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Fun – Who’s Got Time to Invest in That?

November 27, 2013

To some people, fun is often included in everyday life.  To others, it could be reserved for weekends with the possibility of a few weeknights.  To me, it’s not only a way of life, but also as a therapeutic means of escape from the crushing repetitive reality of day to day work life.

Within the electrical trade, a typical work site is divided up between the power electricians and those select few who have been chosen for the mind numbing task of pulling and terminating communication lines.  There is a special term for this elite unit of troops – “data guys”.  Where the physical tasks are relatively easy, it’s the mental capacity of a data guy that is pushed to its limits as he approaches the brink of insanity with every cable pulled in.  We have but one method to cope with such a burden…we like to have fun.

A typical 8 hour shift is passed via pranks, impersonations, Family Guy impressions, the occasional breakout into song, or any above combination.  Unfortunately, the employer and industry is cracking down harder and harder on various forms of fun had in the workplace by means of overactive safety programs, deeming most anything “horseplay” and enforcing the use of hardhats, safety glasses and safety vests in even the most obviously safe working conditions.  This severely limits one’s ability to perform hilarious stunts, much less gain any comfort whilst geared to the nines in unnecessary “safety” gear.  In turn, this pushes the limits of our creativity in the art of having general fun, without getting caught.  This is where my error occurred this morning..

The monotony of pulling data cable all day everyday for 5 months straight sparked what management would consider an unorthodox idea this morning – 9 seconds of fun. What was meant to be a fun 9 second video unwillingly blew up into a worksite wide phenomenon bringing a new ideology of fun to the workplace. And management wasn’t ready to handle it.  Neither was I, to be honest with you.  Minutes before coffee break, we had a large pile of empty cardboard boxes that had to be cleaned up.  Looking at the heaping pile with a smirk on my face, my apprentice asked if I was going to jump into it.  Without missing a beat, I responded with a brief “yup” and began to approach the pile.  Naturally my apprentice took out his phone to capture the hilarity and up to instagram the video went.  Literally 30 min later, the video had spread across the entire work site (of approx 100 fellow employees) and back to our office.  Whoops.

Was it a dumb move?  Probably.  Was it uncalled for?  Absolutely not.  We’ve had actual safety meetings about “keeping positive in the workplace” and “maintaining a high moral for productivity”.  Hey, in 9 seconds alone I boosted the moral of the my entire company and didn’t even have to waste time distributing it myself.  You’re welcome.  However what amazes me the most, is how in less than an hour a short playful video made it all the way back to the shop, yet no one from our office seems to recognize any of our hard work and progress we make on a daily basis.  Or at least they don’t make an effort to tell us.  It seems the industry has gone in a direction where people have to fear that management will go out of their way to source out evidence of fun to come down on us for any rule infraction they can find.  On the plus side, I did get a friend request from the safety rep on site.  Here’s hoping she’ll appreciate just a small amount of hilarity, and not in the form of incriminating evidence.

So in the end was it irresponsible horseplay?  Meh, probably.  You be the judge.  Hey, they don’t call me Matt Hazard for nothin’.

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One Comment
  1. “Nailed it” haha

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