Out of station

I've never really understood why people refer to their offices as stations. Perhaps it's because people sleep at train/bus stations waiting for them to come long, and people sleep in their offices too, I dunno.

But what I do know is I'm outta here!

See you in  a few weeks. There's a few posts lined up in the queue, but I'll be generally ignoring this thing till Ramadan.


le fin.

Out of station Out of station Reviewed by Sythe on Thursday, June 05, 2014 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

Station: it's a UK military term kind of like "post" in Yank-speak.

"Ideas above his station" - above his position in the ranks.

You are welcome!

Jet Driver

Anonymous said...

I agree with JD (where are you lurking btw?); the expression no doubt came to Oman from India, where I'd guess that civil servants and army officers would have talked about being "out of station" and it found its way into general use. Adnan

Anonymous said...

The term goes back at least to the 13th century (yes, eight hundred years ago) when it meant "the place which one normally occupies", coming from Old French and before that from Latin (what else?). The senses which Jet Driver reports - of having "ideas above his station" as well as of "marrying below her station" are from the 16th century. And Adnan is perfectly correct, from being the term for a military post, in the British colonial civil service days, "station" was extended to civilian postings as well, from which came the standard phrase - the Governor (or District Commissioner, or Blogmaster, or whatever) is "out of station".

I don't think too many people really refer to their offices as "stations". Some do call them "workstations" but that's not so much one's overall place of work as the actual cubicle, desk, bench, counter, tabletop or whatever at which one sits and supposedly slogs away. And that's because long ago on some of our desks arrived an electronic device called a "workstation" - a powerful desktop computer (powerful for its time, anyway) which did much more than terminals connected to some distant mainframe.

Years and years ago, a former colleague of mine was given one of these devices (then very new and very expensive, and not at all easy to use). When asked whether it helped with what he did (which was to approve the lending of large sums of money to eager capitalists), he slowly replied, "A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I now have a work station..."

Cheers! - Desert Leopard

Anonymous said...

Excellent post DL - much enjoyed! Adnan

Anonymous said...


any info would be helpful..tnx

Sythe said...

Desert Leopard - that was a pleasure to read!!! Thanks for taking the time to write it here!

Luckily for me, I've managed to avoid the electronic dog leash (blackberry) so far... resulting in remote email access on a laptop... which is still a drag but a lot less invasive than the dog leash!

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