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Friday, at last August 5, 2011

Posted by Peeps in random stuff, What we're reading.

After spending far too long trying to come up with something to blog about, I took a break.  I went outside to have a smoke and read a bit.

I just started rereading “The Great Train Robbery” by Michael Crichton the day before.  I never seem to get to the library because it’s out of the way.  So, mostly I subsist on what’s in the house.  And I hadn’t picked this particular book up in a few years.

Apparently, Mr. Crichton is a very accurate researcher.  At least that’s what just about every reviewer has ever said about the man.  He paints a vivid picture of what life is like in Victorian England, the book’s setting.  Around the mid 1850s.

Life was a lot different back then.  A lot.  There is one brief section that I would like to share with you.  And it may make you feel better about your life.

He recounts what ordinary working people have to go through just to make a living.  His example is the rules for the staff at a bank.  Have you ever heard the phrase “banker’s hours”?  That was not a phrase used back then.  So, for your enjoyment, the Rules for Office Staff:

  1. Godliness, cleanliness and punctuality are the necessities of a good business.
  2. The firm has reduced the working day to the hours  from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  3. Daily prayers will be held each morning in the main office. The clerical staff will be present.
  4. Clothing will be of a sober nature.  The clerical staff will not disport themselves in raiment of bright color.
  5. A stove is provided for the benefit of the clerical staff.  It is recommended that each member of the clerical staff bring 4 lbs. of coal each day during cold weather.
  6. No member of the clerical staff may leave the room without permission from Mr. Roberts.  The calls of nature are permitted and clerical staff may use the garden beyond the second gate.  This area must be kept clean in good order.
  7. No talking is allowed during business hours.
  8. The craving of tobacco, wines or spirits is a human weakness, and as such is forbidden to the clerical staff.
  9. members of the clerical staff will provide their own pens.
  10. The managers of the firm will expect a great rise in the output of work to compensate for these near Utopian conditions.

So, how much does your job suck now?  Enjoy your weekend.



1. Mazco34 - August 5, 2011

Whoa! – had to read #9 a second time. I mean, of course, I’ll supply my own, but what about any female staff. Oh wait – it said pens.

Sometimes I need to go to the eye doctor.

2. judy - August 6, 2011

Oh my! Who knew? Hard to even imagine.

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