Joe Smith is a plain man, with a plain name. He prides himself on being neat and meticulous both at home and at work. His workmates particularly detest his smug pride: ‘If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well’ is one of the many sayings they’d all like to ram down his throat. Joe carries on regardless, oblivious to the slit-eyed looks and sighs that emanate from his staff. His office oozes orderliness: a glass jar of sharpened pencils, brand-new laptop exactly in the centre of his desk blotter and his name plate and business card holder at exactly 90 degrees to both.
At home, his wife Jackie forces herself to be tidy but just doesn’t have the attention to detail that Joe is happy with. They’ve had many a row about what order the washing up should be done “glasses first Jackie, not cutlery”, how often the bed sheets should be changed “every 10 days Jackie, not two weeks” and whether the new digital radio should be dusted or not “dust affects the sound Jackie”. He says all this with patronising kindness of course because he truly loves his wife. Jackie sighs as much, if not more than Joe’s workmates.
Self-righteousness usually goes hand-in-hand with vanity and Joe is no exception. He regularly uses auburn hair-dye, has two-weekly manicures and takes a multitude of herbal supplements “for mind and body, Jackie”. Jackie has often asked him, with only a smile of sarcasm, how often she should dust the 30-odd bottles of herbal medicine in the bathroom.
[One of the Workbook activities from my OU course]
Categories: Just Plain Blog