SOME time ago I railed against the evils of the office Christmas party. ‘Bah Humbug’ was the greeting that I got when I turned up to the office the next day.
Having just endured a rather pointless bank holiday, and with the prospect of another just around the corner I fear a similar reaction is imminent.
Am I alone in finding the May Day bank holiday an unwarranted and unnecessary intrusion? We’ve only just got Easter out the way, schools have only just returned; the weather is as unsettled and unpredictable as ever, having lulled us into false expectations of an early summer a week or so back. The rhythm of life is just starting to gear up again and, blow me, everything shuts down for a bank holiday!
DIY stores rub their hands in glee as hordes of well-meaning amateurs wreak thousands of pounds worth of damage on their homes.
Roads and go-to day out destinations become crowded and unpleasant, and the equal rights of hard-pressed and underpaid shop workers are ignored once more as the nation indulges in its favourite consumer past-time – spending money it hasn’t got on things it doesn’t need.
Having just re-opened, schools are closed, giving teachers one less day in which to force their charges through the politically inspired hoops, tests and measures that so constrict and challenge their ability to foster the inspiring educational environment they are so eager to provide.
I’m one of the very fortunate few, so lucky to be able to work flexibly. After an early morning run over the hills where I break into an exhausted sweat and Barney the Beagle, fresh from his world record attempt, ambles gently beside me looking ever more alarmed at the gasping and wheezing companion accompanying him on the later stages of the run, I head into the office, persuading the security guard to open it up for me.
And there, freed from the curse of 150 e-mails from colleagues who mistakenly believe that the more names they include in the ‘cc’ field, the more impressive and important their e-mail becomes and my other colleagues who click ‘Reply to all’ without a second thought for the sanity of the unnecessary recipients, I was able to indulge myself with time to think about papers before I write them and to go through and delete all the e-mails I haven’t replied to since the last bank holiday. Smug in the satisfaction that I’ve clocked up a working day’s ‘credit’ and can plan a day off when everyone else is working and the weather forecast looks halfway decent.
And, even though he has a day less in which to edit it, at least Bill the Editor will get his article before rather than after his usual deadline.