In some of my previous blog posts, I have described how the Indian system of castes, or rank, works. This time I thought I should do a quick round up of a very small Indian society. Namely my own building. You might think that in one separate building, there would not be any hierarchy, right? Well, think again. Here things are different.
Off course, there are different ways to look into a hierarchy. So I thought about looking on it from bottom to top. In this example bottom to top means both the rank of people and also the location. My building has 21 floors with flats where people live. In addition it is the entrance floor and two floors below the ground where the cars are parked. And well, even if I don’t really know exactly who is at the bottom, I would assume that the people working at the basement are quite low. In the parking area we have some security guys. I have hardly seen them outdoor at all. Most of them stay in the garage the whole day! And they even work at the nights also. But they might actually not really be at the bottom of the hierarchy. We have some people who wash the cars every morning. These people are managed with one of the security staff. As soon as I got my car he was on me and asked if I needed a car wash. I said yes, and since that my car has been clean, well, at least almost every morning. At the level above those people washing the cars I think the security staff in the basement must be. As said above, they are in the garage almost all the time. What they exactly do, I must admit I’m a bit unaware of. There is one person at the topmost basement floor (if that is the right wording). He waves me through if there are no cars coming against me. If there are some cars coming the other way, he try to make sure to stop one of the cars and let the other car drive. Sometimes he is not really awake, so one car has come too far before it get stopped and have to go backward a bit in order to allow the other car to pass. Another job that the parking guys do is to help with parking. For me, who am very much used to park a car on my own, it’s honestly a bit distracting having them there. I don’t know exactly where they are standing, and are worried about hitting them.
On the ground floor we have a team of people who help with washing the flats. Even among them there is a hierarchy. One of them is clearly the manager. He is dressed better than the others. When you ask them to clean, he will only clean the kitchen unit and not at all bend over to clean the floors. The other people do that. The cleaners have their own area at the backside of the ground floor. This means that when you enter the main entrance it is not possible to see them.
The people that you actually can see in the main entrance are the entrance security guards. I’m not really sure, but it might be that these are the people who have been promoted from being parking security in the basement. Their main job is to control who enters the building and who leaves. They off course have a huge book where all visitors have to enter their name when they come. Off course, I do try to make some trick here from time to time. Some of my friends will enter at the ground floor and sign in into the book. But I will offer to drive them home, which means that we will take the lift down to -2. There we don’t have any book, so they will never sign out… Well, you never got more fun than the fun you create on your own.
Did I mention the lift? There we have the people at the next level of the hierarchy. They are allowed to go above the ground floor. Honestly speaking, I do think it is the main entrance security who also acts as lift security from time to time. They usually just sit in the lift and eventually push the button so that you don’t have to do that. Sometimes, when you are really heavy loaded it is actually good to have them there. If not, it is more a distraction. They hardly know what floor you live on, and they always think that you are going to the ground floor and don’t understand that you might go to the basement. But well, they are surely at least one level above the people who are never allowed to get above the surface during the day.
The building is also full of other servants. These are maids making food, people delivering newspapers, milk, bread and all kind of things. Where they actually are in the hierarchy, I’m not sure. But they are at least allowed to go up above the ground floor. They can enter any flat where their presence is required. But still there is one small catch here. They are not allowed to use the same lift as the people actually living in the building. They have to use the lift specially reserved for the maids.
And at the top of the hierarchy? Well, no doubt. That is the people staying in the flats. Most probably there is a hierarchy also among us. But I must admit that so far I have not managed to figure out how that one works. Maybe it is a difference between those who actually owns a flat here and those of us who only rents? Maybe those who are chairing the society are at a higher rank then us who just live there? Honestly, I don’t know how that works. If any of you know, please let me know.
Talk to you soon!