COLUMN: The Ely Grumpster thinks work events should be banned

The Ely Grumpster

The Ely Grumpster - Credit: Archant

• Once in in a while, you hear or watch something that makes you cry out loud with laughter.

Paul Whitehouse, Mark Steel and Jo Brand are superb exponents of the killer line.

• Well, the Metro published a story last week that was up there with the best.

At a NatWest branch in Birmingham, staff were spotted by worried passers-by hiding under desks. Fearing a raid, calls to the local Plods resulted in a crack armed response unit storming the building.

A red-faced bean-counter then had to explain that there was no cause for alarm - they were simply playing “team morale-building hide and seek”.

• Run that past me again? You can just imagine some keen buffoon at the team meeting announcing that next month’s pub quiz is off, because “we are going to try something different”.

As you work in the bloody office, you can’t even opt out. Customer service would suffer. “Sorry Mrs. Adams, I can’t pay in your cheque at the moment as I need to hide in a filing cabinet”.

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• I have had my fill of stupid work events. Playing cricket with 10 numpties who thought “cover drive” was a tarmacking firm; setting sail in a poorly constructed raft and ending up swallowing half of the Medway; a visit to the London Transport Museum, to spend a fun-packed 3 hours hearing about the evolution of London buses. The list is endless.

• And what about the toe-curling Christmas parties? Mild-mannered Jeff from Accounts has one over the eight and feels it is a good idea to strip off to “Stayin’ Alive” before “sans trousers”, telling his boss that she has the management skills of Attila the Hun.

If it’s a sit down, you can guarantee you will be sandwiched between Dave the train spotter and a fan of 5th century Greek pottery.

• I have tried the Theatre. A play at the National - how can that go wrong? Well other than someone falling asleep in Act 2 and another idiot’s phone going off at a moment of searing tension, it was a roaring success.

• So, let’s ban work events, period. If people want to socialise with work colleagues, great, but never again should anybody be confronted by the sight of a 20 stone man trying to squeeze himself inside the paper tray of a photocopier.