#AtoZChallenge: H is for HIERARCHY

34 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2015, Language, Writing/Blogging
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#AtoZChallenge Day 8, The Doglady's Den
Day 8, April 9




a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.

synonyms: pecking order, ranking, chain of command, echelons
“In the corporate hierarchy, Curt is about six levels below the CEO.”
“A taxonomic hierarchy of phyla, classes, orders, families, genera and species.”

#AtoZChallenge: H is for HIERARCHY, The Doglady's Den

This is a word I’ve had occasion to use, but don’t like what it represents. “Us against them.” Distasteful or not, it’s a fact that almost everything runs according to hierarchy. Our lot in life is determined by where we stand. I spent almost 20 years in the corporate world (1970s – 1990s), working clawing my way up the ladder. As a woman, it took me twice as long to get half as far as my male colleagues, all the while working harder and earning less money. So, even though we were supposed to be equal, the men were definitely higher on that proverbial “food chain”. It’s my fervent hope this situation has improved in the meantime.

Class distinctions are also still evident. The rich look down on the middle classes, who look down on the poor, just as the bourgeoisie looks down on the proletariat. I’ve seen this with a few of my own wealthy clients. It’s obvious they view me as nothing more than a servant to do their bidding, expecting me to be “on call” all the time. What offends me the most is when they try to negotiate a lower price. Seriously?! They don’t think the service I’m providing (taking excellent care of their pampered pooches) is worth the (highly reasonable) price? One such client had a Bull Terrier who ran right through my closed screen door as soon as she came in. First words out of this millionaire’s mouth were: “I hope you don’t expect me to pay for that!” If my dog had done that, I’d be apologizing profusely and writing a cheque to cover the damage. Thankfully, these highbrow cheapskates are few. The majority treats me well. If you respect yourself, then chances are, so will (almost) everyone else.

“HIERARCHY” stems from from Greek hierarkhia and from hierarkhēs ‘sacred ruler’ (hierarch).
The earliest sense was ‘system of orders of angels and heavenly beings’.

What’s your station in life?
Have you ever been treated shabbily because of it?

Looking forward to your comments!


AtoZChallenge 2015
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Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube
Debbie D.

Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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34 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: H is for HIERARCHY

  1. Yes, you nailed it!
    Life works with hierarchy… it’s an integral and unavoidable part of society.

    Some H-Day fun. Remember————
    Have hope.
    Humour helps.
    Hostility hampers healthy progress.
    Ask for help.
    No heart attacks please.
    I have a hunch that hundreds of hearts are harbouring heaps of happiness which is heating up the blogosphere.
    Hasta la vista.
    Happy belated H-Day! 🙂

    1. Oh yes, hierarchies are a fact of life. What I take umbrage at is people who feel superior or entitled because of it and treat others shabbily as a result. Love your H day list. Thanks! 🙂

  2. It’s too bad that word exists. So much for equality, eh, Debbie? I’ve never been much for all that status stuff and people thinking they were better than me because of their better job, neighbourhood, family status etc. Who the &*(@ cares in the scheme of things? None of it matters at the end of our lives anyhow. So they get a nicer casket or urn. Will we care? NOOOOO! Sorry to be so morbid. I get like that as I age sometimes. Lighten up, Cathy. GEEEZ!

    Unreal about that rich client with the dog running through the screen and not thinking they should have to pay. Talk about cheap, snooty and selfish!

    1. Great rant, Cathy! 😀 I can’t stand it either. So true that at the end of your life, none of it matters. I’ve never understood people who were envious of others’ material possessions or lifestyles either. As for the cheap, snooty client, I cut him loose. Who needs that bullshit?!

    1. Yes, thankfully these nasty people are in the minority. I told the guy who’s dog wrecked my screen door that I wouldn’t be taking her again. One less client, but who needs that aggravation?

  3. I totally understand your distaste for the hierarchy that you had to work yourself up in. I agree that almost everyting works in hierarchies. Just today, I wrote a post on the functioning levels we assign to autistic people, and there’s a pecking order here too. By this I mean that, sometimes, the “higher-functioning” feel themselves above those “low-functioning” autistic people who give autism a bad name (you didn’t know a disability should have a good reputation, did you? LOL).

    1. Well, that’s an eye-opener Astrid! It’s not as if the “lower functioning” people can do anything about their condition. Sad! It does prove the point however, that hierarchies exist everywhere.

  4. I’m with Tasha: being a jerk has nothing to do with social status or spot on the food chain. I’m hoping for a day when everyone works and no one has a job.

    1. Welcome to The Den, Bob. 🙂 The hierarchy system is important in the dog world and it’s a fact of life in the human world. My objection is to people who adopt attitudes of superiority and entitlement because of it.

  5. I would’ve totally charged that woman for the damage her dog did! I hate snobby people. I pay in kind: you treat me with a cocky dismissive attitude, I throw it right back. I too was in the corporate world for a good many years and although most of my sales managers were awesome, there was one who looked down her nose at the rest of us. It gets me riled up and angers me, the attitudes, but when I think about it, I actually feel sorry for those who associate with only their own “class” because they are missing out on so many amazing people. The attitudes of entitlement really irritate me. On a different note, I talk hierarchy all the time; that is “pack hierachy” among the dogs. My Luca tries to move up the hierarchy every now and then and I have to let him know that I’m the leader of the pack when he forgets. He would get snappy with other dogs when he was up on the bed or up in the recliner. In discussing it with my vet she said he’s positioned himself into that higher pack status and in order to curtail the situation and restore the right balance, I had to not let him get up on the couch or the bed, UNLESS I INVITED HIM UP, for a little while. It didn’t take long at all and he fell right back in line. Once in awhile I’ll just make him get off the couch as soon as he jumps up just to keep him in check. Very interesting behaviors, these dogs. I’m constantly learning. Understanding their language is fascinating. There is most definitely a hierarchy when dogs get together in a group and I find it riveting at times. Do you too Debbie?

    1. Actually, it was a man, Michele and I told him that I wouldn’t take his dog again because she was destructive. I would’ve loved to have charged him, but there’s no way to enforce it. I don’t understand people who adopt these superior attitudes at all. We’re all human beings, after all. 😛
      Oh yes, in the dog world, hierarchy is an important element. 🙂 Luca sounds like a bit of a handful, but you know what you’re doing. It’s always interesting to see a pack of dogs sort out the pecking order, hopefully in a peaceful manner. There’s been the occasional “tiff” over the years, but nothing too serious, except one instance: Two males, a large boxer and a Bouvier. Neither one would submit and they seriously wanted to fight it out, so I had to keep them separated the whole time. That was stressful, because my house is small. Fortunately, neither of them booked at the same time after that (I would have turned one down), and they were fine with any other dogs. Dogs are always fascinating to me, too.

      1. Yeah, that’s scary when you have two dogs who want to duke it out. It sets the tone for the whole house and the tension becomes palpable. I don’t like it when I have dogs who are aggressive alphas. It’s not comfortable at all. RE: My Luca: he is a nut! He’s all personality and so damn funny but I have to watch him like a hawk. He’s mischievous. He’s the one who swiped the loaf of Italian bread off my counter and had it half eaten within minutes. He’s mostly a big goofy guy and he’s totally in check now with the pecking order. It was fascinating though, how quickly they adapt and change. I love my vet: she’s so knowledgeable about behavior so she’s a valuable resource when I have questions or issues, which is rare actually…and thankfully!

        1. That’s the only time I ever had serious trouble with two alphas, thank goodness. Your Luca sounds like an adorable clown. 🙂 I’ve seen your photos and he’s a handsome dude as well, along with the others. It’s important to have a good vet – glad you found this one. You and I could probably spend hours comparing notes and exchanging information. It would be so great to meet in person! 🙂

  6. I have met arseholes from every level of social status and also lovely people from each too – I just wish we could sometimes dump the hierarchy and just all get on. 🙂
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  7. I’ve had people who do a quick turnaround when they find that I don’t have a job or am not working. I’m sure lots of home makers like me face this kind of discrimination too!

  8. Sigh, it cannot be easy dealing with privileged people, can it? I don’t know why class distinctions still exist. Has nobody understood the value of the term Dignity of labour?

    1. Sometimes, Shailaja, although most of them are great people. I think the “nouveau riche” tend to be more rude, in general Old money (usually) has class. 🙂 There are assholes from all walks of life. 😛