A firm in Harold that produces ergonomic, swivel commodes is increasing production, to meet the demands of an ever-rising retirement age.
‘Sit n’ Swivel’, Harold’s oldest commode manufacturer, is taking on two new members of staff to meet their new targets. Elsie Duggan, 86 and Harry Jones, 74, have been turfed out of the ‘Over The Hill’ retirement home and put on zero hour contracts to bolster the firm’s output.
“An ageing workforce offers some unique challenges”, explained factory owner Roland Ronsson. “But it’s better than getting teenagers in, because they complain when we put Radio 2 on.”
With incontinence, dementia and ‘The War’ very much the hot topics around the Horlicks machine during break times, Ronsson admitted that anyone under 70 might struggle to fit in.
“We did try out an apprentice last year, but they didn’t want to work as hard as the more mature employees”, he claimed. “They fiddled with their iPhone, sulked in the toilets and obsessed over their hair and make-up. It’s the last time we try and motivate a 40 year-old, I can tell you.”
Ronsson explained how the office environment had been subtly changed to allow people to work until they drop.
“We’ve had Minolta out to make some changes to the photocopier”, said the tycoon. “They’ve now fitted it with a defibrillator. And the sandwich lady doesn’t even ask before she pops your all-day breakfast ciabatta roll into a blender and pours it into a bag. We don’t want to risk any lumps, that could be the final straw.”
Sit n’ Swivel has made several changes to its HR policy to accommodate the ageing workforce. Paid leave is now available for autopsies and an account has been set up with a local taxi firm so that staff can be taken straight from the office to their hospice or funeral.
The company also offers subsidised use of the company’s cryogenic tank to anyone over 67. It’s a popular perk, because it gives employees at least half a chance of living long enough to draw a state pension.
Ronsson had hoped to introduce us to the commode’s designer, but he wasn’t at his desk. “Has anyone seen Terry?”, he asked.
“Is he working from home today, or do we need to send flowers?”