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Double Vision

Admitting you’re wrong is a sign of great strength!

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Double Vision with Charlie Adley

If you’re lucky enough to have a job, chances are you’re unlucky enough to have a boss who drives you just a little crazy.

For me the hardest thing about having bosses was their inability or unwillingness to admit they were wrong. For some reason, they seemed to feel that if they owned up to making a mistake, they might be perceived as being weak.

This stupidity arises from either plain ignorance or various insecurities clustered around each other, like broken crisps at the bottom of the packet.

So then you find yourself doing what the Americans coined as ‘managing up’: using all your social skills and workplace experience, you try to find a way to explain to this person who’s making your life a misery by dumping all their error-streaked pooh on your desk, ladder, van, whatever it is you work at, that it’s okay to be wrong.

It’s okay to have made a mistake. If you just admitted that you’ve made a mistake, which we all know you have, we won’t suddenly think you an incapable fool. We won’t think ‘Aha this person is able to make mistakes, when I had previously believed them to be infallible. Now I cannot trust them to do their job, or advise me of anything’.

What we might think is that you’ve suddenly grown up a bit. Once you’ve admitted to making a mistake, you’ll have less to hide, so you’ll be more able to do your job, not dump the extra work your wee booboo created on us, like you have been doing, because you couldn’t admit it was your fault.

Now we can feel at last that you’re worthy of respect, because the absolute truth is that admitting errors is a sign of great strength. All those years you thought you were doing so well, working so hard to hide from us the fact that you might be weak and drop the odd clanger, all those years wasted because all we felt was a growing contempt for your lack of understanding.

Given that we all accept and respect each other’s errors on a daily basis, I’ve always been fascinated by the terror that authority has of admitting mistakes. From a pretty early age we realise that everyone screws up; that the issue is not so much about whether you make a mistake, but rather how you deal with it. It’s pretty basic stuff, Life 101, yet world leaders aren’t fond of saying ‘Oops, sorry!’

To be fair to politicians – sorry, just have to take a breath after typing that – the media have made it almost impossible for people to admit they were wrong. By pursuing both the innocent and guilty with equally eager vigour, the exhausted journalists of rolling 24/7 TV news have to come up with stories, never-ending stories, rolling stories that generate other story strands, until it doesn’t matter who said or did what to whom, whatever happened or why, because facts are the least important issue between each commercial break. So in the context of cable newsrooms, it doesn’t matter if somebody did or did not admit to making a mistake. All that matters is the story.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Space and silence – it’s all us oul’ lads ever wanted in pubs

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The crowds that flocked into the centre of Dublin last weekend provided the clearest indication yet that, thank God, a cure had been found for Covid.

The masses dancing and hugging on the streets was vindication that all of the self-isolation had been well worth it, when you could now congregate as close as you like to each other, to your little heart’s content.

Or so you’d think.

One weekend of slightly relaxed licencing laws was all it took, and in the blink of an eye thousands of revellers were up and at it like this was Paris in 1945 after it was freed from the Germans.

The newly-imposed regulations for relaxation would suggest that all of these bouncy people at least had the benefit of a nine-euro meal inside them – how else could they get served?

So, we’d better brace ourselves for when they go out on an empty stomach.

Much has already been made of the fact that pub life will never be the same again – and that might well be the case.

Social distancing is bad news for the publicans, limiting their ability to wedge the entire student population of NUIG and GMIT into the equivalent of a phone box.

But it’s great news for curmudgeons – particularly for those whose capacity for imbibing alcohol is shot.

Advancing middle age has seen the tolerance of the early twenties reduced from the equivalent of a sizeable plastic bucket to an amount that once wouldn’t have even pass the standard definition of being out.

Three pints? That’s what you’d order when they rang the bell at closing time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Angels took pain out of hospital Christmas

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

More than any other time of the year, when we sit around our dinner tables on Christmas Day, we are aware of who is there and who is not. At the age of 17, having performed impressive acrobatics with my Yamaha 250, a saloon car, a ditch and a barbed wire fence, I spent six weeks in hospital over Christmas and New Year.

My femur was snapped in two, which is no mean feat with thighs like mine, and my tibia had a crack or two as well.

Bed-bound, with my leg in traction, I developed a bronchial chest infection after an emergency operation.

Every two seconds for six weeks I coughed in hacking spasms, thus shaking my smashed leg, which was hung in a sling, supported by a metal pole they had driven through me, just below the knee.

Suffice to say I came to terms with pain.

In our part of the ward, there were four beds and three bikers with broken bones.

There was Kev, who had fallen off his sleek and mean Suzuki GT750 (a two stroke 3-into-1, since you ask), and opposite us two was brick shithouse Yorkshireman Gary, ex-SAS, and mighty embarrassed, having survived several covert tours of duty in Northern Ireland, to have to admit to falling off a Honda 125.

Compared to the other patients in the hospital the three of us were well off.

We were not sick. We’d had our operations, and apart from antibiotics for wounds, and pain killers for broken bones, we needed very little medical attention.

We were young, male, bored, and allowed to drink beer. Naturally, we tried to attract the attention of the student nurses as much as possible, and equally, they were happy to have a bit of a laugh with lads who were not ill, physically, at least!

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Don’t be a slave to the algorithm

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

Saying “I love newspapers!” feels these days like buying a ticket for the next David Bowie gig, but I do: I love them. When I read a newspaper, I’m not a slave to the algorithm. Were I ten years younger, I’d read all my news online, on apps that I’ve set to my personal preferences.

Even when I visit media sites I’ve never been to before, there are cookies and bots and gordknowswot working away to offer me more of what the algorithms think I want.

Every link off each page is tailored to please me, but that’s no good.

I don’t want to be fed things that only fit into my areas of interest and opinion.

Sitting at my living room table, mug of tea and two slices of toast (peanut butter, since you ask), and a paper – any paper – open in front of me, I can see the full wonder and horror of the world, as interpreted by The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Irish Times or Daily Mirror.

As I browse into the heart of the paper, far from major news items, I let my eyesight fall all over the place, because each page is full of varied items, and, here on page 14, I’ll find the big story that’s being buried: the story they have to report, but are under instruction to dampen down.

Also here are stories that no algorithm-driven link would ever lead me to. Quirky little tales, able to dissolve an adult brain in seconds.

When driven sufficiently doolally by what I’m reading, I tear that particular piece of madness out of the newspaper, placing it on top of the wobbly towering stack of other torn madnesses by my desk.

There are dark torn madnesses and fearsome ones, but today I’m in the mood to prowl the ones that force me to furrow my brow, gasp for breath, pout my lips and grunt “What the -?” at the universe.

Notes are seeds, from which every writer will grow different fruit. When that writer is working for the Daily Mail, the fruit need bear only minuscule relation to the seed.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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