Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Work will set you free

According to the Daily Mail a couple of days ago…

Working 'makes us happy', an expert has claimed. He found being unemployed could be as dangerous as smoking 400 cigarettes a day.

Statistically, the health risks of being out of work for six months or more are equivalent to smoking 20 packet of cigarettes a day, said a professor at Cardiff University.

He said doctors should be concerned about getting people back to work rather than writing sicknotes because being out of work could be more risky that working on an oil platform or as a safari guide.

What a marvellous story.

It’s bollocks obviously and a nice reminder that quite a few scientists are mental. An observation that’s worth bearing in mind every time a sensationlist global warming or epidemic story gets into the papers.

Mind you, if I were unemployed, as I currently am, and spending £37,000 on 146,000 fags every year, which I don’t, yes, I reckon I wouldn’t be very happy whether I smoked them or not. And, if you think about it, smoking 50 cigarettes a minute, eight hours a day, would start to seem like a job after a while anyway.

Actually, the first thing I thought about when I read this story was a rather disturbing business park currently being built near to the Piccadilly Line on the way out to Heathrow


Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to grab a photograph of the site (must do, must) but it

  • looks like a camp
  • is surrounded by a fence
  • is conveniently located next to a railway line
  • and has a huge banner with the words ‘Enjoy Work’ over one of the gates

You get the idea

If I've said it once I've said it three or four times, when reality looks like it does today parody becomes pointless.

My second thought was my mate Ian’s favourite work-related quote taken from Bridge Over the River Kwai

If you work hard,
you will be treated well.
But if you do not work hard...
you will be punished!
A word to you about escape.
There is no barbed wire...
no stockade...
no watchtower.
They are not necessary.
We are an island in the jungle.
Escape is impossible.
You would die.
Today you rest.
Tomorrow you will begin.
Let me remind you
of General Yamashita's motto:
Be happy in your work.

I f*cking love that film

Hands up anyone who remembers all those articles in the mainstream media not so long ago about that 'leisure bonus' we were all supposed to be receiving as the result of new technology? That vision of the future seems to have died on its arse in double-quick time doesn’t it.


And I’m going to stick this photo taken in Woolwich the other day here because I can’t think of anywhere else to put it

All together now:

Any time you're Woolwich way,
Any evening, any day,
You'll find us all
Doin' the Hiroshima Walk. Oi!


Ian said...

I have often compared where I work at the moment to an Open Prison. The last job I had I did actually escape one afternoon - I went for a walk at 3pm as I had nothing to do, got lost in the backstreets of Chelseas and ended up trying to get into Chelsea Flower show, but it was full. I went back to my desk and read the internet for a bit and then went home.
Re: the Enjoy Work sign, I was obssessed by getting a pic of this - but there's no chance - I had a job interview in the Park and went up to the fence with with a camera and it's impossible. The only way is to be on the Picadilly line and have the tube break down right opposite the sign (which is possible).

Wolfie said...

A more accurate vision of the future is a small proportion of the populace in work, working themselves to death and living in secured estates while the bulk of the population is unemployed and living in squalor.

It is the logical conclusion of unfettered capitalism combined with burgeoning global population growth.

A grim thought, I know.

de said...

Ah, Chiswick Park, of course. Just cycled past it. Also considered a job there but prefered to work in real London.

No idea about the sign!

David said...

Yes, definitely reminded me of Maoist propaganda. Money you get from work may make you happy, at times. Or at least pay the bills, usually. But work itself? Stroll on! Many people I know in very well paid jobs hate them and have to do it to keep their family. A few lucky ones like what they do, but are in a vast minority. Whoever came up with that stuff is clearly being paid to tell huge porkies. And the saddest thing is the plebs that read it accept it unconditionally, every bleeding time.