WEAK AT THE TOP: John Weak's diary

WEAK AT THE TOP: John Weak's diary - MONDAY: We're having a big Health and Safety push at Smokehouse. If you ask me, a big push is the last thing you want - someone could get hurt. We have a safety rep called Donald McIver, a young Trotskyite union activist who's discovered you can virtually run the company from the bottom if you wave the Health and Safety stick. Every department in Smokehouse has to do a safety audit. I'm taking it very seriously indeed. If McIver can take half a day off to come up with the audit, I can take a week to fill it in. To be honest, I always get slightly mixed up between Health and Safety and Health and Efficiency. I've told my team we're having a Health and Efficiency audit and they should all dress accordingly.

by John Weak can be contacted at john.weak@smokehouse.co.uk
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

MONDAY: We're having a big Health and Safety push at Smokehouse. If you ask me, a big push is the last thing you want - someone could get hurt. We have a safety rep called Donald McIver, a young Trotskyite union activist who's discovered you can virtually run the company from the bottom if you wave the Health and Safety stick. Every department in Smokehouse has to do a safety audit. I'm taking it very seriously indeed. If McIver can take half a day off to come up with the audit, I can take a week to fill it in. To be honest, I always get slightly mixed up between Health and Safety and Health and Efficiency. I've told my team we're having a Health and Efficiency audit and they should all dress accordingly.

TUESDAY: Presentation from young McIver to the board. He told us that if all the time taken off in the country due to back pain was worked instead, it would represent an economy the size of Slovakia. I told him that if all the hours wasted due to little pains in the arse were actually worked, it would be an economy the size of Japan. Sir Marcus gave me a look that threatened both my future health and safety. The next part of the presentation was the revelation that 96% of accidents were the result of unsafe acts. I wondered what the other 4% were caused by. Maybe by people injuring themselves putting safety goggles on or dropping steel-capped safety boots on their foot. McIver tried to prove that capitalism was basically an attempt to kill off the working class. If it was, he'd be top of the list.

WEDNESDAY: Got in late due to extremely safe driving on way to work. Sat down with H&S audit and realised that sitting down was just about the most dangerous thing you can do in the office. First in the audit was our chairs and whether we were sitting comfortably. In marketing we've always instinctively known that desks were a health hazard, which is why we try to avoid them. But just for the audit I've adjusted my chair for maximum comfort and ergonomic efficiency when my feet are on the desk. Apparently, for people who do a lot of work, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a big killer. I tried to be helpful and put in Channel Tunnel Syndrome, which is a headache I often get after a big jolly to Paris on Eurostar.

THURSDAY: Good news! Everyone in the company gets a free health check with a nurse. I was first in the queue with my trousers down ready for as much coughing as she could handle. Nurse turned out to be a young bloke. Suddenly felt a whole lot healthier and ready to get back to my audit. Got to the dangers of hand/arm vibration and immediately thought of Bill Peters for at least two reasons. We met at Mr Bojangles for lunch. He told me that after the second bottle of red the shakes disappeared (or he couldn't see them). We spent time on the Wellbeing section of the audit totting up our weekly alcohol unit intake. We had to tweak the figures a bit because there was no way we were going to let the boys in Sales have more units than us.

FRIDAY: Still struggling to finish bloody audit. Spent the morning considering whether our tools were fit for purpose in marketing. The question would be better directed to the HR department, where they seem to have a selection of tools not fit for any purpose. Under repetitive strain I put stress due to continual health auditing. Bill got the results of his health check back. Apparently, he was as fit and agile as a young man, which I thought was a bit suspicious. All became clear when McIver got his results. He had advanced mental and physical deterioration and had a liver that technically was an alcoholic jelly. Bill got him signed off for indefinite sick leave and we managed to get ourselves back to Mr Bojangles, safe and sound.



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