is it necessary?

A letter from the Ministry office asked: “Is it necessary for your employees to climb a 6 foot, glass topped wall to get to work?”

image found here

Works manager Mr Terry Burrows thought the question amusing. So he replied: “The normal mode of entry for employees is by using the springboard provided, bouncing over the mill surround, climbing the outside of Dixon’s chimney, and descending inside the chimney and entering their place of work via the boiler house.” He ended his letter to the Department of Social Security: “Ask a silly question….”

Chimney found here

The letter was sourly received at the department’s offices in Carlisle. An official said: “Proper enquiries were instituted and there was no need for anyone to be flippant.” The department’s query was over an O H & S claim by an employee who injured his foot when taking a short cut to get to work by climbing over a wall.

image found here

In Whitehall, the Department of Social Security said: “Speaking generally, the success of such a claim would depend on whether it was necessary for workers to climb the wall to get to work, and whether such a practice was prohibited by the firm. Every case is judged on its merits.”

(Published in the Daily Mail)

Waiting for the judge. More mug shots here

Published in: on October 29, 2011 at 7:51 am  Comments (44)  
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44 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Would Mr. Terry Burrows like to come and work for my Council? Even better, a top job in Canberra!
    And aren’t those chimneys fabulous!

    • The chimneys are indeed fabulous

  2. Is that Ozzy Ozbourne?

    • Yes it is Cindy!

      • Bark at the Moon!

  3. β€œIs it necessary for your employees to climb a 6 foot, glass topped wall to get to work?” Duh – the Ministry should have asked this question of the claimant.
    Excellent response, Mr. Burrows!

    • The Ministry is seriously lacking in the humour department

  4. Well, that method of getting into the workplace is fairly normal these days – a standard test of the employee’s resilience and ingenuity. Personally I have to access my workplace by swimming across the moat, climbing the battlements, and strangling the guard dogs. It certainly weeds out the slackers.

    • Couldn’t you just feed treats to the guard dogs instead of strangling them? You might be able to claim it back on tax or workplace expenses

      • Here I was, bitching about a few lift renovations, foyer refits and the door handle to our office actually falling off last week and this poor bastard has to climb a wall to get in? All that and he still shows up for work. You never know how good you have it.

  5. Huh, I have to cross a bloody moat to get to the throne room and our walls are decorated with heads on pikes. Kids these days…

    The King

    • I’d hardly call the goldfish pond a moat your Majesty. Ooops… hope my head is safe from the pike.

      • Never assume…

        The King

  6. i have no idea how difficult it is to get to my office each day. i wake up in the parking lot, after having apparently driven myself there under a caffeine-deficit. there could be walls, moats, armed guards and fire-breathing dragons between my home and that parking lot. i really hate mornings….

    • Remind me to wear a blindfold if I ever travel with you to work

  7. I must have it much easier then these brave souls who have to topple a 6-foot wall. I’m self employed. I can go from bed to work in seconds (that is, if I feel like getting out of bed at all — thank you, laptop).

    If the Americans With Disabilities Act were around in these times, I wonder what they would say…

    • you do leave the house occasionally to take photos though don’t you Thomas?

  8. Anything published in the Daily Mail should be used either to start a fire or wrap up fish and chips.

    • Same with our Daily Telegraph

  9. I don’t have to go anywhere to get to work, people come to me. It’s great. However, while I am at work I deal with fire breathing dragons, damsels in distress, handsome princes who turn into toads, and all the havoc these disasters wreak on hapless bodies.

    Pick your poison…

    • Mine is hunching over a computer for too many hours each day

  10. And people wonder why insurance is costly and things cost. Stupid people do stupid thing and then sue.

    • And stupid people spend all day writing stupid letters

  11. I often wish that I would remember that simple rule: there is no need for anyone to be flippant. Ever. But then again, it is such fun.

    • Everyone should strive to be flippant at least once a day

  12. I’m going to have to stop whining about my hour-long commute, aren’t I?

    • Is your commute via train? At least you would get a lot of reading done in that time.

  13. Getting in to my last job wasn’t the problem. Getting out before 7pm WAS. Seemed like they raised a wall every afternoon around 4:30pm, and well, since you’re stuck, might as well handle just this ONE little item…….

    • No…. I would HATE a job like that

  14. It’s nice to know that part of the qualification to be an HR or H&S Numpty is an ability to write letters….just a pity that common bleedin’ sense doesn’t feature on the curriculum!

  15. I normaly creep in …

  16. Reminds me of the impossible hoops and runaround when I tried to emigrate to Canada a few decades back. Better chance getting t0 Saturn or Jupiter.

    • I thought the USA was the hardest country to get into.

  17. The passive construction of the official’s response says it all – no wonder government departments are so constipated

  18. Excellent response.

  19. Huh… I never pictured Ozzy being a St. Louis Blues fan. Especially during the early to mid 80′s when they weren’t that good. They were better in the late 80′s through most of the 90′s during the Brett Hull years. I tell ya, the 80′s to the early 90′s were an awesome time to be a hockey fan. Good times…

    • You lost me at hockey…..

  20. I’m surprised that the Mail didn’t go on about it being elfandsafetee/PC/liberalism gone mad. The Mail should be printed on soft paper so it can be put to it proper use

  21. Ha, I remember that time Ozzy was arrested in Memphis… I was there. He looked better then than he does now.

  22. Love Eminem’s mug shot :p

    • I like David Bowie’s

  23. The ministry seriously needs a sense of humor. Sheesh.

    I am embarrassed to say that I get to work in 10 minutes with no traffic. That’s the boonies for you.

  24. Personally I hope the employee’s claim succeeds. After all did it state anywhere in their terms and conditions of employment that his was not the correct to get to work?

    My American lawyer suggested that as the appropriate reply

  25. There’s *always* a need to be flippant.


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