If only someone had warned me! I’d have taken my name tag off the front table in the front row on day one, and replaced it down the back and brought my knitting, or done sudoku, anything but this. There’s 30 of us, crammed hip to jowl into a small room, a whiteboard that serves as a computer screen, and a change of guard up front every hour. I’ve become a terminal clock watcher, counting down the minutes to morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea and finally home. This has been the longest week of my life. The room smells of boredom and escape, a dank stale kind of smell, like old socks, one that cripples the learning neurons. Every now and then I hear what’s being said, but mostly I’m at the beach or the central desert or the bush or thinking about what’s for tea.
OH&S, IT, HR, EEO, EAP, XY& bloody Z. What on earth happened to good old-fashioned common sense, you know, look right, look left and look right again. It worked, I haven’t been run over, just run down by the stupidity of an age that considers the economy more important than its people. I’m being forced to undergo this trial by bureaucracy because I must bear in mind the risks, and lordy, there’s thousands of them, like a spillage or a cord across the floor, and don’t forget to wear the right shoes and bend your knees when you’re lifting, and did you know how much carelessness costs the country and how crushing litigation can be and make sure you’re respectful and supportive and fill out all the right forms. We’re all 30 years plus, not 14. I resent being treated like a child. Didn’t I read somewhere that if you value efficient, empathic, professional, calm and compassionate people you model it. A travesty!