Monday 8th December 2003
Two vaguely interesting (for me) stories on Roll on Friday this week. The first of these offers further confirmation that, at whichever firm an aspiring solicitor trains, being used as a useful strategic pawn (whether it be in a legal capacity, a marketing capacity or a 'verbal-punch-bag-allowing-a-superior-to-vent-his-frustrations-at-his-home-life capacity) with obligatory humiliating and degrading results is the norm. I suppose this type of treatment should be looked at as pre-emptive punishment for a life of being qualified to practice law.
The second concerns more abused employees - this time in a department store. In Austria, the website reports, shop-workers are demanding that they be compensated for the 'psychological terror' of having to listen to Christmas music throughout their working day. Apparently, this treatment has left the workers 'aggressive and confrontational', and makes them 'completely lose their temper at the slightest mention of anything to do with Christmas.' This story attracted my attention, because, like the oppressed Austrians, I once had to endure 6 months of Christmas music whilst working in a department store. You could argue that I asked for it, as I was flogging Christmas decorations, but it may explain why my ears start bleeding everytime I hear Paul McCartney jauntily imploring everyone to have a 'Wonderful Christmastime', or John Lennon tunelessly droning on about how war is over. That said, there are six or seven Christmas songs to which I'll happily listen, and I certainly don't lose my temper at the slightest mention of Christmas. I was even grateful for the two cans of shop branded lager and a Christmas pudding the store gave me as a 'Christmas bonus'. In fact, this year, I haven't looked forward to Christmas so much since I was eight years old.
One man who may have been spending too much time listening to the piped music in the store he owns is David Tang, proprietor of Shangai Tang. I quote below from his letter to the South China Morning Post:
'Looking at the utterly ghastly Christmas tree in Central, I just wonder if it is not too much to ask for the vapid Hong Kong tourist board at least to engage someone with even a modicum of style or an amoebic degree of taste so as to present Hong Kong with the slightest hint of sophistication.'
He's got a point actually, but perhaps he should stay out of the city as Winterfest kicks off.
Ho ho ho.