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Stateside with Rosalea Barker: Right On!

Stateside with Rosalea Barker

Right On!

Would somebody please create a John Tamihere action figure and send it over here for me to take to work? I'd like it to say, "If you're thick enough to ask the question, you don't deserve an answer." And do that arm thing from the haka.

Ahh, the uses I could put it to! Like when my better-educated colleagues ask me how to break down their cardboard moving cartons. Even though I obligingly showed them how to do one, they just left them all for me to do. I am, it seems, the peon. Or "office ho" as a male workmate described the job he didn't want to take when they tried to force him to be reassigned.

I have been reminded quite a lot recently of the unspoken cultural differences I have with those who were born and educated Stateside. Or perhaps my memories are getting a little dim. Is "you're not the centre of the universe" considered an insult Down Under or just another way of saying "this isn't about you," like they do on Friends? I thought it was fairly innocuous myself.

The thing I find most debilitating here is that everyone "respects" everyone else's opinion. Which pretty much negates everyone's opinion unless you're in a position to put your opinion into practice. It's as if, in US-style democracy, everybody is guaranteed a place at the water-cooler but only certain people have to do the work to get the water bottle up there in the first place and meanwhile, back in the board room, those who are more equal than others are drinking fine malt whisky.

Damn! How did I get so off-topic?


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