During a conversation yesterday I realised that my theory of efficiency of injury is not as widely accepted as I had first thought. In order to bring the theory to a wider audience, and at the same time spite the nefarious Ms Nature, I thought that I would share it with you. We have all said or been told “you did it properly” in relation to an injury or an accident haven’t we? well I guess that is the basis for the theory of efficiency. In keeping with the proud Japanese models of lean manufacturing that are such a common feature of the modern world there is a desire to minimise waste and become as efficient as possible, I think that this is true of injuries as well.
When we look at workplace planning we aim to minimise the movement of people, to keep tooling available and to maximise the time that they are actually productive. The same principle is, in part, what teaches us to avoid injuries and accidents since the recovery period makes non-productive be that at work or at home. Rather cleverly Ms Nature has designed us so that whilst we learn from pain, well most of us do, we don’t learn to overcome the shock element. As an example the first time that you stub your toe on the dresser it hurts like hell and you learn to give it a wider birth but when you stub your toe on the bathroom door the pain is the same. That is the shock element that remains with us from cradle to grave and is the indicator that Ms Nature uses to tell us we have done something wrong. Now most people will experience irritating small levels of pain hundreds of times a year, from stubbing toes, to dropping things on their feet, cutting themselves and the like. The common denominator in all of these is that every event is associated with the shock of going from ‘no pain’ to ‘pain’ and the accompanying curses.
Those of us that are more efficient bundle all of these minor pains into a large injury. Of course the large injury hurts but it is still, in principle, a single transition from ‘no pain’ to ‘pain’ measured for simplicity as a single ouch. So we are incapacitated for some time and the recovery is slow and awkward but then we are done, one single injury has used up years and years of ouches. Since I destroyed my wrists I haven’t stubbed my toe once. Somewhere there is a little Japanese fella with a clipboard checking my productivity and writing an instruction to cut the brake lines on the works bus. So if you see somebody that has suffered a horrible accident don’t give us sympathy because were just smiling knowing that as you walk away you are going to walk into that door whereas we are immune.
In other news I took a walk to the estate agents to pay my rent this morning and was, once again, astounded by the glorious views that involves. It may not be my beloved Isle but as a compromise it’s pretty good. It got me thinking that one reason that living in coastal towns is so good is the knowledge that there are tourists around the country wishing that they were here. Walking along an abandoned promenade looking at the grey foaming ocean you can feel the summer vibe and almost hear the voices in estates across the country waiting for the season. I guess everything is better if you know that somebody else aspires to it. My thoughts were broken by a Sunday dad walking party which showed the sheer madness of family combination.
I will make some assumptions in the following explanation, I am pretty confident in them and if they are wrong you just need to transpose the characters. This was probably a mid to late thirties couple on their second go around, good on them. So the lady had her 3 children out for the Sunday stroll and her partner had clearly got visiting rights so had his 4 children making a total of 7 children! The standard family unit is not designed for this, the logistics simply don’t work. As I weaved my way through the crowd and crossed a road a shout went out from behind me because a distracted daughter crossed the road with me. With 9 people in the pack she wasn’t about to check who had just stepped off the kerb she just took it as permission and followed. Think about it, if you saw 7 infant school pupils out with two teachers you would be concerned. How do you cope with these numbers? That is two cars or a bus no people carrier will handle that load.
Two reasonably sensible family units combined into something that needed an escort to cross the road. A trip to the zoo would need a mortgage, this is a party size that needs to be booked in advance with restaurants, if they get both sets for Christmas imagine the turkey! The thing is that there will have been no natural progression as usually happens this is like getting pregnant with quadruplets and then they are born at different ages. I know that you are thinking that this could have just been a large family, how could I know and why would I presume that it was two families joined, well I am glad that you asked. That the couple were a couple was clear from their body language and the hand holding, in itself unlikely in a family with 7 children. But the killer, the thing that really set them apart, was the fella’s son there is a way that an early teen looks at his mum and there is an altogether different way that he looks at his dad’s girlfriend.