Monday, October 11, 2021

Storm In A Teacup (MY Eng #28)

This is part of a running series about English idioms - less about language, more about life itself. Previously, we covered 'missing the woods for the trees', 'the elephant in the room', 'practising what you preach', blowing hot and cold', 'no smoke without fire', 'one swallow does not make a summer', 'apples and oranges', 'cut to the chase', 'leave no stone unturned', 'that's the way the cookie crumbles', 'can't have your cake and eat it too', 'old is gold', 'putting the cart before the horse', 'mountain out of a molehill', 'pot calling the kettle black', 'bite the bullet', 'go the extra mile', 'silence is golden', 'the devil is in the details', 'sink or swim', 'once bitten twice shy', 'don't count your chickens before they hatch', 'don't put all your eggs into one basket', 'chicken and egg', 'walking on eggshells', 'flogging a dead horse' and 'better late than never'.

One of upsides of the pandemic is remote working. And one of the upsides of remote working is virtual meeting.

You know the type. The person who can't resist raising a hand at every meeting. The person with an endless list of grievances.

Are they really aggrieved, or do they just crave for attention? Regardless, they put the rest of us through an arduous extra-time. Worst still, some of us may be dragged into a new task that really can wait, or isn't really worth the effort resolving.

The good thing about virtual meetings is that it's easier to zone out without anyone noticing, and excuse oneself because of a back-to-back appointment or a wail from the baby crib. And over the last few months, Zoom fatigue has made us all more conscious about time and able to run meetings more efficiently.

* * *

It's a phenomenon that happens to the best of us. Sometimes unconsciously. Perhaps I'm guilty myself, on several ocassions. We all have the tendency to stir a storm in a teacup.

It's human nature to freak out and overreact. Who doesn't enjoy a little drama in their lives? It's only natural to exaggerate our trivial tragedies, to draw great sympathies.

To those who know me well, I'm not the sort who go around bitching about every bad day at work. Even if I'm in hot soup because someone screwed up badly, I'll just quietly get right to fixing the problem. How does whining and complaining help to get the job done? It doesn't.

There's nothing wrong stirring a storm in one's own teacup. Problem is, the same people enjoy serving storm in other people's teacup.

* * *

Remote working has left me with a sense of solitude and serenity. Even though I'm busier than ever with work. And that's partly because remote working helps to drown out the noise and bustle of trouble-makers.

Hopefully, the pandemic has made us more introspective about how we treat other people on a daily basis. Life is complicated as it is. No reason to stir drama in other people's lives without good reason. No reason to kick up a storm in anyone's teacup - starting with your own.

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