Heeeeeeey, this box is on fire!
However, no matter how hot the topic or the debate around it, never have I worried about the possibility of those words spontaneously combusting in front of my eyes. No risk assessment has begun with concern about words setting anything other than hearts and minds aflame, on screen or on paper.
Which makes it all the more incredulous that Facilities Management seem to think exactly along these lines.
Over time our office has collected various rubbish and detritus, many of whom also clutter their desks with bits of paper and stationary. Some of this gets regularly swept away and recycled, but other bits and pieces are useful and should be kept. A time for sorting all of this out recently rolled around, so loads of bits and pieces were packed into cardboard boxes and marked for storage.
Things which we probably won’t need for ages were put into the archives (which I like to imagine being akin to the scene at the end of Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark), for other things which will probably be needed sooner a home was found in a cage in a room in the underground car park beneath the Town Hall.
Things were progressing remarkably smoothly; that is until Facilities saw the dreaded fire hazards that are cardboard boxes. Citing the fact that they were flammable they then refused to let us store them there and left them by our desks.
What manner of ridiculousness is this?! I can only congratulate them on disproving the limits which the depths of my disbelief could sink to – they seem to have found the bottom and broken out the spades.
Facilities staff always struck me as bold, buckeneering types who stride through the office on various missions, important enough to have walkie-talkies rather than mobile phones and with the authority and ability to fix any problem (even if that ‘fix’ involves seven different people and takes three months). They were brave people who didn’t know the meaning of the word fear, when in fact it turns out that they don’t know the meaning of other words and phrases such as ‘common sense’, ‘intelligence’ and ‘competent’.
How on earth is a cardboard box going to present a fire hazard in a locked room in a dark, cold, guarded, underground, concrete room? If there are any health and safety experts out there, perhaps a fire fighter or even a member of the Fac Pack (also known as the Facilities Fraternity) please, please enlighten me and put my mind to rest as to how I can stop cardboard boxes from bursting into flames whilst unattended, otherwise I’m going to have a long weekend ahead of me emptying my loft out.