asociaal, part 1

This came up in my Dutch book: asociaal is one of the worst things you can call someone, here. Someone in the book said that in other languages, “asociaal” is someone who doesn’t like to go to parties, but here, it means someone who is not meeting their responsibilities. And in a country where half the land is below sea level and floods are a very real threat, that is a very bad person.

On the other hand, I’m really struck by how often someone here simply does not do their job. When we moved here and registered at the City office, they were supposed to notify the Immigration Office, but they didn’t. Just… didn’t feel like it, or what? Bus drivers don’t stop, secretaries don’t do anything secretarial, “waiter” is a total misnomer, it’s the customers who do all the waiting.

It’s certainly not everybody, but in six months here I’ve run across a lot of people who get a paycheck, but they don’t seem to think that connects to doing any actual work. It’s even in another part of my Dutch book, that people call in sick for the most trivial of reasons. But if you get money to do a job, don’t you have a responsibility to, you know… do it?

So… if you don’t feel like doing your job you don’t have to? But if I point out that you’re not doing it, I’m insulting you? Am confused.

Song du jour of the day: Blanket, by Urban Species featuring Imogen Heap.


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