Posted by Lewis on June 21, 2004
In Reply to: Chalk talk posted by Gary on June 21, 2004
: : : : What does this mean? It described the way a woman worked at her business in a large corporation.
: : : : Thank you.
: : : I'm not sure. Here something I found by googling:
: : : "This part, the shearer, does the actual cutting of the coal from the coal face. The shearer has two rotating bits that cut into the coal face and works back and forth across the face, much like when you eat an ear of corn on the cob, except only this is way harder than the corn and much much dirtier."
: : In UK business terminology being 'at the coal face' is used figuratively of any worker or manager who is in touch with the day to day processes of the business rather than having ceased to have involvement with the public or the production.
: : it is a way of saying that the person is 'in touch' and appreciates the actualities of the business rather than being a 'bean-counter' (accountant) a 'paper pusher' (administrator) or a 'fat-cat' (overpaid manager).
: : obviously the original 'coal-face' is a mining term to describe an underground worker that actually cuts the coal from the rock - but the sense of direct involvment with the core of the business is the important element, rather than it being dangerous or dirty.
: In my line of business (UK university) this has been adapted - in the mode of xxxGate for any scandal. Here, those who teach 'work at the chalkface'. All others, like myself, are considered by the chalky-handed ones as bureaucratic wasters.
: My local greengrocer claims to work at the vegface (really).
I bet he sells those potatoes that look like John Prescott...
there is the old saying :
"those than can, do
those that can't, teach
those that can't teach, teach teachers
those that can't teach teachers run the DoE" (now DfE, I suppose)
you could add
"...and those that can't run the DfE run the country"
with mother-in-law on the HEFC & a former college principal, father-in-law formerly in the local university education department and dean of students (now visiting professor for some foreign uni), both having worked in teacher training earlier in their careers and some of my best friends teachers - that would offend just about everybody.
I can hardly understand why teachers bother, with the stupid levels of bureaucracy - detracting from any joy they get watching kids learn. It must be the long holidays that teachers get ;-)