It is a measure of life in Far North Queensland that our council elections have just taken place and the biggest issue that any one commented on were the hair styles of the respective candidates, and the fact that the first thing the new mayor did was get a new haircut.
The second thing she did was issue an edict that council workers must wear long trousers for work. Such contoversy has not raised its head for some time. The debate is the largest to stir our part of the nation since the local MP refused to take his hat off in the airport to go through the metal detector. (That's true).
Factions have formed and hostilities are soon to be declared. On the one side are the office workers that have decided from their air conditioned offices that they can save lives long term by preventing skin cancer by enforcing long pants on the work force.
On the other side are the poor sods out in the heat. Bear in mind that temperatures during the day here rarely drop below thirty degrees centigrade, and that it is a dry day if the humidity is less than ninety five percent. Every day life here is like living with a hot wet towel wrapped around your head.
It would probably not be so bad but the council seem to have bulk bought five thousand pairs of trousers suitable for the Antarctic, some sort of nylon kevlar blend with a fleecy lining. These go with their last bargain buy, high visibility shirts in nylon with no air vents.
Now imagine digging holes and resurfacing roads in a sauna whilst wearing a bin bag over your entire body.
So the council is saving lives long term, but is probably going to pay out a lot of money in sick leave for heat stroke and dehydration in the short term.
It is recommended that out door workers here drink up to ten liters of water a day (yes ten). When the new rules come in each worker is going to have to get a new hat with some sort of mobile IV drip attached to the brim. In the evening when they go home they can detatch the saline ( that has been following them in a tanker all day) and attach a stubbie of beer.
I have an idea that I could probably patent some sort of trousers that are a pair of shorts with mesh legs attached to get around this rule, but that brings me back to extra sick pay caused by burst hernias with the workers laughing at each other.
This is not the first time a far northern employer has come up with such a brilliant idea however, the airport workers have all been provided with day glo yellow waistcoats for wearing on the runway, with non detachable fleece linings. Apparently they love them in Sydney...I'm sure they do, its a lot cooler there and no humidity.
Aircraft can now spot the runway during the day by the line of airport workers collapsed along it with heat stroke.
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