deal with your own stuff.