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The Hapless Househusband: Worker's Comp for BooBoos...
I Wish To Register A Complaint...
So, I'm pulling She-who-is-adored's jeans out of the dryer when I get this really bad "ow" on my hand. It is not on fire as I first thought, but it has been given the second degree by a rivet. I immediately stopped work, ran my hand under cold water, made a restorative cup of tea, and tried to figure out the protocol re workers compensation when you work at home. The tea, and an episode of Law and Order UK , put me to rights and negated the need to call for an ambulance and visit the hospital emergency department, but got me to thinking legally, as it were.
The obvious thing to do here was to start the process for a disability claim. Not only did my hand hurt, I was now traumatized by a piece of domestic equipment that I have to use three, maybe four, times a week. This inanimate object, that has to date been my friend, has turned on me. In fact I'm now a little afraid of the washing machine too, so the whole laundry room has become a house of horrors.
It would be unconscionable to expect a man labor under such draconian conditions. So, with the full support of my brothers and sisters of local 123, Domestic Division, Cooking and Cleaning cadre (a sub branch of the Teamsters, you understand…), a complaint will be lodged with the management of the home or factory that has failed to comply with the basic human right of a safe workplace and reasonable rest breaks, and full and timely restitution sought from the said management of the aforementioned workplace. Full compensation and a minimum two month recovery period on an island of the aggrieved’s choice, will meet the expectations under section 3, subsection 2214, paragraph 9 of the relevant act. The failure to comply with these reasonable demands will result in the membership voting on sanctions, up to, and including, a work slow down, work stoppage or aggressive nationwide picketing.
Or no tea…
Now living in SoCal, you wonder, why does he not just hang the clothes out to dry in the perfect drying type weather they have out there? (Sure, they might get smogged up a little, but this is the coast, not the valley, the breezes would combine with the sunshine to dry everything in no time flat. And think of the energy savings…)
It is against the law. More accurately it is against the CC&Rs. (covenants, conditions and restrictions.) The law I break with nary a look over my shoulder. Speed limits, I laugh at them with impunity, sometimes going, three, maybe four miles an hour faster than the posted speed. Dealing with the police and courts, no problem, especially as son one is a lawyer and everything.
However, the CC&Rs are monitored and policed by the Homeowners Association and if you ever wonder what happened to the KGB...
I digress. Crossing the community cadre runs the risk of ensuring Kafka-like consequences that will, a) bankrupt you and b) have you spending a few months in a padded cell. The “law” is clear. Clothes not filled with people, or in bags on their way home from expensive boutiques, have no place outside the home. The thought being that the sight of your clean laundry flapping in the breeze will instantly reduce the value of the homes in a two-block vicinity. And, what if that was underwear out there? In full public view! A crime. A sin. A hell on earth scenario if ever there was one.
So, to sum up, hanging washing, strictly verboten.
Now if you'll indulge me with a quick ADD segway into a washing line story here...
Back in my days as a Bobby I had the joy of taking a call from an elderly lady who had reported that she had been the victim of a flasher. Miss Smith, we'll call her, had been hanging out her washing (because its allowed in England – where it rains…), when from behind a freshly hung sheet she heard some rustling. Lifting the sheet she was met by the sight of a man sunbathing his trouser snake. She thought this was not quite right, so, after throwing her pegs at the offending member, had called the local constabulary.
The report I had to fill out was an exercise in embarrassment, but Miss Smith was more than equal to the task. She was certain that, yes he had been rubbing it, and that it was fully erect. She also informed me that it was the first penis she had ever seen, and that, "well, you have to wonder what all the fuss is about."
Bless her little cotton socks…
No chance of that particular unpleasantness here in Lemon County, no sir.
So, back to the dryer and my horrific injury...
I now realized that these machines, that are now part of my daily workplace, are outright dangerous. Discounting some very embarrassing self-inflicted vacuum cleaner injuries that would certainly not have the approval of Miss Smith, the potential for injuries is astronomical. Think about it. Can openers, garbage compactors, kettles, tea makers, ovens, microwaves, all over the place, good grief! And that's just the kitchen. And, if you consider the chemical warfare supplies under the sink, and the tools in the garage, why, oh why, is there no Health and Safety poster on every wall or front and center on the chimney-breast in your living room?
I now realize that it is far too dangerous for me to be left alone in my house. I need to find the safety and security of a monitored workplace.
Anyhow, not finding the appropriate paperwork at my place of work, I complained loudly to the head of Human Resources when she got home. She listened carefully to my tale of woe, thought about it for a second or two, and then offered to kiss it better.
I took the deal....
Dear Hub Reader
If you enjoy this hub, please check out my book,
Homo Domesticus; A Life Interrupted By Housework,
A collection of my best writings woven into a narrative on a very strange year in my life.
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