The Immediate People

The Immediate People are well-adapted. They know what’s what in the Game of Getting On – and the game of getting on is the only game that matters. Indeed, the Immediate People call it Life. They are trained this way.

Picture a group of smart children, who have their hands up at every opportunity – to impress Teacher, of course. They want praise, house points, good marks, exam results. They’re young, but already keenly aware that they prosper at the expense of other people. This, their parents have told them repeatedly, is how the world works. And Immediate People don’t ask if this is how it ought to work. Neither do they speculate unless it is to solve an immediate problem – usually for a teacher or a boss, someone, at any rate, with the power to reward.

Immediate People do not dream, not when they’re awake. And their slumbers are often haunted with anxieties about failure in the Game of Getting On. If they know History at all, it is a standard narrative that goes unquestioned unless the question is part of the tribal orthodoxy. Politics, too, is not something with which they will trouble or distract themselves. Unless, of course, it steps in the way of their getting on, which it rarely does. The Immediate People are happy so long as they’re getting on. They’re here to please money. They’re exactly what business wants and needs. They work (hard, of course), they earn, they get on, they consume. They are rarely, if ever, politically engaged. If they see news at all, it will be a mainstream bulletin from a mainstream outlet. As the newsreader serves the corporate agenda, the Immediate People will be checking their smart phones for messages from work. Injustice doesn’t matter. You can’t do much about it, anyway – and it isn’t happening to them. Ultimately, there is something rather frightening about the Immediate People’s lack of comprehension. You know they would keep their heads down as you were quietly taken away.

The Immediate People are responders, problem solvers, creative within the confines of a remit. They can be brilliant, sharply insightful, but always in the service of the remit, and the organization that sets the remit. Immediate People like to be busy, very busy, and become restless and fretful when they are not.

The corporate money-go-round courts the Immediate People, and they it. The money-go-round wants you busy, wants you engaged in solving their profit-making problems. The money-go-round loves the Immediate People. Because they don’t think, not in THAT way – because that way is undermining, and might even make the Game of Getting On seem absurd.