In the latest of our series about words beginning with 'pan' that aren't – well, you know what – let's take a look at 'pantisocracy', which may have particular relevance to your current working situation.
With millions of people worldwide now working from home, albeit temporarily in many cases, this word could prove to be something of a talking point. For pantisocracy describes a utopian community, in which all have rule and everyone is equal.
Nice idea, right? Well, philosophers and politicians have been arguing about that for millennia, but let's leave that bit to them. However, if you're sitting across the kitchen table from your spouse, flatmate, child or pet right now, I bet you've got some personal views on whether any community can be truly equal.
If you've never worked with your partner before, for example, or shared office space with the people who split (or generate) your bills, the last several weeks have probably been an eye-opening experience.
Who knew that your partner had a 'work laugh'? Does your housemate realise how annoying it is when she makes coffee for herself without offering you a cup? How does your adult child ever expect to get ahead if they type that aggressively??
Newly discovered annoying habits aside, the domestication of work space has also required countless extra compromises and mini-negotiations that exceed those of even the professional sphere. When conference calls and Zoom meetings collide, who claims the living room and who has to crouch in the downstairs loo with headphones on? If your child is ill or having a meltdown, who gets to stay at their desk and who writes off the rest of the day? Which one of you has to admit to the kids that you don't have the foggiest idea how to calculate atomic mass?
Just breathe, take it one day at a time and remember that you're doing great. Oh, and next time you're delivering that unreciprocated round of tea, remember to sigh wistfully and wish aloud that you were living in a true pantisocracy.
Image by FelixMittermeier from Pixabay