Thursday, June 01, 2006

Living to a rule...or 30

It’s been a fantastic week. People seem to have found their own way through it. Some have engaged with every worship session and workshop, others have just enjoyed the company and place.

I guess I’m towards the latter of the scale. Communal living intrigues me, but I find the reality hard.

The rigidity and lack of humour seems beyond necessary. I can understand the need for guidelines given the influx week on week of different groups of guests, but the structure seems to now extend so far as to have squeezed the creativity out of individuals.

On the final lunch of the week, this is underlined for me:

A set of signs guide the clearing team as to what crockery etc goes to which sink. To the right is a large washing up sink alongside a sterilising sink; to the left a washing up sink and rinsing sink. To the right go the soup bowls and large plates, to the left small plates, glasses, mugs etc. I’m on the right hand washing up sink and due to a nice rinse straight off soup and few large plates, we’ve made light work of it. As I finish washing the last bowl, I note that the sink to the left is seriously over-burdened still.

I suggest I take some of the back-log to my sink (which after all has the higher cleaning standard with the steriliser).

My suggestion is greeted by looks of horror from my team mates. “But the sign says we have to wash these things this end!”.

When reasoned logic fails, I confess my patience comes to an end and I calmly state I’ll take ‘full responsibility’ and pick up a pile of small plates. A move approved of and reinforced by the staff when they reappear.

My team mates are intelligent folk, some of whom I know well and know to be in possession of plenty of good sense and initiative, but the rigidity and fierceness of the system has cowed them into a state wherein they can no longer think creatively.


Doing extra washing-up as a small act of subversion – it’s a first.

1 comment:

Rainbow dreams said...

I'm sad that humour was lacking at times - life can be incredibly dull without it!
But am pleased you had such a good time - loving the pictures, here and other places :-)