Teamwork my arse. Hell is definitely other people.
Outside of Huis Clos, I can imagine a few situations which would bring these words to the forefront of my mind.
Never mind what the aesthetes and pseuds think JP meant, I know what they mean to me.
The London underground, a city dealing floor. A sales pitch, the annual Conservative Party Conference. And various concepts which leave me shuddering: teamwork, team-building, rugby, team games.
I can understand just why toothy old Sister Wendy Beckett banged herself up in a caravan in the grounds of her convent. She couldn’t face all the other old biddies busybodying around her and singing praises to god in their reedy old voices.
It is not that the hermit dislikes people. Well, not in my case anyway. It is just that he would rather avoid them wherever and whenever possible.
It is one thing to hail the jolly postman in his Royal Mail red tracksuit and wish him top of the morning. It is quite another thing to join with one’s fellow man on a “committee” or in some ghastly common enterprise, commercial or otherwise.
The massive egos, the big (and small) swinging dicks. The endless, pointless discussions and point scoring. Investment bankers, in particular, are known to thwack their dicks on the table at every available opportunity. What a ghastly genre.
And so it is that I find myself alone in the countryside on a glowering day with my long suffering wife of 30 years. A stirring stomp through the fields, a quiet cup of tea.
It is true we are thinking of going to a remembrance day service at a Norman Church in Sandwich tomorrow but only because I want to check out their choir.
I will avoid the 10 am since this requires a ghastly ceremony the christians call “passing the peace”. You actually have to speak to others in the congregation which is not my idea of fun at all.
And so to my final annoyance of the day. Quantopian. An otherwise excellent online coding platform that has Steve Cohen as a backer. They are seeking algorithms for hedge funds from the likes of myself. But excellent as their software is, it doesn’t damn well work because they devote too little computational power to it.
So much for co-operating with others. Teamwork, my arse.