Published: 11/08/2005, Volume II5, No. 5967 Page 31
Martha is assistant director of modernisation at a primary care trust.
At the end of a busy week, she collapses in front of her PC to e-mail Mary, a former colleague, who has escaped Down Under
Hurrah - we have desks in our office! I knew that eventually Roger, our demented head of modernisation, would get bored with us all crouching on the floor in Zen-like uncluttered splendour, trying to work at our ground-level PCs.
But I can't help thinking that gorgeous Kevin the osteopath should take most of the credit. They bonded over herbal tea while Kevin explained how to qualify as an ergonomist. The next thing we knew, the removal men were backing in, bearing desks. Never in my life have I been so pleased to see a piece of imitation teak.
'Well, your young man certainly seems to have done the trick, ' said Jenny, Roger's long-suffering deputy. 'One minute he's chatting Roger through the basics of musculoskeletal awareness and the next We have turned back into The Office.' I tried not to look smug. 'He's not my 'young man', ' I said, snootily. 'I just thought it would be a good idea if he came to look at our working conditions, because otherwise...' Somehow, I ran out of steam.
'Otherwise, you might not see him again, ' said Jenny, nodding wisely.
'You have got a mid-life crush! I always thought it was a bad idea for you to lose that second half stone.' This struck me as tactless. 'He's not that much younger than me, ' I said, stung into honesty. 'Anyway, he says I've got better muscle tone than people 10 years younger than me.' Big, big mistake. Jenny managed to wolf-whistle through a mouthful of carbs-with-apple and Droopy Trudy, our hippy-dippy head of communications, nearly dropped her Rescue Remedy.
'Whatever's the matter?' she asked.
'Has the desk thing pushed you over the edge?' At last Jenny said: 'Trudy, the desk thing is just the beginning.
Something tells me Martha will soon have the healthiest back in the NHS.' What a cheek! Although my back is feeling decidedly iffy at the moment, it could soon be time for a quick MOT. Or, should we say, More Osteopath Therapy.
Next week: Fitness for purpose?