I am male and therefore it will not surprise you that I don’t particularly like Christmas, I am not Christian and even if I was I am having a hard time working out in the chronology of the life of Jesus (which oddly I always pronounce ‘Hesus’ in a South American stylee) where it all fits in, he wasn’t nailed up, he wasn’t pulled down and taken caving and he didn’t reappear seemingly healthy aside from having lost his ability to juggle maltesers, Christmas is for the under tens who believe in the fat man with the beard (not Terry Waite, the other one) and people from Northern Wales who worship Terry Waite and being from North Wales and having six toes on each hand are very confused, Strictly speaking Christmas is expensive, pointless and a tad rubbish.
The reason I mention this is not to dampen the festive spirits of those of you who subscribe to tinsel, turkey and tackiness, on the contrary I admire and am slightly envious of those who can turn a roast with the family into the highlight of their year, its just a nice lead in to discuss a communication received this morning from the third directorate (facilities) of the ‘Thought Police’.
The catchily entitled ‘Guidelines for Festive Seasonal Office Decoration’ firstly reminds us that in the last twelve months ‘many areas have gone through a program of refurbishment’ , before I continue I think this might be a good time to mention that before the ‘refurbishment’ we had slightly scruffy cream and beige colour schemes, all very unoffensive and plain, just the kind of thing Sarah Beeny recommends to the slack jawed retards selling houses on Property Ladder, that was until a colour blind evil sadomasochistic lunatic was put in charge of redecoration and now we have bright orange, purple, green , red and yellow walls, interoffice travel has to be carried out wearing wrap around sunglasses lest the kaleidoscope of mismatched brightness send you permanently and irrevocably mad!
The proclamation , after mentioning this triumph of interior design (the rhythmic banging you can hear over your shoulder is Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen trying to dash out his own brains on a pus yellow painted radiator after seeing our office in a magazine) then admonishes us to not ‘attach decorations to walls, pillars, ceilings, glass or furniture’ which as far as I can tell means that unless you have the urge to come to work dressed as a Christmas tree then any sort of seasonal desk bling is right out, unless of course you are a recognised minority group who regard tinsel and baubles as national regalia (is Essex a nation state…?) in which case not only will you be allowed to decorate away to your hearts content but management will probably pay for it.
Something else that would have Lynn Faulds Wood spinning in her grave, assuming someone got close enough to drive a stake through her heart is the danger that we might display objects with ‘sharp corners and edges’ which we are also warned against using for ‘decorative purposes’ , bang goes my idea of hanging our festive family claymore, sword not land mine, over the desk to cheer up the team (and maybe give Ginger Bernard a not so accidental haircut)
I must admit that I am mildly flabbergasted that the ‘Thought Police’ have used the deeply offensive term ‘Christmas’ which might offend someone in Human Resources (who will be white, married, non practising Catholic and middle-class) and not gone for something a bit more diverse like December Festive Season or End of year multi faith knees up (non alcoholic naturally…)
You will also note that the word ‘retardant’ has been used with reckless abandon which will no doubt deeply offend the same Human Resources automaton as mentioned above who is only deeply offended because they think that retardant means smothering combustible objects with persons of low IQ and the don’t want it to happen to them!
So, at this time of festive cheer the moral of this story is simple, if something might be construed as being ‘fun’ filling another human being with ‘happiness’ or ‘joy’ then think before you act!, for every ten people whose dull dreary days you brighten there will be one who will feel they might have been offended, if they’d have been born a one armed Ethiopian lesbian, dyslexic, colour blind princess and not in Oxfordshire.

For your delectation here is an extract of the email, I haven’t removed the festive cheer parts, they were just never there.

The following examples are provided for your guidance in selecting acceptable decorations.

Please note not acceptable
Natural Christmas trees or branches
Ordinary untreated crepe paper, tissue paper or fabrics
Light bulbs in contact with decorations
Open flames, candles, gas or liquid fuel lanterns
Sharp corners and edges
Extension cords and electrical adapters

Please note acceptable
Christmas trees (non-combustible flame retardant materials)
Flame retardant metal foil decorations on desks and desk partitions
Displays of Christmas cards on desks and desk partitions
Battery Powered fairy lights (on Christmas trees only)
Battery operated, desk top decorations

It only leaves me to offer you all a very Safe and Merry Christmas and a happy and joy filled New Year!


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