COLUMN: The Ely Grumpster

The Ely Grumpster

The Ely Grumpster - Credit: Archant

The Ely Grumpster’s weekly ramblings

• Well what a turn up. Just as the Grumpster entertained thoughts of dusting down his Spring threads, the beast from the east roars in and sends us back to the Ice Age. Great for the kids tobogganing in Cherry Hill Park. Not so good for anyone trying to get anywhere. With the weather dominating events, there has been no shortage of conversation over the office water cooler or at the school gates. “I took my gloves off for ten minutes and I lost 3 fingers to frost-bite, honest!”

• I am going to focus on personalities and how the snow and ice casts an illuminating light on the character of those who normally, stay well under the radar. A few examples:

• The shirker – at the first dusting of snow, the shirker will be texting the boss, claiming that despite herculean efforts, he has been unable to get to work. “It’s carnage on the trains” or “the car is currently in a ditch”. The more stupid shirkers forget their boss travels on the same train line and was at her desk at 8am.

• The martyr - takes tall stories to a new level. Their tales of woe makes descending from Everest in a force 10 sound like a stroll in the park by comparison. “The car broke down on the A14, I walked 7 miles, suffered a 20 mile bus journey and was trapped on an un-heated train for 3 hours, but nothing was going to stop me getting in for that meeting”.

• The keen idiot – an even more thick manifestation of the martyr. With snow falling heavily and staff urged to get off home immediately, the keen idiot scoffs at the idea of leaving before 7pm. “This powerpoint presentation won’t write itself” he sneers as every other member of the team rushes for the exit. The joke is on him when the weather worsens dramatically and he has to spend the night on the office floor in his pants.

• The stalwart – the stalwart loves a crisis and will be the first person offering cups of tea and hobnobs to stranded motorists. She is often slightly disappointed when the snow disappears and boring normality is resumed.

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• Parting thought? When I see people putting their lives at risk to get to work, I just have to laugh. To slightly misquote Noel Coward, “only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in a bloody blizzard”.