When I was young, we only had two TV channels. On one of those channels, they were running a repeat of an old TV show from the Seventies, called “The Good Soldier Švejk”. It’s the story about a Czech soldier going through various adventures in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. Soldier Švejk distinguishes himself by being almost absolutely useless. He always seems well intentioned and eager to please his superiors, but somehow always fails, because of his dumbness and clumsiness. By acting that way, nothing can be held against him, but he avoids being tasked with any difficult, taxing or dangerous missions or jobs. All the while, you never know if Švejk really is dumb, or is only playing dumb.
While we were watching, our father said to us: “I want you to pay good attention to this, my sons. That’s how you behave in the army! If you’re too eager, not only will your superiors dump more work on you, but also your comrades will hate you for raising the bar for everyone. Keep your head down, don’t mouth back, and don’t show how intelligent you really are. The only thing to do differently than Švejk is to make no waves, positive or negative. Basically, make it your mission that on the day you leave the army, your superiors aren’t even sure who you are.”
That was great advice! I sailed through the army like a breeze (more or less). It probably depends on the type of army you are entering, but here in Austria, we have a general draft, so there’s a widespread culture of “let’s get this over with” among the recruits. If you voluntarily sign up for the US Marine Corps, for example, and want to make a career in the military, I would assume that a totally different strategy would be advisable.
It’s a scientific fact, that a healthy diet doesn’t reduce your risk of dying at all. Also, what would life be like without pizza? Right? Case closed. Although I have to say that, the older I get, the more I get picky and sensitive about the stuff I eat, and I also get more conscious about my health. Recently I tried to reduce my intake of sugar. It’s really hard! I heard about people who manage to cut out processed sugar out of their diet completely. I wonder if I could do that. It would literally turn shopping into a scavenger hunt, where 90% of all products are just there for distraction.
Is anybody in here on a special diet? Anybody who’s on a ketogenic, paleo or primal diet or something like that? Because that concept sounds really interesting, but I just can’t seem to find the time to get started and try it out.
So Hans’ original goal has been achieved. Plus, coffee has been made! Maybe he’s not such a bad manager after all?
Looking at this strip, I just wondered when the last time was that I drank drip coffee. I can’t really remember! Nowadays everybody has one of these coffee pad machines. And I’m lazy and a coffee heathen, so I quite often drink instant coffee. In the shop, it’s usually made with an espresso machine. Does anyone of you out there still use the good old coffee filter?
In this case I can almost relate to Hans more than Julio. The last two times we moved I was away on the job when my wife was setting up the kitchen. It took me weeks to figure out where everything is. In fact I still don’t know where some of the stuff is in our current kitchen. Add to that my advanced stage of CRS, I am really lost a lot of times. However I do know how to make coffee 😉
Have you ever had your friends, or even better, your kids, help you with a project? It can be a lot of fun but the “productivity level” is not always as high as it could be.
It seems that especially in aviation, the more people show up to “help”, the more the project is getting discussed rather than actually worked on. I seem to have walked away in the past with the aircraft looking exactly like it did in the morning. But somehow I was many opinions, thoughts, ways, and ideas on what to do and exactly how richer 😉
There was a time when I was maintaining aircraft at the same school I was also working as flight instructor. It was a great way to keep busy and support my flying habit on days when there were no flight lessons scheduled. Every now and then one of my students would find his or her way into the hangar and often the questions that always came with students weren’t far behind. Some even offered to “help” so they can get more experience with the aircraft. But a lot of times I had to keep the answers very short as I was on the clock for the shop and the shop didn’t pay for me to give free instruction. Some students held it against me even, and in a different world I would have loved to keep chatting, but the inspections would have taken way longer and “the real Hans” would not have been pleased.
We often worked at night when everybody else went home already to get a lot of uninterrupted work done. I guess my point was that I can relate to Julio in this scenario. It’s nice to dig in and just get stuff done without interruptions and without anybody “helping”, even if they mean well …
As a cartoonist, I am not subject to random drug testing. From practical point of view, I would have no problem with it. The only drugs I occasionally partake in are light forms of alcohol and the odd aspirin or whatever to get through a cold. Since I became a father, time is short, I go out less and go to bed way earlier than before, so even my alcohol consumption has been reduced to an average of maybe two beers a week.
But on a moral level, I would sure hate to be told what I can and can’t consume. I totally get that, if you operate heavy machinery and/or are responsible for other people’s lives, you have to be of sound mind. But isn’t it unfair that, if you get totally wasted on booze on Friday and then get called for a random drug test on Monday, you’re okay, but if you smoke one joint on Friday and get tested on Monday, you’d lose your job?
And, continuing the discussion from last Friday, about crew rest and pilot fatigue, isn’t sleep deprivation way worse than most effects of drugs? I heard that the crew of the Dubai Air plane that crashed in Russia was said to be totally overworked and sleep deprived, and that this problem is way more common in the industry than most people would want to admit.
And what about prescription drugs? I’m sure there are books full of regulations fort those, right?
Again, I don’t even do drugs myself, and this is just my humble opinion, but I sure think that a more relaxed attitude towards recreational drug use would probably be the best for everybody. If you compare the Netherlands, who “have to” shut down prisons because of a lack of crime, and the US, whose prisons are full to the brim with (not only, but a lot) of non-violent drug offenders, it isn’t hard to see which system seems to work better.
By the way, that’s an interesting question to the Dutch among you: Are pilots allowed to consume hemp, or are the rules stricter than for regular citizens?
When I’m hungry, I can turn really, really grumpy. So I feel for Hans in this strip! Anyway, I think “going on a diet” is the wrong approach anyway. The best thing is to “change” your diet. It’s amazing what bad habits you can develop over time. But that’s a long discussion for another time.
I wanted to give everybody a quick reminder that I will be at the Comic Con Austria in Linz this weekend! It’d be great if anybody would come and visit me there! I’ll be sitting at an artist table, probably also on a special diet, namely coffee and chocolate bars.
Back in my younger days, while working for the volunteer fire department, they would put on classes for people in bigger companies who were slated to become the new fire prevention or safety officer. One of my favorite jobs there was to fog out the hallway and stairways right outside the classroom with the machine we had for training while the trainer inside was teaching about fire and safety. Then, when they would break for lunch, the first person to open the door would find nothing but smoke outside where the hallway used to be. They did this to see how people would react to what they think is a real emergency (an ironic one it would seem, having the firehouse on fire). I was always amazed how many of these office workers would completely freak out and panic even though they just spent all morning learning about fires, safety, and what to do in an emergency …
I’m not sure if Hans really needs to read up on the use of the word “no”. Maybe pertaining to subject of cream cake. But maybe the chapter in the technical literature he is consulting is more about how to use it properly and when not to use it.
Personally, I like reading parenting literature every now and then. Obviously you can’t raise a child by the book, but quite often there are very useful tips, leads and ideas on how to handle certain situations. Also, knowing what an average child is capable of processing at a certain stage of neurological development, really helps having the right expectations and handling problems accordingly.
Our older son is now in the “Terrible Twos” phase. And, knock on wood, as of yet, they haven’t been very terrible. He is still stubborn, but he already was that from the very beginning. But either we’re such great parents, or we lucked out in that regard. Oh, well, there are still nine months to go, and then we enter the “Threenager” phase, which, according to many parents is supposed to be worse.
Right now, I’m explaining a lot that what you WANT to do and what you SHOULD or are ALLOWED to do can be totally different and, in fact, opposite things. It hasn’t registered yet, so the reason “but I want to!!” is often brought up as the ultimate, trump-all argument. I’m sure with patience, that lesson will eventually sink in. When he’s 25 or so.