20th December 2012


 Issue No.  2012/21



What will you be singing this Christmas?

Well it is the ‘Thursday before’ and no doubt many of you will be thinking of next week – the anticipated highs and lows – too much eating – not enough exercise – isn’t Christmas great – can’t do with it etc.  Those traditionalists amongst us (and I still believe that deep down that is most of us) may get round to singing the odd Christmas Carol or two.  BUT, WHAT WILL WE BE SINGING THIS YEAR? Have the PC brigade gone too far?

Maybe we will start with “Jingle Bells”. All that dashing about in a one horse open sleigh.  My Risk Assessment says I must wear hi-viz jackets and thermal clothing – can’t see how I can make that rhyme with ‘laughing all the way’ so no good there…

OK, lets try “While Shepherds Watched” – hang on, they have to sit on the ground all night watching sheep.  I am sure there’s mention of the working hours opt outs in there somewhere.  If not I’ll have to sing “… watched their flocks by rotating work periods interspersed with uninterrupted rest breaks”.

Ah, one of my favourites next, “We Three Kings”.  Oh no, that line about “bearing gifts”.  Not sure that my Anti-Bribery Policy will actually allow me to bear gifts anymore.

Oh well, there is always “Silent Night”.  I love it when “all is calm and bright”, but not so bright that I have to wear UV protective darkened safety specs. Oh boy!

Onto another stirring melody, “Ding Dong Merrily on High, in Heaven the Bells are Ringing”.  But what’s this – I’ve not had my Working at Height training?  Surely I can reach by climbing onto my desk… perhaps not!

I’ll try a few seasonal songs instead then… how can they fail?  That one about “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”.  That’s a good one.  Blimey, we are in for it now.  Food Hygiene and fire risks.  I only need to employ a trainee arsonist and I’ve got HR problems as well.

I won’t mention the rendition of “I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus”.  Suffice to say that a harassment claim ensued though I am not sure who raised it.  It made more sense to give voice to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer although as you might guess we had to activate our substance abuse policy once we found out what really made his nose red, shiny and glowing.

My Safety Manager has told me I am now “skating on thin ice” but I soon flummoxed him by asking for guidance on whether I should “grit or not grit”.  (By the way if that’s a real question then you should grit).

So what’s left?  Well apart from encouraging you all – no matter what belief set you either have or don’t have – to think about how you can spread a bit of peace and goodwill among friends, colleagues, customers and suppliers and there might just be room enough for a round of… “we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”

Hope we have made you smile.

Martin and the Sentient team.

We hope you have enjoyed our Information Updates in 2012 and that 2013 will be successful and prosperous for you.





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