Marley and I sat in a Parisian cafe this morning. We had orange juice, coffee (well for me), baguettes and croissants with tiny pots of raspberry jam. We sat in the French style on the pavement facing out. Admiring the French women’s style. Noting that the cigar smoke didn’t bother us. Checking out how well groomed the dogs were.
Then two workers came up and stood almost on top of us. In boots, hard hats and all the gear, they spoke loudly in French and one went to get the waiter. A quieter conversation ensued. The waiter signaled our table was on top of a huge metal manhole on the pavement and moved us one table down. The workers lifted the huge metal lid off and left it jutting out almost on the street. Down they went, out of sight. No be careful signs, no indication work was being done.
We watched as mothers with prams almost fell in, then navigated onto the street. A cascade of people tripped on the lid. No one complained, huffed, even the cafe waiters who had lost two tables to this work. By the time we had finished our breakfast, they had finished the job, and slid the lid back.
In Australia, the council would have cordoned off the area. The cafe would have had to close that whole zone. There would be people directing pedestrians onto the street for the whole 90 cm the job took up. It would have taken months of organizing and half a day to execute.
I’m not saying one system is better than another. But it did get Marley and I thinking. And we spoke about where in our lives, and our thinking are we creating ridiculous systems, that prevent something happening, and potentially making things take 14x longer. Marley said sometimes she bottles things up instead of just saying ‘you hurt my feelings’ and resolving it. I admitted I create crazy sequences for my emotional responses sometimes (questioning a bad mood on the planets/moon/a situation/etc when I’m in fact just hungry), instead of just putting those thoughts aside and getting on with it…
Food for thought for today is where are you putting up signs, security tape and guards when in fact it’s a just an in and out job?
With love from France,