Here’s an article of mine that’s just been published by The Conversation, a great webzine devoted to connecting researchers in all fields of academia with the public. Mine is the first in a projected series of “Why I Love: X” articles in a similar format:
Henry Jones scrutinised the clipboard in his hand. It was his first day as foreman and he was going to get it right. There might be room for creativity later on but today was going to be by the book. No mucking about. He’d already made a silly mistake this morning when he’d forgotten to wear his new shiny white foreman’s hardhat and had put on the fluorescent yellow hardhat of a worker. Now everyone was on-site and they weren’t treating him with the proper deference. It must be the hat. Oh, they knew he was foreman all right, but you could see it in the way they looked first into his eyes and then glanced at his yellow hat. You could see it in the not so subtle smirks on their faces. They were laughing at him. Oh well, he would earn their respect. First things first: the list.
1. Ensure all workers wearing appropriate PPE (yellow hard hats, hi-vis vests, rubber-soled steel-capped boots, gloves available, etc.)”
“2. Ensure appropriate work schedule signed off.”
“3. Ensure foreman in possession of all lock-out keys required for scheduled work.”
Tick! Henry felt he was getting the hang of this.
“4. Ensure first-aid trained personnel on-site and ambulance access roads clear of debris.”
Tick! Looking up, Henry noticed his (he already considered them his) workers didn’t seem to be doing any work. Indeed they were all standing around, hands on hips, talking amongst themselves, some looking up at the sky, others looking at him quizzically. No matter, as soon as the list was completed he would deal with them. He’d have this site running like a well-oiled machine in no time or his name wasn’t Henry Archibald Jones and, by golly, his name was Henry Archibald Jones.
“5. Ensure no marine mammals caught in overhead powerlines.”
Henry Archibald Jones looked up. Ah…….
(painting by Genevieve Jackson – click to enlarge…I insist that you click to enlarge!)