The cardinal rule in the original Ghostbuster movie (left) was never, ever to cross the streams of the proton guns. Similarly catastrophic events can also come from more prosaic sources: banking and taxes.
Yesterday I launched into my formal renewal of my Tier 1 UK visa. For months my immigration advisors have been telling me that it’s a pro-forma exercise: much like the Dutch, show that you’ve bee doing what you said you would, that you’ve not had run-ins with the law, and that you’ve maintained minimum bank balances and salary slips.
The problem began when we started assembling the documentation.
A year ago I switched from being an employee to being a contractor, but allowed the checks to pass through my UK personal accounts on the way to the Dutch company accounts. Unfortunately, this transient presence meant that I could be considered UK self-employed, possibly unregistered, perhaps untaxed. It can apparently be set right, but will take time, money, accountant’s testimony, and endless paperwork. I have, I all cases, reported my income, kept meticulous records, paid taxes, and followed my accountant’s advice. This wrinkle never came up in any conversations (the concern was more whether I respected the IR-35 line, which assures that UK workers don’t evade taxes by setting up foreign consultancies).
However, it reinforces the Ghostbuster Prime Directive: Don’t cross the streams. Or, in this case, never ever allow business funds to unintentionally co-mingle with personal accounts.
Friends have talked about the phenomenon of one bad thing following another as being a case of bad karma, synchronized biorhythm dips, and alignment of body atoms into configurations that attract poo.
I think the explanation is more quantal.
Schrodinger’s Cat is a famous physics construct where a box holds a cat that could be alive or dead, depending on the outcome of a probabilistic event. The act of looking condenses the uncertainty into a fixed (and final) state..
If events remain similarly unresolved until I look at them, and the act of observing is revealing one bad consequence after another, then I suspect it’s only prudent to stop looking. Maybe there’s a quantal bias that has to clear (luck?); maybe my attitude is influencing the outcome (dread?).
Maybe it’s nothing.
But maybe there’s a point where it’s best to stop killing cats and simply go to bed.
You laugh, but when I got up this morning, Obama had been re-elected. ‘
Imagine the consequences if I had looked last night?