Sunday, 20 September 2009

My identical white coat

I have become a good little communist. No property rights.

At work we all have to wear white coats, its a hygienic food preparation sort of place, so we all weae identical white coats.

We go into the changing room, take our day's white coat, put on the rest of the parefenalia and go into the production area.

Trouble comes at lunch time. All fifty of us take off our identical white coats, hang them on pegs and go to the canteen. After eating, its then the simple process of going back, retriving our own white coat and head back into production.

All the white coats are identical, so retriving the same one you had in the morning leads to all manner of ingenuity. Some people secret their coat on specific pegs, some people, scribble arcane symbols on one shoulder, some people tie on their blue gloves or sleeves.

My favourite way to differentiate my coat from everyone else's is to tie the sleeves together.

Sure other people tie knots, but not the same as mine, my knot is a left handed reef knot, all those years in the boy scouts certainly prepared me for a life sweeping floors in a food factory.

Now, the consequences of not being able to find your original coat aren't severe, you can pinch some one elses, and unless it has a symbol drawn on it, no one will ever know. If you're unlucky enough to be the last one in and for whatever reason all the coats have been claimed you just to track down the chap in the hygiene team with the keys to the store room.

So it was I found myself in the changing room after a later than usual lunch, another chap there hopping about putting his wellies on, when I discovered my coat was gone.

Sure there were one or two other coats hanging up, but they were soaking wet and had a salad garnish, not very appealing.

So, the soviet humour, I turn to my companion.
"Aw man, someone took my coat,"
He nods empathicly.
"I tied a special knot in it,"
He shrugs.
"It was really nice, it was white and everything", just like all the others.

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