Daily Prompt: Express is just a word


Since amost 7 months builders have been renovating our appartment block. 7 months is a long time. Suddently in the last couple of weeks everyone is here: the electrician, the painter, the plumber. It seems to be the end spurt, the scaffolding will be removed next week and so they can no longer climb onto the roof or the various balconies. Those working above just drop the empty cans of cola from the top floors. They collect them before they go home.

When I was an export clerk in my working life, everything had to be despatched express. There seemed to be machines standing still all over the world waiting for the delivery of our tools. Some of the tools were not even manufactured, but still shapeless pieces of metal in the machine waiting to be formed. If you had a contract to fulfil, it all had to go express. Telephone calls to the factory asking when the tool series would be finished were daily routine. Somehow the job got completed, but it was all luck. I sometimes wonder how I survived, but did I?

When I began to work in the field of Swiss industry 30 years before I was retired, it was work to be proud of. Your job was to send tools according to the customer’s orders, and the customers were the king. They paid your wages indirectly and gave you work.  You followed the orders until despatch. Telephone calls were made to other countries to clarify urgent details. You had a telex machine to write to your customers, which was later replaced with a fax because it was quicker. And then computer communication arrived. Suddenly things were even faster. You were handling independently. There was no need for a boss because you knew what had to be done. I am glad I am retired, because I got a taste of the future in my last months when express became a daily word and my health began to suffer. I had to stop working, according to the doctor as I was heading for no-man’s land.

Since being retired I can look at it all from a distance and realise how things have developed something like a science fiction novel. In my parents and grandparents time you had a job and a wage. Today a job has become an automatic process and it is not certain that it will exist forever, A does one part of the job, B does the next and then it passed onto C etc. etc. In a larger company you no longer have alone responsibility. There is no interest in what you are doing. I know that my job no longer exists. The products are now delivered to a centre over the border where there are delivered direct to the end customers, and no longer via your agents. This began when I was working and now has been completed. There is no longer responsibility, just a conveyer belt of work process churning out results. Interest is what you are doing? Forget it, just do it.

Of course, it is much quicker, and a day after the order is received the tools are on the machine in another country and everyone is happy. But are the workers really happy. I was happy the day I walked out of my workplace and knew that I had got my life back. I was now the unwanted material and even that gets recycled.

Tool School

Good Morning


Mr. Swiss said today we have clouds, knowing that I would be happy for a few photos in the morning and I was. Of course a blue sky is always a promise of good weather, but not very interesting. Today we have a nice mixture. In the distance the sun making a nice glow and otherwise a mixture of grey with some blue poking through. Our weather prophets did forecase that rain would be on its way, but only at the week-end. In the meanwhile I enjoy the clouds.

I decided to take the plunge yesterday and joined the other  325 Swiss members of the Cloud Appreciation Society and paid an annual subscription, The general world membership is around 42,000 so I am not alone.


In the meanwhile I decided to treat myself to something completely different for breakfast. Mr. Swiss and I both get points from our bank, nothing special and you would have to be a millionaire to be able to exchange them for something worthwhile. I do not really understand their system, but we get a few goodies by belonging. So are the Swiss banks, co-operative to the last Swiss Franc. However, now and again we get free honey, which does not need so many points and this morning I decided to indulge. My diabetes was not so happy about this decision, but I did not really ask. I like being a sweet person. Mr. Swiss and I have the same GP and on his last visit to the doctor she asked about checking my blood again as she has not seen me for some time. I think he did a few “ums” and “aahs”, and assured her that I do test my blood now and again. I suppose I should pay her a visit to keep her blood testing instruments happy as my tests are usually more in beetween when I get round to it. The life of a golden oldie is so full of stress.

So what shall I do today? I have a few windows to clean, but no big deal, just a wipe over. Since our builders have left us we no longer have the dirt and dust or the noise. It is not yet perfect, as the scaffolding will only be removed next week, but we can relax. We now realise the stress the whole operation brought us. The first phase was the worst when they were removing the old insulation with their peumatic chisels. Afterwards  came the renewel of the layers and now things are more or less stressless. The painters were no great problem as paint brushes do not make noise and they were very fast and efficient with the work. It was the lost summer of our lives never to be forgotten, that is why I took almost 1000 photos of the whole process.

And as Autumn continues to show its clothing of many colours, I will move on to the responsibilities of daily life, together with Mr. Swiss who is busy changing the bed linen, although I did my own duvet and pillow covers.

Enjoy the day, take it easy, and if you are bored, just look up to the clouds. They never get bored.

Autumn 18.20 (2)