Last night I kept waking up because the wind was howling so loudly and the rain was beating furiously on the window panes. In the morning, we realised a Typhoon 8 signal and an amber rain storm warning were in force .
Inevitably, a decision had to be made whether to go to work or not. Obviously, most were in favour of not. Keep in mind here that the government of Hong Kong is on our side advising that in T8 times people should remain at home. This to save government employees the hassle of having to risk their own lives venturing out in storm conditions to rescue people who have been hit on the head by errant neon signs or tree stumps that make a bid for freedom.
But if you work for a newspaper, you are never sure. And so at 11 am, you find yourself battling your own umbrella as you attempt to tame it into upright position in the gale. You eye collapsed trees and debris on the street.
You (ostensibly) risk life and limb to get to office – for the express purpose of writing a piece on wine which is not due till next week.
No breaking news this, and yet, you arrive damp from the inability of your umbrella to shake its fist at the weather gods, hoping you will not catch a cold and be forced to take two days off and claim medical insurance instead of the one day of work you would have missed if you had not felt the urgency to put finger to keyboard and to earn the benevolent gaze of your boss, who got there before you.
It is the measure of a miserly office to, while not forcing employees to come to work, not discourage them either. I understand for the news staff, but features? And do they insure the news people well enough for their trouble? I have a feeling that those guys get paid even less than us souls who write frivolous nothings under the guise of journalism. It is ironic that the guardians of free thinking – who are or should be the first to pull up others for injustice – themselves are so unjust to their own employees.
Of course all this ranting is theoretical. I actually wanted to get to work because I had work to do which the temptation of Sex and the City at home would not allow. A novel sensation this – actually having work to do at work.