This week’s POETS (Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday) extravaganza is set to be the biggest ever say experts, with a staggering nine-tenths of the population of Great Britain planning to finish work at Friday lunchtime and slope off to the pub for the afternoon.
Preparations are already afoot for this great national bunk-off, with breweries trebling their usual output to cope with the increase in alcohol consumption and food producers working flat-out to satisfy the projected demand for battered fish, steak and kidney and scampi in a basket – a consequence of the sharp rise in Friday lunch time ’pint and a pie’ meal deals. The police, fire brigade and ambulance crews will also be on full alert, with the public being asked to co-operate with the emergency services by not having an accident until Monday morning at the earliest.
The occasion is predicted to eclipse the success of even last week’s mass skive, claims Sociologist Dr. Brian Hancock, who believes the phenomenon has spread exponentially across the country. ‘In earlier times POETS day was essentially limited to workers in the capital, but with financial pressures forcing the workforce to work harder for less, more and more people are adopting the ‘sod this for a game of soldiers’ attitude so reminiscent of the surly Londoner when the weekend peeps over the horizon.’
For many, POETS day is not so much an excuse for the traditional Friday pint, but a chance to take some much-needed time out from the rat-race. ‘I’ll probably use the time off to take the kids to the park or do some shopping with the wife,’ revealed Holborn-based BT engineer Trevor Rushgrove. ‘Unless they’ve got a stripper on at the Spaniard’s Arms, in which case I’ll probably pop down there for a bevy or two.’
Business leaders have slammed the rising ‘part-timer’ culture that POETS day has come to represent, with prominent economists accusing organisers of doing the country out of millions of pounds of potential revenue. ‘It may seem like a harmless Friday afternoon down the boozer,’ said John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, ‘but the losses incurred by these workshy layabouts are staggering. I am currently unable to provide you with an exact figure however, as I will be out of the office until the end of September.’