What’s a Weekend?

My husband and I have recently been turned on to the ITV series Downton Abbey. It is an amusing and addictive historical costume drama set in the early 1900’s. The first episode begins with the sinking of the Titanic and how this changes the lives of the inhabitants of Downton Abbey forever.

Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter) plays the grand dame Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham in this series. I do enjoy watching Maggie Smith on screen. She almost always plays a spunky character. In one scene of Downton Abbey, Lady Violet  joins a conversation between the new heir of Downton Abbey, Matthew Crawley and the current Lord Grantham. Lord Grantham wants to know how Matthew will possibly be able to fulfill his duties at Downton Abbey if he also has a ‘normal’ job as a solicitor. Matthew explains that he enjoys job and has no intentions of giving it up just so that he can become the new Lord of Downton Abbey one day. Besides, as he casually reminds Lord Grantham, there are always the weekends for such dutiful activities. Lady Violet looks over to Matthew and asks “What exactly is a weekend?”

My husband and I laughed hysterically at this scene. How unbelievable is it that someone would not understand the concept of a weekend. Well, truth is almost always stranger than fiction. A few days later we were having lunch in a restaurant and the service was very slow and obviously the kitchen was having trouble keeping up with the orders. We waited 45 minutes for our order as did the table next to us. Without having to try, we were able to hear the conversation of the couple next to us. It went something like this (translated from German):

Woman: “Dear, did you see how tired Robert looked? (Robert was our waiter)

Man: “Yes, I did. Poor chap.”

Woman: “I mean honestly. Do you think they have him working 5 days in a row again? How could they do that to this poor man?”

Man: “I don’t know, dear.”

Woman to Robert: “This is scandalous, Robert. How many days do you have to work in a row this week?”

Robert to Woman: “Five, Ma’am. But no worries, I have Monday off and the late shift on Tuesday so it’s almost like two days off.”

Woman to know one in particular: “My Goodness! How awful! No one should have to work like that, Robert. I’m going to have to speak to someone. Really. Five days in a row and just a small break in between.”

At this point, I turned to my husband who had also caught the whole conversation. I asked him curiously how many days in a row he normally worked. I needed reconfirmation that five days in a row wasn’t that out of the ordinary. He confirmed my suspicions that it was indeed the norm to have such an awful, beastly schedule. It was obvious to us that the woman and her husband must be on the same page as Lady Violet and not realize that most ordinary people have what is called a ‘weekend’ to end the five day week. In some people’s worlds there is apparently just unstructured time attached to seasons. And that’s the truth…


About InkMusician

I am a writer, cook and dreamer. I am sister to none and daughter to one.
This entry was posted in Curious, Germany, Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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