I have a strange feeling it might be nearly Christmas again. My suspicions were raised when my local supermarket began playing the very same Christmas hits - you know the ones, I won't traumatise you with their memory. The next clue was the presence of a brass band playing .. well... Christmassy tunes. One of them was out of tune. I know this because I happen to be a musician. The final clue in this insidious seasonal plot was the strange pleasantness exhibited by the managers at work. It's a strange experience to have the top boss of the site demanding to know whether I wanted parsnips for my Christmas lunch.
The bad side of things is that I sustained an injury at work. One of those stupid ones too. Normally I do pay attention to health and safety in the workplace, especially since I went on a course and got a neat if somewhat useless certificate to prove it, but on this occaision, working under pressure and getting a little complacent, I reached inside the baling machine to remove some pesky excess cardboard and forgot to support my weight. So my foot slipped on the ledge I was using and my ribs connected rather sharply with the edge of the hatch. The machine won.
Nothing broken - I think - but I've been on pain killers and lying in bed is excruciatingly uncomfortable. But never fear, Captain Compactor is still here, fighting for tidiness, cleanliness, and the chance to survive a Christmas lunch.
Addiction, Blindness, & Other Issues
Every break from work we assemble in the canteen or outside in the designated smoking area. In the canteen, discussion soon ebbs away as mobile devices begin to dominate peoples attention. This happened the other day while I was sat at the table, both my colleagues fixated by small electronic boxes and not responding to my attempts to converse. Jeez... I had no idea Roman history was that dull... Anyway I began to advise one colleague who was busy playing a game, furiously tapping his thumbs on various virtual buttons and staring at the screen wide eyed.
You know, I said, computer gaming isn't good for you. It can cause difficulties with social interaction, repetitive strain injuries, eyesight degradation, and psychological addiction.
"Huh?" He said after a pause lasting several minutes. He had won. He showed me the 'victory' screen, and stared at me with a happy gaze of someone who has battled demons, robots, falling shapes, strange bouncy balls, and survived. Happiness at work? I hope the boss doesn't see that.
"Just like you and your flight simulators then?" Said another colleague. Yes I suppose so. Oh, there goes the buzzer. Back to work fellas....
Christmas Lunch Of The Year
The confirmation of my fears that Christmas was back again came with the company seasonal lunch. It was an odd affair, with a senior Japanese delegate expecting all sorts of party atmosphere and getting a load of people staring at mobile devices in a desperate bid to escape reality. One colleague refused to pull his Christmas cracker on the grounds that it was silly. So I pulled it for him, gave him the enclosed joke, and handed him the plastic moustache that came as the gift. Oh how we laughed.
Of course it wasn't all bad. Parsnips aside, the lunch was reasonable quality and given the normal diet of stale baguettes, curries, sandwiches, and crisps, it made a welcome relief especially because we didn't have to pay for it. But the best thing was seeing one of the admin ladies in tight jeans and high boots. Good grief. I had no idea the workplace was so exciting.
Caldrail's Inevitable Xmas Message
Have fun. No really. Stop shooting each other, arguing with your partner, swimming the cold Mediterranean, debating the oncoming disaster of Donald Trump, and just have fun, so the BBC News doesn't have to be so endlessly morbid. Or if smiling is too hard, buy each other mobile devices so you're too busy saving civilisation to argue. Have a great Christmas and New Year.