I remember as a young child, my Dad had a book called “How to Live with a Neurotic Wife”. Some of you may recall it especially if you grew up in the 70’s. I loved flicking through it and thought it hilarious at the time although now you won’t see it gracing the shelves of Waterstones as it is certainly not PC. There was a series of them as we also had “How to Live with a Neurotic Dog”.
I am a bit of a neurotic and I am sure my family would agree. I have Health and Safety neurosis! Someone has only got to cough and I am moving into Heimlich manoeuver mode. I am not sure when this neurosis started but I have a real fear of choking. Not just me choking but anyone! I still cut the grapes in half for my children and if Lydia so much as reaches for a cherry tomato I am there right behind her to tear it in half with my bare fingers! The only sized tomato grown in my garden is a beef one!
I must admit that there have been a couple of times when I have been in the right place at the right time to administer a hearty whack to someone in need. The first time was over 20 years ago. I was working for a group of construction engineers in their HR department. At lunch one day the librarian started coughing. No one paid any attention as unfortunately she was a bit of an oddball. Still coughing she got up, left the table and went to the ladies. I was seated a few tables down, but instinct told me to follow her. It was just as well that I did as I found her bent over the sink and she was most definitely choking. A few good whacks did the trick. She bought me some chocolates the next day.
Second time, a friend at work got a piece of sandwich lodged and was pointing to her back. Again, I leapt in to administer a hearty whack with all the force of my 4ft 10.5 inch frame!
Third time I was in a team meeting. A colleague started coughing on a crisp. The people on either side gave her a few gentle little pats. I leapt into action from my seat on the other side, came round and gave her a hearty whack. In other circumstances I would probably be up for assault. But she said thank you and I am sure that my hearty whacks did far more than a few light hearted pats on the back.
Although rather short, I do tend to take the lead in these sorts of circumstances. Some might actually call it being bossy! Although I am not the approved Fire Warden in the office you wouldn’t know it! When the alarm goes off, I take charge, marching into offices, demanding people get off the phone. I would have made a good Traffic Warden! We had a fire alarm test the other day. Once more I leapt into action ( I do a lot of leaping). I rounded up all the new hires attending Induction and lead them to the fire exit. A colleague of the male variety was standing at the exit hesitant about trying the door, he had given it a gentle push but the door remained firmly closed. I made my way to the front of the queue and with a hefty shove that door gave way and we all piled out. I think he was frightened of setting off some type of alarm…………………….