Hidden passage

passage
Nothing quite this exotic

My Grandma had some funny sayings. If she was talking about someone that she was acquainted with but didn’t know particularly well, she would say ‘their dog ran down my passage.’ As I got older I did wonder whether this phrase had other, slightly lewd connotations as it was always said with a twinkle in her eye. But how could it have had? I was very young at the time and now I will never know.

I think of her often, even though she is just a shadow in my memory, especially when I am visiting new places to ply my trade. Working in IT, I get to visit the places that others don’t see. Not the front of house for the likes of us but rather the basements, attics and back passages. If you are seeking glamour then other professions may be for you. The IT teams are the borrowers that support organisations, always there but not always in view. 

Of course that shouldn’t be the case but we have history to fight with and we are not always noted for our interpersonal skills.

Two places spring to mind that demonstrate what I am talking about, the castle and the hotel that I have been working at but in many ways it was also true of Durham Castle. Behind the public facing facade of each of these businesses there are corridors and places where only the workers can go. They were built with the sole intention of keeping the staff away from the rest of the operation. 

I can understand this in the hotel, where paying guests may not want to see the machinations that keep the establishment working. Very few people want to see what goes on in the kitchen at the restaurant they are eating and even fewer would want to find themselves in the laundry. I can also understand it in the council where the public can’t wander in the work areas except under some supervision, for safety and security reasons. 

The castle however, is a different story.  There I was left with the impression that the staff were better kept out of sight for reasons of sensibility. It could have been for reasons of efficiency however. Perhaps though it is a question more of my sensibilities than others

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