Healthy And Safe, But Illogical.
I tried this in my stand-up a couple of times, but it never really worked. I might try something different with it and use it again, but until that time, here it is.
I used to sign on in Govan, at the Jobcentre. They have jumped-up bouncers on the door, and there is very little more gratifying than going in for your appointment and seeing that one of them is sporting a fresh black eye. Heartening to know that somebody punched him.
They would demand to see my broo cards every fortnight, as if I had wandered in for the good of my health.
“What you in for?” they’d ask.
“Here to sign on,” I said, heading for the door that led me upstairs.
“Got your cards?”
“How, do you not believe me??”
The best bit was when they looked at your cards, looked at the clock, then delighted in informing you that you were late. Fucking later now thanks to you, ya prick.
I got stopped one week for having my ipod on. I listened to music on the half hour walk in, planning to remove the earbuds on my way upstairs. I didn’t make it that far.
“Need to take your earphones out,” I was told.
“Why?” I asked, reasonably enough. What did it matter to him?
“Health and Safety.”
Health and Safety. You can’t just give me those three words as a catch-all, an easy way to dismiss any query out of hand. I questioned it. He told me that it was “in case there is a fire alarm.”
Firstly, I’m fairly certain that fire alarms are designed to be noticeable – most that I have encountered involve loud and piercing sirens, pitched high enough to cut through any ambient noise. My ipod-supplied headphones were unlikely to drown out the urgent screech of a fire alarm.
Secondly, presuming that I was somehow oblivious to the noise, I’d like to think that – standing at a Job Point or waiting to be seen – if everyone else in the place suddenly stopped what they were doing, looked up, and then started heading for the exits; if they were being shepherded out by the office staff and security guards; I’d like to think that I might notice that, and follow suit. At the very least, I place faith in my curiosity and ability to speak that I would think to ask somebody what was happening.
Although, in order to ask them, I daresay that – removing my earphones – I would notice that my words were being drowned out by a fierce and loud piercing alarm.
With patronising logic like that, no wonder someone blackened his eye.