“Stop the machines, or stop working for me!”

Monday, I was puzzling at the office. I needed to compile a difficult project file, many numbers, many contextual parameters. Yes, I needed to concentrate. I had closed my door, so that the colleagues could to their job without having to worry about me. And then … damn it … the gardeners came over unexpectedly and started their noisy engines, just like some weeks before at home when the neighbor started to do the garden works.

Bye, bye concentration. I immediately – too quickly and too angry, I admit – went down to the garden and asked them to stop the engines, or I would cancel the contract. I was lucky that they seemed to need the contract somehow, since they did not run away. The challenge was they did not seem to understand that someone who works behind a desk is really working. They are the ones working. I am only sitting behind a desk while the money flows in. That is what I read in their eyes, when I addressed them that silence is crucial in my work.

“But how can we do our job, then?”.

“By using the electric machines rather than the fuel machines to cut the hedge. And by raking the leaves with a rake, and put them nicely with the rest of the green waste, rather than blowing them under the trees with a noisy machine.”

They looked at me like I wanted to put them back into the stone age, while their ear protecting headphones were more than a hint that their machines are very noisy.

“And yes, I am prepared to pay the extra time you need to rake”.

Which is not that much, by the way. The gain in efficiency of leave blowers is overestimated. They are just cool – and noisy – toys for (gardening) boys. They do still take a lot of time, definitely when the leaves are stuck to the ground after the rain.

Loyal followers of this blog might remember what triggered me to start writing in the first place (see the very first blog post here). So you might imagine that I could not let this go by unnoticed. 😉

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