Monday, November 12, 2007

Can I Clean Your Toilet???

There are some people in this world who have placed themselves above the rest of us and are continually adding to an invisible list in their heads of tasks or duties beneath their self-imposed grandiose status. Irene Némirovsky wrote about this eloquently in her book Suite Francaise, which I highly recommend. Today, when I innocently asked a professor if he had already made a copy of my timesheet, he went on and on about what a ludicrous thought this was. Imagine him standing in front of a copy machine for five seconds of professorial time!

In Suite Francaise, the first half is about the Nazi invasion of Paris. The Parisians are fleeing out of the city and the ones who struggle the most are the upper class. Their skewed notion that money, fame, and social status entitle them to more than their fellow countrymen during a mass exodus with food shortages, air raids, etc. is comical.

I strive for the opposite in my life. I will perform the most menial tasks and hopefully do so without complaining. There is nothing that I expect someone else to do that I will not do, or learn to do, myself. I am certain that no amount of wealth, fame, or rise in social status (however unlikely) will change this. So? Who wants their toilet cleaned?

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