~~~~ odd man out ~~~~
Once long ago I was interviewed for a job as language director of the Defence Cooperation Language School in Melbourne, Australia. (The place pretends to teach English in three months or so to exchange military officers from places like Indonesia). It was a pretty strange detour for me from a lifelong aversion to rigid organizations, and needless to say I didn’t get the job. What I mostly remember is being told that I’d have to wear a tie every day (they disqualified themselves right then). But I also recall being advised by a lugubrious air force officer that the main quality sought was someone who would mind their own business. “In this place”, he intoned, “you must understand that most issues you will encounter will be somebody else’s problem. Above all, you must never try to solve somebody else’s problems”. His implication of course was that absolutely every possible issue of responsibility should be shuffled away as somebody else’s problem. It is the bureaucrat’s daily prayer. The fellow would have been in heaven in China.