A week after completing a three day government-approved training course in Corporate First Aid and Health and Safety, Jeff Birks, a Junior Credit Controller for InfoTech Systems Inc., expressed frustration that he had yet to be called into action.
Now fully competent in CPR, bandage application and the Heimlich Manoeuvre, Birks (32) reported that the closest he had come to utilising his new skill set was when co-worker Denise Pritchard grazed an elbow on the photocopier.
"I thought I'd at least be required to get out the gauze and cotton wool, but the injury had not drawn blood so I simply advised Denise to rest for five minutes and notify me immediately if she experienced any nausea or dizziness," Birks explained ruefully.
"But she didn't."
Birks's enthusiasm for his new voluntary role has been met with amusement by colleagues.
"Jeff takes the whole 'safety in the workplace' thing brilliantly seriously," Business Analyst Steve Johnson chuckled. "He's started patrolling the canteen with the first aid box in case any of us accidentally stab ourselves in the eye with a fork or choke on our subsidised lasagne. I shit you not - at one point he gave (Account Manager) Tim (Walsingham) a twenty minute lecture after catching him running with the scissors."
His boss took a dimmer view however. "We are required by law to have a registered first-aider on the premises at all times. I just didn't think that person would end up throwing themselves into it with quite so much gusto," Finance Director Brian Williams sighed. "Jeff had his certificate laminated and attached to his cubicle wall, and spent four hours compiling a spreadsheet detailing the optimum number of exercise breaks one should take from one's workstation to avoid the onset of Deep Vein Thrombosis."
"It's great to see such dedication to the welfare of the company," Williams continued, "but frankly I would have preferred him to have displayed similar diligence on this month's invoice run."
This is not the first time employees at InfoTech have been over-zealous in their extra-curricular office roles. In 2005, Marketing Executive Matthew Allen was relieved of his Fire Warden duties when he was discovered fully kitted out in fluorescent bib and helmet, furtively flicking his lighter under the desk.