Dangerous water: call a lawyer

c: | f: /

Who needs common sense when there are so many policies and layers of management that renders it obsolete?

Mahatma Gandhi once stated “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. I’d like to offer my own version of this, updated for the legalese generation:

The greatness of a nation and its moral fabric can be judged by its attitude towards Health & Safety.

Based on those grounds from an experience at Costa Coffee, I declare the UK neither great nor able to right itself from this capsize.

Taking a pit stop at one of England’s infrequent motorway service stations, I had finished the contents of my water bottle and wished it to be refilled for the next leg of the journey. Unsure whether the tap water in the toilets was drinkable, the unenviable task fell to the drone behind the counter at Costa. I was dutifully informed that he was unable to fill my bottle from the tap due to health and safety reasons, but I was welcome to fill it myself from the branded paper cup that he filled with tap water and handed to me over the counter.

To say I had to blink twice was an understatement. The company are saying that they are not willing to risk employees turning a tap on and filling a bottle; perhaps in case the operator accidentally touched the rim of the lid to the tap during the filling process and I had Black Death. Yet I am able to take a cup (including plastic lid; both at cost to them and the environment) away from the counter, stand nearby and try to tip the cold contents out of the wobbly container into the tiny neck of my water bottle without spilling any a) on the floor and causing a health and safety issue, or b) on the table and having to use more pieces of tree / waste their time fetching a cloth to mop it up.

Further, I am unable to return the cup to them for re-use because I’ve “used” it, so the cup and lid have to both be thrown away.

Two things come to mind:

  1. what jackass decided that was company policy?
  2. what jackasses thought it reasonable enough to follow, without question?

This place — no, this world — is falling apart at the seams and nobody wants to take responsibility for any actions (or they’re not allowed to, because they need the dreaded “supervisor” to acknowledge or carry out a rudimentary transaction). It appears fear is well and truly pandemic and it’s only a matter of time before the right to question is outlawed.

Incidentally, I believe this is having a knock-on effect to human health; I’ll cover that in a future post. For now, I must simply point out that you shouldn’t read any of the above for health and safety reasons.

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