Irish Time Management

What I love about Irish the most is their ability to take it easy, don’t sweat the small stuff, and have a craic, even under pressure.

Sure-tomorrow-is-another-day was the main principle of how to enjoy the student life. A shining example of that mentality is a wonderful friend of mine, who would arrive late to college and type furiously for the whole day an assignment was due. I wasn’t much better, mind you, for me it was a day of yawning after an all-nighter. I almost fell off my chair when LinkedIn asked me to endorse my friend’s skills: Microsoft office- tick, web analytics- tick, time management- whaaat?

Another time distortion I noticed was when in a small Irish village I had to queue longer than in a busy Polish city. The lady behind the counter had time to comment every single purchase, so the till didn’t even have to do the beep to confirm the scanning. She would ask what’s the party, which birthday, how do you cook pork, then put on the glasses to see the money, and when she wished you a nice day, you knew she meant it. Sadly the art of being a good shop assistant is almost lost and I find myself going for computer that’s faster and not judging me on the amount of chocolate I shouldn’t be buying.

Irish work patterns can be a bit frustrating at times and I usually say that they are worse than Spaniards. In Southern countries they have “maniana” [tomorrow] culture, as the heat makes them move things for the next day. In Ireland, it’s “Monday” culture. Weekends are exclusively for the craic, crunchy Friday basically too, on Thursday you need to discuss the weekend plans, hump day is for complaining, and then who in their right mind would start anything on Tuesday.

I had a boss who operated that way. The problem was we were closed on Mondays. Most of my job consisted of apologising to bridezillas who’s orders hadn’t arrived.
‘I totally understand,’ I used to tell them. ‘It’s once in a lifetime; twice if you’re lucky,’

(Needless to say I didn’t last long in the job, but they should know better not to hire a divorcee in a wedding store.)

I find it a bit nerve racking to work with Irish to a deadline. As years go by I learn to relax more and more; after all what’s a day or two amongst friends. It’s another little language lesson for me: by EOB Thursday means sure-Monday-is-fine.

However unprofessional and eye-rolling-and-exhaling-loudly irritating I may find it on occasion, there’s a wonderful side to it, the type of folks wisdom, that you can accomplish more without stressing and rushing, that it’s good to take some time and appreciate what’s in front of you, and to embrace humanistic approach over mechanical efficiency, work-life balance over stress and pressure. Easy does it.

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