Sunday, 7 November 2010

An entertaining stress story

I was having an email debate about stress with friends. To me stress is relative, people who live in poverty, perhaps have to live with violence and are looking for their next meal to feed their children, survive with little support and living day to day, hand to mouth. That person would clearly have a higher level of constant stress than myself.
After this debate my brother picked up the email trail and added this funny story of stress. Enjoy.

I've just come across this debate, having returned from holiday. Middle class jobs are not stressful as long as you do not become financially reliant on them and there isn't a recession on! Otherwise it is easy to want to show oneself as willing to put in the extra effort / hours etc so you are not the one made redundant! Strangely for me, I don't really get stressed these days despite working in the middle of the city. Just because you are in central London doesn't mean you should be compelled to rush around everywhere, although it seems many do. Just getting briefly in someone's way and delaying their journey by 0.5 seconds is almost certain to bring an outraged 'tut'.
To recreate the feeling of intense stress however, simply perform the following actions. I tested them on holiday last week:
1. Go on holiday to Spain and plan to drive to various towns and cities, road trip style.
2. Order a mid-sized saloon as a hire car.
3. On arrival at the airport, discover the car you wanted was not available and experience excitement as you are told that it has been replaced by a brand new BMW 530d GT.
4. Allow excitement to be replaced by trepidation as you see the car is the size of an aircraft carrier.
5. Ignore partners advice to change car as you notice it has sport and sport+ buttons. Stress level 0.
6. Drive to Grenada to discover an utterly horrifying maze of one way, narrow back streets and dizzyingly complicated road systems. There is no apparent way out of the city. Stress level 3.
7. Embrace the first feelings of panic as car gets stuck down narrow a lane - try to remain calm as various locals shout and toot at you, shout back that they 'are not helping'. They do not appear to understand. Stress level 6.
8. Tell your partner you are going to abandon the car where it is and just hire another one. Stress level 5.
9. Rapidly retreat from above option as partner makes it clear it is not a valid option. Stress level 7.
10. Finally free car after folding back wing mirrors and doing a 254 point turn. By now locals have stopped tooting and have reached the quietly furious stage. Lots of crossed arms. Need to find way out. Now. Stress level 9.
11. Back to the road system. Yay stress level 10! The 'falling down' event horizon!
12. Start to giggle uncontrollably and use the taxi / bus lane system to exit city while waving at the annoyed looking taxi drivers.
After reading that my stress level returned to 0.

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