Hustle and bustle

I hate bustlers. No, it’s not a euphemism for something dirty – I’m talking about those annoying people that you can hear approaching when they’re still halfway down the passage. Everything about them shouts, “look how busy I am”: They always move just that little bit faster than normal people; they always manage to brush against walls, partitions, plants, furniture etc. as they go past (got to take the optimum route, naturally) and they like to wear noisy clothing like wind-cheaters and corduroy pants.

We have a pair of bustlers in the office. One of them is simply annoying, because when she’s in the vicinity, I find myself unconsciously tracking her progress as she bustles her busy way around. I find it quite difficult to focus on my work until she’s buggered off out of my section. The other is tooth-grindingly annoying, because I can hear him bustling noisily down the corridor from a l-o-o-o-n-g way off and the effect is something like the approach of a train made out of brown paper and nylon. The thing that lifts him out of the league of merely mediocre bustlers, into the Grand Master category, is his habit of bludgeoning the (open) door of my office with his meaty fist as he marches in. If he was going to come in without an invitation anyway, why the hell does he feel this ridiculous need to ‘knock’?

Unfortunately, Mr Champion Bustler is a 2 metre tall monster weighing in at about 120 kg. He could turn me into sausage paste as easily as looking at me, so my genetic predisposition toward pain avoidance prevents me from making this into an ‘issue’. Where’s that damned gum guard?


12 thoughts on “Hustle and bustle

  1. Bustlers — a subcategory of BIPs (busy important persons) — people whose eyes roll back in their heads and say “You have no i*DEE*a!” when asked what they’ve been up to. Note to self: quit asking unless you actually want to hear details on their busy importantness.


  2. I personally am v good at appearing busy when in fact I am doing BUGGER ALL – this has nothing to do with bustling per se and everything to do with appearance management. It’s all about the quality of the work you submit NOT the quantity – see latest blog entry for clarity. I do confess to walking fast in corridors in office though – sorry. Usually with a bunch of papers in hand that have VOK all to do with the job at hand – going to have fag etc. It’s an art – perfect it.


  3. I, too, walk quickly – mostly cos I’m a really impatient person. I also bump into things. A LOT. I’m just not good at pinpointing exactly where all my extremities are at every moment… or my hipbones… or the furniture… or doors… basically I’m a dozy cow who wanders around in a daze most of the time ;-P
    But I don’t do the whole noisy clothing thing either – makes it too difficult to sneak out for a smoke every so often, hehe.

    So would you be the opposite of a Bustler? The strong, silent type i.e. the oke who sidles up behind people & scares the bejeezes out of them when they don’t know ur there…?


  4. I like to bustle occasionally: you need props, like a bunch of keys, or some ‘important’ papers, and you walk purposefully through the workplace; people think you must be busy, and you get to stretch your legs…
    Walk, jingle keys, walk, jingle keys…. this way, you can do absolutely nothing while keeping yourself healthy. Sorry if it gets under your skin, but we bustlers have our rights…


  5. I don’t work with bustlers – just ‘zippers’. They zip about and are done with everything before you know it. During that time they only say 3 words and leave a trail of papers and drugs flying about. (Oh, I work in a hospital pharmacy…) Then they idly lean back, say everything is done and casually suggest they leave if there is nothing to do AND it will save the department money. An hour after they leave, I find that maybe 1/2 of the job was done and the remainder artfully arranged so that it would appear they had done oh-so-much. I wonder if this is a sub-species?


  6. My ex-boss used to wander around the office, pretending to survey his domain, I suppose. And when he hung up the phone after saying nothing really, he usually went “Bon!” (Good!) like he’d just solved yet another major problem. But hey, at least he thought he was busy.
    Not bustling really, just…


  7. I can’t help but make noise when I’m walking around the office. I tend to snap my fingers as I walk and pop my gum. Not sure why really, just seems to be a habit. I’m sure it bothers some, but what can I do about it?


  8. While I do feel your pain, I have no say that for a while I was enamored with my own sounds at work when I wore a particular pair of stillettos. Everytime I would walk down an empty corridor, my heels would clack clack clack, and it reminded me in some perverse way of hearing teachers approaching the classroom when I was a kid in schoool.


  9. I was just a kid in school and I loved making screeching sounds with my shoes… even when my friends weren’t with me. It probably had the same effect described by you. I blame adolescent rebelliousness.


  10. andrea: As you say, sometimes it’s best not to ask.

    bee: Some people seem to be incapable of distinguishing quality of work from quantity. Bustlers seem to be incapable of distinguishing ‘being busy’ from ‘actually working’.

    terri: The main difference between a bustler and someone who collides with the furniture is that the bustler just brushes past for maximum effect. I tend to hide in my office for most of the day except to answer the call of nature. I do scare my colleagues, but that’s more of a personality thing.

    scott: Aha! I knew it was you with those damned keys!

    Lucy McGN: Sounds like a whole new category to me. One of the main characteristics of bustlers is that they are always around.

    anne: He probably subscribed to the ‘visible management’ school of thought. It works in some companies, because the managers really do need to have an eye kept on them.

    Anduin Andorian: I can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s the wilful noise-makers that get up my nose.

    jay: Stilettos? That’s in a whole new league. Wouldn’t make much of a difference here, though – our offices are carpeted.

    legerdemon: Nah, I’m not bothered by noise per se (my window faces the road, so I get traffic noise all day long). It’s the bullshit associated with the noise that bothers me.

    paul: Tried it. Typing this with one hand, now…


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