What I Hated the Least Today 82/365: Wonderland


I’m like Mara in wonderland in my new job. I graduated from and used to teach at a traditional old university, where all things and people are ancient, crumbling and unsmiling. At the modern college where I currently teach, everything is new, everyone is happy, and it’s terribly creepy.

I don’t object to the up-to-date facilities that are actually working. I can’t get enough of the view from my temp office, which shows functionalist buildings—none of which looks like it’s going to collapse under its own weight and age any moment. I was so excited when I checked out the workplace’s restroom that I had to tweet it:




The hyperfriendly staff is a concern though. I don’t believe it’s a natural disposition for staff to be so superexcited when dealing with fellow staff. A colleague who was handing in the classroom key to me looked like he would propose any time. A cleaning woman whom I was handing in the classroom key looked like she would adopt me. Maybe it’s a magic key.

Or maybe it’s the asbestos in the building that makes everyone act so saccharine. The building will be stripped of its asbestos in summer, so it might be interesting to see if the staff’s unhealthy upbeat attitude will be normalised. Before that, I fear I might be a victim to some twisted social experiment which examines the effects of the kindness of strangers upon (un)suspecting me. The fact that I’m paranoid doesn’t mean that they’re not after me.


Author: Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

21 thoughts

  1. haha this made me smile .. I work in an all male environment and clearly were not used to greetings when I started. It has taken eight years but they have now started to say or at least acknowledge the ‘Morning’ without suspicion.. well mostly

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank you for stopping by! I think I would love your workplace, I think grumpiness is a natural disposition and I certainly wouldn’t object to my coworkers going quietly about their business without constantly asking me how I’m doing. It feels fake. But good for you to bring some greeting culture in your workplace 😉 !

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds a bit like me, coming from Sweden to North America. I wasn’t used to strangers being nice! Back home, the person working the check-out in the grocery store doesn’t say a word, except the amount. When I’ve been back now, I’ve tested it … said something to them, and they get like deer in the headlight! I said “have a nice day” to one of them, and she didn’t really know what to say.

    Here, they are nice in the diners, some are really chatty. Back home, I felt like I was disturbing them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sweden sounds more and more like a culture I would love to know. Eastern Europe is notorious for its unfriendliness. It’s a matter of course that when you approach a cashier or other such person here, you ARE disturbing them. To say “have a nice day” to a cashier could be quite dangerous because it would be assumed that it’s some mind game on your part. Or else that you’re being ironic. No way anyone says these things naturally 🙂 This is what I’m used to and what I consider the standard, so I’m positively creeped out when anyone smiles at me and wishes me a good day or whatever. I wonder what mischief they’re up to.


    1. It’s my pleasure 🙂 Not that you didn’t sleep well, but that despite this, I managed to amuse you a little. Hope you’ll have a good night’s sleep tonight because I’m not sure I can write something funny to save sleep-deprived people’s day everyday…


      1. I think you’re funnier than you give yourself credit for. I sent your link to my son for his laugh for the day. He sent a comment back to me saying your banner about rainbows and unicorns set the tone for the rest of the post 😀


  3. I must have missed a post somewhere along the way! COngratulations on your new job 🙂 Sounds like an interesting place to be in – let’s hope the saccharin sweetness isn’t addictive 🙂


    1. Not to worry, you missed nothing, I’m just now temping as a substitute teacher for a colleague who went certified mad. Poor thing.

      I’m not worried that I would become a sweet person by hanging around a sweet working environment, I’m perfectly immune to that. I’m only worried what evil things everyone is up to. They can’t be so nice just for nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, good. No, not good about the going mad thing 😦 Good that I didn’t miss anything. I think you have a cast iron shield to protect you from all things suss !


  4. yep, a place where everyone is happy is creepy lol 😀
    I’m happy you enjoy the job, even tho it’s only temporary, it’s good for the CV and will prolly help you get a permanent position afterwards 🙂


    1. Thank you for getting me. It’s not normal for people to be so happy, right 😉 And you’re right, this teaching stint will look good on the CV. So what’s there not to like about it…


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