Early Retirement for Man Who Adjusts Shower Temperatures

Brian Keene, the man responsible for the seemingly inexplicable variations of water temperature in Britain’s showers, is to take early retirement this month, after thirty-seven years’ service.

Keene started his career at the Ministry for Minor Annoyances as an apprentice label starcher way back in 1972.

‘It was my job to make the labels in clothes extra scratchy.’ Said Keene ‘But soon I was offered a post in the shower water adjustment hall. It were just a small room with a few wheel valves, as most people had baths in them days.’

But Britain’s growing obsession with showering soon meant an increase in Keene’s workload. ‘In next to no time we were working in shifts, 24/7, in a blummin’ great hall full of valves, temperature gauges and actuators. They were the golden years in annoying shower temperature variation – it were a real craft.’

As modern technology began to make its presence felt, Keene saw a great many changes to his job. ‘Once they started to install computers and that, the rot set in. One random water temperature algorithm could do the job of a dozen valve-turners and soon I were the only bloke left in the hall.’

A spokesman for the Ministry, whilst praising Keene’s dedication, stressed the need to move with the times. ‘We can now niggle people for more effectively and at a fraction of the cost. A bank of computers controlled by an outsourced Indian IT specialist is far more efficient than a middle-aged Yorkshireman in a flat cap and boiler suit.’

But while Keene feels it’s time to hang up his tools and call it a day, he remains philosophical. ‘I hope that when someone is suddenly frozen or scalded for no reason in their shower today, they’ll think of me and smile.’

(Written Tue 6 Jan 2009)

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Published in: on September 4, 2009 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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