One of the greatest challenges facing we humans is friction.
So what do we mean by friction?
A dictionary will refer to the resistance encountered when two objects or surfaces come together and try to move. Such as a tyre on the road.
The insights and opinions we offer are about the friction that comes between different people, between people and their institutions or their communities and also between people and the wider world.
Our first offering refers to a particular form of lubrication. It counters the friction we experience in our day to day lives and helps make things happen.
In its simplest form the lubricant is a gift, a thank you.
The team that collect the rubbish and clear the leaves received a tip this morning. A thank you gift. Nothing wrong with that.
In my view when it becomes a requirement for service it starts to become a problem. An example of this is in the US and Canada where the level of tip to someone waiting your table in a restaurant is carefully calculated and absolutely expected. That feels like a supplement to the wage, required because the employer is a cheapskate and underpays their staff. It becomes an extra tax.
In India where I’ve lived for over eleven years we have a lot of experience with a particular form of lubrication, known as bribery.
This takes it to a whole other level.
If you’re a business applying for a business permit from the corporation or a liquor licence for a bar, pay your fee and a whacking great bribe otherwise absolutely nothing will happen.
Politicians do it all the time. Jump ship to another party and be paid with a ministerial berth or some other juicy position with money making promise.
Here are two more examples I’ve discovered just this morning. In my view they are quite unbelievable.
Want a job?
Someone has bribed to get a job at a state run business. On her rate of salary it will take three years to have earned the equivalent of the bribe she has paid.
Want a driving licence?
Don’t bother with lessons or even turning up at the test centre, you never have to get in a car, ever! Just send a bribe through a broker.
This is expected in most situations to one degree or another, it is so ingrained that no one ever expects it to change.
Missing Manjula. Second Christmas and birthday without her
At today’s writers group a presentation from editor Karthika helped clarify what is possible.
I’ve committed to Manjula to write our story with a working title of Full Full. I’ve completed the first draft of many and feels like I’m building the Taj Mahal out of matchsticks. This will take sometime.
Target date March 2022 to complete story
Launch book by August 2022 on what would have been Manjula’s 49th Birthday
Identify Editor, First Readers, Community Publisher advisor,
Create 2000 person mailing list and feature blog posts to help create interest.
Self publish POD and E book with 1000 sale target
Available in Hebden Bridge U.K. and silverfish (mysore) local bookshops.
Next: consider… additional chapters, Children’s book, Online interactive version
I’ve had a squashed fly looking floater a few years ago. The ophthalmologist in the U.K. said it would be no problem but to have my eyes checked if more appeared. One did in my left eye yesterday. It’s like a squashed mosquito. It makes it difficult to hit flying things with our electric tennis racquet.
Called the hospital, arranged an appointment for next morning (cost 260Rs) when they spotted a hole in the retina, followed by a second consultation (300 Rs) and then laser (1500Rs) to put a finger in the dam (seal the hole). Total price 2060 or around £20. All done and dusted by one o’clock.
Now before you Firangis swoon over the speed and price. In a commercialised service, as we have here, (think USA) you’re not quite sure if you’re getting what you actually need. I am however impressed with this hospital’s treatment of me and the Manj. I’m not casting aspersions but you never really know.
and the price may seem cheap but when some only earn 200 rs for a days work, it’s a lot to pay. Their access to service is severely restricted.
As someone born and bred in a country with the National Health Service, which has its faults— especially as the incompetents (politicians) are actually trying to destroy it — it still gets my support.
What does it make you think of? Where might it be from? Made of what?
My very good friend Jill, from England, emailed me today.
“I have been decluttering my ‘office’ now a junk room and found this among my treasures. It was in a box with my mother’s velvet evening bag”
“But what was even more surprising was what I saw when I turned it over and read what was underneath. How extraordinary! Who would have thought all that time ago – a link to somewhere that was to become so significant in your life.”
Jill and I used to work for a local council, in England, jointly managing part of social services. It was a great time in my life. There’s more info here
This was in the early 1990’s and we used all sorts of different techniques to help us innovate and develop a responsive service. I think this elephant was one of the awards we gave to thank our staff for their tremendous work. Jill and I had dressed up as a ringmaster and clown to give out the awards. No prizes for guessing who was who….
The significance of the elephant is the analogy we used and delivered in a workshop to all our staff. ‘Teaching the Elephant to Dance’ was about change and being sensitive to the individual needs of those who used our services.
There wasn’t any connection with India and it would be another fifteen years before I first visited the country and twenty before I moved here to live in Mysore.