The Man from Madras Musings wrote sometime back about how in a certain office he found people wearing masks while going about their work and then taking them off to sit in close proximity to each other while lunching. That set off a flood of stories from readers and one of these MMM is happy to share –

Four wrong ways to wear a mask

This organisation had ruled that anyone walking in had to have their temperature measured by the person at the reception and the readings recorded in a register. The problem was that the receptionist was frequently called away and during her absence, people tended to walk in and out. It was then decided that the front door be locked and a signboard put up asking people to knock. Two problems immediately surfaced – the glass door fronting the office had never ever been locked before, the steel shutters outside of it being lowered and secured at the end of the working day. The lock in the glass door was thus so full of rust that it had to be doused in oil to get it to move. It later transpired that it may be faster to fix a latch and so that was done. 

All would have been well except that people who called at the office and knocked on the door hardly ever had anyone opening it. If the receptionist was not at her seat nobody heard the knocks and so people simply went away. To overcome this, it was decided, and here MMM must say that it is perhaps only in Chennai that such innovative solutions can be thought of, that the door be left unlatched with a stool of around two feet height lurking just behind it. The idea being that whoever came in would push the door thereby knocking over the stool which would make enough noise to wake up the dead. 

The only problem in this solution was that some people opened the door with such force that the stool went flying like a missile and hit whoever was in sight. It was decided that people dying of Covid was bad enough and so the company had better prevent casualties owing to flying pieces of furniture (MMM, always wanting to use an elegant phrase, has avoided writing flying stools there you will notice). A bright spark then suggested an electric doorbell, which was duly procured and installed. This it was found could be heard only if someone was at the reception, which was the original problem if you recollect. 

Last heard, MMM learns that the organisation in question is on the lookout for the Last Trumpet which will be loud enough for all to hear.