By Barry Lord @bazneto
Waiting is a feature of modern Irish life… It’s unavoidable.
So good luck to the 120,000 plus students who began their leaving and junior certificate exams last week.
Aside from the lessons they take from their teachers and textbooks, I feel they are about to learn another important lesson about life in their homeland.
Many will no doubt spend time over the coming months fretting and sweating over their results, waiting in desperation for that letter to come through the door.
Another helping of the glorious sunshine could be a mere afterthought when all is said and done.
It’s all about the piece of paper and the waiting will be tortuous.
But it’s a wait that must be endured and I believe much of their adult life will be characterised by waiting should they choose to remain in this part of the world.
Because you wait for a lot of things in this country.
Be it word on that job you applied for, that electrician who promised he’d be back last Tuesday or that Grande Americano you ordered (actually a coffee is one of the few things you don’t have to wait three weeks for.)
We may treat it lightly but the feeling of continually being pushed from one never-ending queue to another is becoming a fixture in this land. And it could drive people slowly away.
I filled out papers to re-register my UK-purchased car in this country and posted them three weeks ago. I’m still waiting for any kind of acknowledgement.
In another instance, I enrolled in an intensive four-day training and evaluation course last November. After some hiccups along the way, I managed to complete the training and allowing for the Christmas holliers, I expected my certificate in the post no later than late January/early February this year.
Two days ago, an envelope came through the front door. My certificate arrived. Seven months after the course concluded!
So why do the wheels of our industries turn so slowly?
Some people I speak to see their country wrapped in red tape, with decreasing resources but increasing levels of bureaucracy. Every ‘T’ crossed no dot out of place. And as many hurdles put in the way of any forward momentum.
Maybe now we are starting to see a reaction.
I was in a classroom on Tuesday with 17 young Irish students hoping to teach English as a foreign language. Many in attendance saw Thailand, Brazil and Spain as future ports of call where they hoped to gain experience and earn a living.
I don’t doubt their motivation. There’s a world out there to be explored. But I sincerely hope they aren’t leaving these shores because they grew tired of waiting in line.