Week 43 Toast
6th August - 13th August 2000
toasty, adj. The state of being forced to tolerate the presence of one or more idiots all the time. Advanced state of being in Antarctica too long; as, to be completely toasty.
I've mentioned that our Doc Robo writes a piece for the CBS web site every so often. In the past they have seemed quite superficial to me; Not mentioning many of the things that really shape life down here. They have been along the lines of how we're doing great and exciting things. Well we're not. This place can get really boring. You can't go anywhere. And what we do is either tedious or frustrating. Often both at the same time. Yes, outside is amazing, unless you have to work out there. But the Doc is doing it a bit hard, and for a change he wrote about this. He's toast.
Someone took exception to this. They thought that Robo wasn't representing what life was really like down here. They thought that they were having a great time and that most other people were also. That on the whole they were liked and they liked most of the people here. There are two types of people that could think this way. I've only met two people in the one category - Super Bert and JP. Everyone likes them. They seemed to always be having fun. The person I'm talking about isn't in this group. They think they are. They are toast - just don't know it.
I don't know how station managers are selected, but it ain't a good method what ever it is. Maybe they figure they're not going to be liked eventually so why not try and reach this stage early with a special personality type. Our SM went to his office the other day, probably the only office on station that gets locked, and found his key wouldn't go in the lock. Red loctite in the lock. He does the rounds asking people stupid questions to try and find out who did it. Lets count the ways to really piss people off. Maybe accuse them of gluing his door? Of course they're pissed off about it - they didn't think of it first!! Q. What does it take to clear the galley in 30 seconds flat? A. The SM to come in. Lots of toast there.
I read in a scientific article about how negative the state of toast is. It said that the idea of toast was just an excuse to act in a manner without showing responsibility. They are sort of right, but completely wrong. As I see it there is a point where the "conflict resolution techniques" and the "personality and interaction models", as shoved down our throats at touchy feely school, become totally useless in our situation. We can only fool ourselves for so long. Eventually the reality seeps in. At this point ones brain says, hey I'm going to look after number one here, or number one is going to end up a snag short of a barbie. I suppose this may be seen as acting with a disregard for accountability. But you can only go around worrying about not offending everyone for so long. Of course the paper was written by some psych that has not and would never winter. Hmmmm.... Maybe there is something in this. A clue to the type of person needed to winter? Welcome to the world of toast.
The main difference between here and Casey is that at Casey it was relatively simple to get away from the station - go to the Wilkes Hilton for the night - go to Robo's for the weekend. But here there are even less living areas to go to than at Casey, with three times as many people, and no place off station to go to. I've noticed the atmosphere in the dome has become very tense. Meals are not as relaxed as they used to be. It's as though the dome is reflecting in negative karma. For this reason I've been spending as much time as possible at my work place in Mapo. It's a far more relaxed place. I can play music as loud as I like. I'm not likely to run into people I don't want to see (if I do they get a reception which usually ensures they won't be back in a hurry. i.e. It's my work place, I can tell them to PISS OFF!). So I'm usually in Mapo by 9am, and don't get back to the dome until 7ish in the evening.
There are a couple of places that shield the negative karma in the dome. One even has positive karma - and humidity and light - the green house. I have been going there to read and soak up some light in the evenings. Ideally I'd go there in the morning to wake up. But the reality is that I couldn't get up any earlier, and don't want to go to work any later. So I've found I don't want to go to the green house too late or I never get to sleep!
The only other place other than my room that I hang out is the pool room. I'd rather play darts, but you have to live with what you've got. I've always thought that my pool was fairly average (many people now nodding in agreement). But here there is only one person that consistently beats me. Since I only loose about one game in ten (when not playing Smith) I quite enjoy my pool.
I'm sure people are wondering why I don't hang out in Sky Lab much. This used to be one of the nicest places to hang out. I still go up there to do a bit of yoga by myself, and occasionally to read. But as a group hang out place it is no longer. The band used to practice there 3 times a week, and we used to go up and have a few drinks every so often. We hung out up there for ages during sunset. While these are all good memories, they also come with a couple bad reminders. In a state of toast, these sort of triggers we can do without.
Well I just snapped back at some stupid moronic question that my work mate just asked me. He'll probably never talk to me again.
To be continued .......