Sometimes work can be the worst thing in life, it is generally viewed as nothing more than a means to an end. Most of the time the only thing that you really think about is, what am I going to do when I get out of this damm place. Then every now and again something very funny happens in work, and it changes your attitude, you realise work sometimes really can be enjoyable.
The following extract is a true story that happened about 5 years ago….
I worked as a vehicle engineer in the Army; I had slowly progressed through the ranks and eventually after 18 years had reached the rank of Staff Sergeant. I was responsible for the day to day repair of about 200 vehicles and 20 tradesmen.
One morning I was called into the ASM’s (Boss) office, he must have been bored as he informed me he was going to test the guys engineering and adaptability skills, I could feel myself starting to daydream. He had decided to test out the guys skills by having A Great Egg Race. The idea was for the tradesmen to manufacture a self powered machine, that must not contain anything metallic, that would carry an egg the furthest distance across the shop floor.. I tried to appear keen, however deep down I was wondering who would be in the snooker club that night.
The next morning I went into the ASM’s office and found him covered in cardboard and tape, “I will show the boys who can design a machine” he said, I left him to it. All day his meetings were cancelled and I was told not to bother him.
I must admit to being surprised how much interest The Great Egg Race had attracted. The young tradesmen had been split into groups of 3 and were busy designing and manufacturing all sorts of wonderful inventions. I went into the Boss’s office he was sat behind his desk with a smug look on his face. “It’s ready” he said, he opened his locker and showed me this cardboard ‘Thing’. He smiled so much I was sure he had fallen in love with the contraption, “That’s the winner”, he exclaimed.
The day had eventually arrived, morale was high as the afternoon would be spent drinking beer, also, the race was eagerly anticipated. After lunch the beer was flowing. It was nice to see the guys enjoying themselves. A few hours later the ASM called all the entries forward for the race. I must admit although not taking part myself I was very impressed by the intricate designs of the self propelled machines. The boss disappeared into his office, and came out beaming holding his baby. He was sure to win, a lifetime of engineering experience surely he would win the race. The eggs were issued to team captains. I will go first said the Boss this was greeted by moans from everyone. His egg was placed in the cardboard cockpit; it looked like a cardboard drag racer, powered by a very strong elastic band. The band was fully charged and we were ready. The time keeper screamed, “Stand by…….GO”…….
The boss released the beast, the cardboard wheels nearly set on fire they were spinning so fast, however the machine stayed stationary, eventually the ‘Beast’ did move, it flipped upside down and cracked the egg.
I tried for a second to control myself, however it really was no use – I fell on the floor laughing, I simply could not control myself. What made it worse was when the Boss started screaming he was having another go. He was however informed his rules stated contestants were only issued with one egg.
Eventually for fear of repercussions a new egg was issued to the boss, he would get another go at the end. Take 2 for The Beast, this time the rubber band was charged even tighter. With a new egg strapped in the cockpit the fully charged machine was released. This time it jumped forward and the took off, in fact it screamed forward, all I recollect of the second attempt was this thing screaming across the shop floor being chased by over 50 people, in the middle of them was the boss, jumping up and down like a schoolboy screaming “Go on you beauty”.
The rest of the afternoon was spent drinking more beer, every time I looked at the boss’s beaming face I cracked up with laughter. This small incident reminded me that I should not really take work so seriously, at times it can actually be fun. Moreover, if we can play with full resources.