Friday, April 1, 2022

Jump On The Bandwagon (MY Eng #45)

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', 'better late than never', 'storm in a teacup', 'between a rock and a hard place', 'darkest before dawn', 'empty vessels make the most noise', 'birds of a feather flock together', 'separate the wheat from the chaff', 'let sleeping dogs lies', 'open a can of worms', 'light at the end of the tunnel', 'trial and error', 'look before you leap', 'lightning in a bottle', 'on the same page', don't judge a book its cover', 'reinvent the wheel', 'shifting gears' and 'throwing in the towel'.

Ever feel like you're the only one in the meeting room feeling lost with what the person standing in front is saying? Everyone else nodding and taking notes while you're staring blankly into space?

Relax, it's normal to feel left out, once in a while. The impostor syndrome is especially acute when you're way ahead of the curve and actually the smartest person in the room.

We've all been there. A meeting with an agenda of milestones that you've done your part weeks ago. People discussing matters that should've been resolved, like, last month. Still stuck at the 'brainstorming' stage because giving ideas and shooting the ideas of others is much easier than doing actual work. All you can do is apoligise and excuse yourself from the meeting (or during a video call, just keep smiling at your webcam camera while your fingers feverishly tap on a different program).

* * *

But there's only so many excuses you can use and smiles you can force. Sooner or later, you have to bite the bullet (done this idiom before!), go with flow, and just jump on the bandwagon.

Some people just thrive on meetings and discussion. They can keep on talking till the cows come home (another idiom!). They genuinely enjoying the company of other people.

Not for some of us. Oh, how we wish that we could be left alone to work in peace. If everyone just talked less and did their part, they wouldn't be a need of meetings after meetings...

But a large part of work is getting along with other people, no matter how infuriating they are. There's no point picking fights. That would only lead to more 'emergency' meetings or worse of all, some team-building exercise. So it's best to just play along, and chalk the wasted time off as occupational hazard.

Take a deep breath, say a short prayer, quickly hop onto the bandwagon to find a good seat (ideally, far, far away from Tom from HR)...

* * *

I must say, past few weeks have been hectic and stressful. No, not because of my regular work. But all the nonsensical stuff that some people like to pass off as 'work'. There's no point in protesting. Just nod, smile, do what needs to be urgently done, and move on.

Then again, there's only so many bandwagons that you can hop onto at one time. You try to take a breather after one has stopped, but people from the back are impatiently jostling you into the next one.

But that's fine. It's never too late to jump out of the bandwagon. Especially if there's a spaceship waiting around the corner...

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