I will be the first one to admit that I joined in all the complaining! Yes, that was me muttering under my breath. It may not have been the word “Humbug!” but it was certainly the kill joy attitude!
The notice came around work sometime earlier last week. Some bright spark has suggested a fundraising event that involved everyone piling out into the car park beside the canteen and doing a giant conga.
I could think of better things to do with my time, and more useful ways to raise funds for things. A litter pick up wouldn’t go amiss. Why not issue everyone with a pair of plastic gloves and black bin liner? Get sponsored for the weight of bin liner! But no – a conga was deemed to be just what we needed.
Our union man wasn’t impressed. He thought it might be a health and safety issue – all those people packed into the car park. If someone fell over, who’s to say they might not get trampled to death?
I prayed for rain, knowing that it would be postponed if the heaven opened and drenched us all. It was possibly the sunniest afternoon we have had all year!
The people lined up, the music blared from loudspeakers, the boss directed operations using a megaphone and someone stood on the roof of the building recording the event for prosperity. We moved in dribs and drabs. Some people laughed because they were outside and the sun was shining. That had to be better than being inside sitting at desks.
The music changed. What was it called? “Popcorn” Do do do do - do da do – OK, so that does absolutely nothing to give you a clue as to the tune.
There are some tunes that come with memories attached! In my childhood days, our family was firmly committed the village amateur dramatic society. Every year they put on Christmas pantomimes. My first stage appearance was at the age of six or seven in the village production of “Robinson Crusoe”. I was part of the children’s chorus. I was a pygmy. I was certainly just the right size. Come to think of it, I am probably still the right size to be a pygmy – the PC phrase is “vertically challenged”.
As pygmies we hopped, jiggled and shimmied our way through a dance routine to “Popcorn” dressed as skeletons!
So when “Popcorn” blasted out of the loud speakers that sunny afternoon, I was back to being six again! I joined in, not just with my body hopping this way and that, but with my heart!
Looking back over the event, I have to confess, that despite all the grumbling and complaining that went on among the less-young, there was a sense of community that we have not seen in the workplace for quite a while. It’s not often that we are all the same place, at the same time, involved in the same frivolous activity. Too often we have our only cliques and hidey holes for tea breaks that we don’t often spend that much time together.
Don’t ever under-estimate the value of being together!