Friday, July 3, 2009

The thong thing

Yesterday we had our monthly "branch morning tea". The whole bunch of us cram together in a spot that is not suited for so many people. It kind of brings back some memories of Africa - a bunch of people huddling together in a small little space, even though there is a massive piece of uninhabited land in the outback begging for some humans to populate it.

Once you have a cup or a mug in your hand, you desperately try to push your way through the crowd to get your hands on a muffin. The whole table is full of nice goodies, and you struggle to make up your mind. In the meanwhile, other potential clients are waiting patiently for you to make up your mind and push back through the dense crowd with a mug in one hand and your muffin in the other.

Once we were all settled in, and no one was still crying from hot tea that was spilled over them, the boss made a speech.

And this is what I want to tell ya'll 'bout. Part of speeches at work always have to include "the safety bit". That part of the pep-talk where they remind you of all the terrible things that could, would and indeed often do go wrong, causing fatalities, down-time, and all sorts of other bad things.

Quite recently a lady was injured going down our escalator, due to a power failure that caused the escalator to stop, and the momentum to take her down.

Our manager reminded us that indeed, even in common situations we face every day, we can expose ourselves to terrible hazards and threats. So he went on to discuss the escalator incident further.

You see, what happened was that just the other day, something else happened to a young lady who was making use of an escalator. Her thong got caught in the escalator, and she was severely injured.

This is where I nearly swallowed my whole muffin in one go. I couldn't believe my ears! How on earth did that happen? It took me a few moments to realise what he was talking about. He was referring to thongs, like in sandals - those thingies you put on your feet.

My thoughts were somewhere else. See, when I hear the word "thong", I think of a small piece of clothing that normally is worn to modestly cover a lady's unmentionable areas. I could just not imagine how on earth she got her thong stuck in an escalator.

Just another lesson learnt Down Under. I really can't get that picture out of my mind, though...

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