Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Stately visits, queue-jumping & parties

17 October 2014

I visit three more firms in Cardiff.  It is excellent fun.  Everybody is really nice to me and I feel a bit like The Queen except obviously not so regal and obviously the people I am visiting are not peasants and paupers and so do not feel the need to curtsey or present me with bouquets or show me their children’s artwork.  Nor does The Queen carry a rucksack full of straw usually.  And nobody asks me to cut the tape to declare their new stationery cupboard open, although for the record I would be happy to do this if anyone felt it appropriate on a future visit.

I have a special notebook in which I write down the things people tell me.  Mostly they are good things, or at least not bad things.  I get the distinct impression that for many people, belonging to CIPA is like queueing: it is just something you do.  You do it because everyone else does, and because you always have done, and because life is simpler that way.  Even if the queue is not a very good queue.  Even if you cannot see the end of it and may even have forgotten why you are standing there. 

(I once read that you can jump a queue any time you want, so long as you give your fellow queuers a reason.  Interestingly – according to some highly empirical research data – the reason does not need to be plausible.  You can say you need to jump the queue because your hamster is late for his driving test, and people will stand aside to let you through.  You can even say you need to jump the queue so as to get to the front quicker; they will still defer to you.  It is only Barging Without Due Explanation that is a crime.  God bless the British.)

What also emerges from my stately visits is that people in Cardiff think that CIPA is basically for Londoners, and that occasionally the Londoners send over some dosh and some name badges and a personage or two and allow the Welsh folk to have a little party.  They are wonderfully grateful for this little party.  And to be honest, having seen what the streets of Cardiff are like on a Thursday night, I can understand that.  (Throbbing, they were: it was most undignified.)

The Welsh CIPA members would like more chances to party with their fellow patent attorneys, they say, because then they can talk to one another about joint training initiatives and joint drinking initiatives.  We are back to the free beer again.  Sigh.

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