Monday, February 27, 2012

A little incident today made me feel a little sad – and completely embarrassed. At about four pm I walked through the office I am incarcerated in from 9 to 5. It’s a big office - with many vacant seats in recent years – but there are still around fifty people working in the area.

The floor is divided into individual screened workstations and to talk to someone you really need to stand up and talk over the screen or move into their desk space. I hate talking to someone when I can’t see them, I was never one for long phone conversations but with Skype I don't mind. I’m an animal who needs to read body language. I blether with my hands going like the clappers for dramatic effect and I’m told I have a very expressive face (which is a bugger if you’re telling little fibs!). Jemser always knows when I’m getting depressed or melancholic before I do because he sees it in my face before it hits me.

Anyway I had a big red face on me this afternoon because I had been walking around with my skirt caught up in my knickers. Jesus! Like a big child (which I am of course). The last time I'd used the bathroom before my discovery was about one o’clock. Three hours of pottering about my area! Up and down the centre of the floor to the tea station at least twice plus I walked up three flights of stairs to visit our HR section. It was only as I left HR that one of my colleagues came running out after me to inform me of my state of undress. We roared laughing as I fumbled about adjusting my attire – isn’t it great that we can all laugh like kids at silly things?

Years ago, in the not always that good old days, we all sat in much smaller offices without screens and I swear if you sneezed everybody would comment. We noticed each other – a new item of clothing would be commented on, we’d chat briefly on and off during the course of the day both work related conversations and other minor natters. It was mostly friendly banter and you certainly wouldn’t get away with wandering about all afternoon with your knickers showing!

Although technology has made life easier in some ways it is also increasingly isolating people. We have evolved until now as social creatures who both need and enjoy the company of most of our fellow human beings. But at the moment we all appear to be permanently locked on to some device - computer, laptop,mobiles, IPhones, IPads social media sites and on and on and on. Staring ahead of us at or down at a winking screen totally caught up in what we are doing to the exclusion of others. All living in our own tiny universes. Can this be healthy? Apart from saving me from making a twit of myself at an earlier stage if we lift our heads and look to connect with others we can have a laugh or a smile and a chat - both guaranteed to lighten ones mood and important for both mental and physical health.

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