Polite Contempt

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 15th Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/386_cy_d/
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Off Beat

How to move from passionate committment to Profound Indifference in a few easy steps.

Supreme Indifference

Some years ago I belonged to an organisation which met every first Tuesday.

One day I was sitting quietly when a guy began to expound on a particular topic. My thoughts began to drift and I started to doodle in my copy book.

The guy was talking, I wasn’t really listening, and then someone asked me if what the guy was saying was true.

The reason I was asked is because I physically worked on the project. I actually knew what it was about. The guy who was talking must have read a paragraph or two from the local newspaper.

So Sadam Sysop asks me; “Is that what was decided?”

“No,” I say quietly, not looking up from my doodling.

Sadam is now annoyed; “You want to tell us what it says.”

“Okay,” I reply, and begin.

The guy who’d been pontificating gets up and walks out and is never seen again.

Later, in discussions with Forge and Airdog, recognising how odd my behaviour, it was with a sense of incredulity I admitted I didn’t care. I admitted I’d moved into that stage of Contempt called Profound Indifference.


Let’s look over there at those guys at the bar. They are arguing. Let us say, Guy #1 was actually at the stadium/in Parliament/at the crash site/ he was physically There when whatever is being discussed happened.

The guys talking the loudest, weren’t there. They heard, or they read, or assumed,

Guy #1 is fighting to be heard, he is losing his temper, his blood pressure is going through the roof.

I can identify with Guy #1.

Board Meeting

Many years ago I was at a Board Meeting and they were going off the tracks. I was trying to get attention, I was waving my arm, calling “excuse me..." but the Chair ignored me.

I got so angry I leapt to my feet and at top volume blasted the ‘answer’. Everyone looked at me as if I’d escaped a mental institution.

I felt really stupid and left soon after, trying to analyse my behaviour. Trying to see why it mattered so much to me that I would have made a complete idiot of myself.


Now there is Bradley. Bradley retired from the public service as a legend. He never lost his temper, he never was flustered, from day one to day last, Bradley was a rock.

When there was a panic at this Commission or that Agency, Bradley would solve the problem without breaking a sweat. He never raised his voice, never engaged in debate.

If people jumped in his face, argued, complained, Bradley said nothing. He never got into an exchange of personalities.

When he retired, I remember seeing senior civil servants, tears rolling down their faces, certain they could not survive without Bradley as Financial Officer.

As I’d known him forever we went to lunch and in his soft voice said; “I don’t give a Fork.”

Bradley had taken a first entry position and became politically apathetic. He recognised he lived in a Kakistocracy. He also learned that the Civil Service was kind of a toilet.

On one hand it was staffed by people who couldn’t find a better job, on the other, by persons who were given posts because of their connection to political leaders.

He had slipped through the cracks because he just happened to be there and it wasn’t a high profile post although it had a lot of responsibility.

Bradley’s contempt for the people he worked with had mellowed into a high indifference. To most things and people he was indifferent.

To give you a contrast;


Yenta is sitting on her chair, and passing remarks. “Look how short her skirt!” “That hair style is horrible.” “He needs to use a deodarant,”

She is offended if she is not invited to a neighbourhood function. She feels hurt if she isn’t asked her opinion. She becomes hysterical if those she’s talking at do not listen, do not answer, do not conform.

She has views on everything and needs to make sure everyone knows what she thinks.
She cares passionately about everything. She is totally engrossed in every aspect of life.

Amused Contempt

Having made a fool of myself at the Board meeting I ceased to be the 'bringer of light’. It doesn’t matter what you say, who you are, what you know or don’t know, unless I am being paid to give a speech, make a presentation, or asked nicely, I stay quiet.

If it is my money or my property or myself, there is only one view; mine. If it is your money, or your property or yourself, unless you are a personal friend, I say nothing.

Over the years I have developed amused contempt. I take the usual bickering as good theatre and have found that people who know the least do the most talking and hold the strongest opinions.

Don't Give A

Having learned my lesson I developed 'Bradley’ traits. I don’t announce why I should be heard, I don't give a resume. On rare occasions, if it isn’t much trouble and there is a pause, I might give my opinion, but if it’s too much trouble, I won’t.

People can argue, shout, defend, support, I say nothing. If forced to respond I might say, 'thank you’, and move on or look blank.

People think I’m easy going, even nice. That is because, like Bradley, I don’t give a fork.


Ideas, Indifference, Meetings, Opinions, Presentation

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author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

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author avatar Retired
15th Mar 2015 (#)

Great piece of writing. Thankyou. =)

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author avatar kaylar
15th Mar 2015 (#)

You are very welcome

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