I guess we all think of our workplaces as a little weird, or at least containing some kind of weirdness. It might be strange policies, strange products in the vending machines or that one completely out of place song on the office sound system. These places also have their daily or weekly rituals which seem to signpost the passing of time.
The ESL world is much like this….but more so. Maybe it is because it collects such an interesting group of people. Science types that never got into corporate science. Political activists that still participate but can’t do it full time. Writers who are not writing at the moment. Travellers who are just stopping by on the way to somewhere else. Artists between inspiration, or in need of grocery money. History buffs that would rather study on their own. Burnouts from high pressure jobs.
As for rituals, we have our fair share. The one that comes to mind most is the young woman who made it a point to walk around every Friday and say “Happy Friday.” I rarely saw her during any other part of the week–being cliquish (cliquey?) sometimes only certain groups of ESL teachers interact with one another. Bars tend to negate this…but I am getting off track here. She is no longer with the company, so that ritual is only occasionally played out for the nostalgic factor.
So today I was informed of a new tradition.
“We now call if Friday Junior,” said one teacher.
Of course, I looked a tad puzzled. Thursday morning was a long way to Friday quitting time–I still had a lot of teaching to do.
“We’ve got to do something to get closer to Friday.”
Okay. We’ve got hump day, so why not Friday Junior? The woman in question seemed so earnest and a quick scan of the room seemed to back her up.
As I exited that area to seek solace in my more familiar surroundings, I heard her remark that as a result Friday would now be called “Friday Proper”. I heard debate starting and quickened my pace.