Thursday, November 04, 2010

Grumpy bastards

Is there a plague of grumpy bastardness spreading that no one has told me about? As friends of mine will tell you, I can be quite the grumpy bastard when the mood sets, which was actually most of my 20s (well, from 23-31 were the prime grumpy years), but this has been an impressive week so far.

At first I thought it was just Iqaluit, because it felt like every second person was not in a good mood. Granted, teachers just found out the government is offering them a 0% raise over four years along with other freezes and rollbacks. To say they are....unhappy would be an understatement. Haven't met too many happy teachers this week (haven't met too many borderline homicidal teachers this week, to be honest). And that kind of grumpy bomb tossed into a small pool is going to cause some big waves that affect everyone.

So I thought maybe it was that, coupled with being busy at work, plus being stressed out about getting the curling club season off to a smooth start (mixed success on that front) that was causing the grumpiness. Curling actually manage to piss me off so much this morning that I snapped at Cathy for no good reason. I bought her Hawaiian pizza for lunch, along with an apology. So I'm back in her good books. For now.

But it's more than that, I think. I read two separate articles this week about an apparent growing wave of incivility in Canada. I don't have the links handy, but one was about the increasing level of hostility in Newfoundland politics. Now, I think there's a certain amount of blinders going on there as Newfoundland politics have never been particularly polite, but the last few years, with "traitor" being bandied about in certain realms for when you disagree with the premier, then yes, it does seem to be getting a bit nastier.

Another article wondered if the rest of Canada was becoming collectively meaner, with the notion that Rob Ford's election in Toronto was a sign of that. Plus the apparently harsher than normal words out of Ottawa.

Then there's the US, which is crawling out of a particularly nasty election cycle with several clearly deeply crazy people being elected.

So what is it, I wonder? Economic recession blues? Winter? Elections? Christmas? Lunar cycle? Something in the water? Or am I imagining things and people are as grumpy, or as kind, as they've always been.

Last Five
1. Like yesterday - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
2. A lesson in geography - Ian Foster
3. We've never met - Neko Case*
4. Something - The Beatles
5. Fast car - Tracy Chapman


Chantal said...

Move to Baker Lake! There is a remarkable difference in mood between Iqaluit and here. People seem genuinely content and friendly. I do miss Iqaluit though, more to look at.

The Perfect Storm said...

Government "anything" seems to breed incivility.

Just off from doing a stint with government and back to working in the private sector again.

The mood is distinctly different. More positive, more outward looking, more "here's what I can do to help you with that" attitude.

Not all are that way of course. This particular organization has to be congratulated on its relentless attention to "their" culture. It certainly works.


Jennith said...

I was going to say that I haven't met any teachers letting their feelings about negotiations spill into their working lives overtly. Everyone seems to be doing a good job of keeping it positive and focusing on the job at hand - educating our students as best we can, although I think daylight saving time and a mild flu bug have left lots of people looking more tired than normal. Of course, I live in Baker Lake. It seems that Baker is starting to gain steam as a blogging centre with at least 4 active blogs - although I have only met one of them.