Monday, 24 September 2012
The company fridge
The Health and Safety brigade increasingly frustrate me. I know their aims are worthy in wanting to protect us all from harm, but they can often take things to an absurd extreme. The following examples, all derived from the last decade in the United Kingdom, should serve as illustration:
Prohibiting the throwing of sweets into a pantomime audience;
Banning the playing of conkers in a school playground;
The requirement that all November 5th bonfires be registered with the local council;
Forbidding the provision of pins with Remembrance Day poppies.
Last month at my place of work the Infection Control Nurse became concerned about the state of our departmental fridge. Whereas I’ve always revelled in the recurrent Monday morning kitchen pastime of “find the source of that iffy smell,” Nurse Starchy has a radically different disposition and has insisted that the milk bottle infiltrated by Danish-blue and the banana encrusted with the sticky-black goo of decay present hazards to the health of all employees. As such, it is now company policy for each item left in the fridge to be labelled with the owner’s name along with the date it was put in; the fridge is inspected at the end of each day and any item not duly labelled is thrown away.
The implementation of this policy has led to many mutterings of discontent, particularly among the male workforce. Of course, not one of us has been brave enough to challenge Nurse Starchy – she is a terrifying woman – so our protests have remained covert. Yesterday I discovered that someone, as yet unknown, had pinned the following picture and caption onto the kitchen notice-board. It made me giggle, although I’m not sure what Nurse Starchy will make of it.