ELECTRIC fans cooled hundreds of red department faces Friday who took to numbered hatches around the country for a four hour work Marathon in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.
The work kicked off at 09:30 a.m. and continued right through till 12:30. An hour from 2pm to 3pm then finished the Marathon leaving many workers scrambling for cigarettes, vending machines and water fountains.
This years gauntlet was divided into three categories – the photo-copying team (which mainly consisted of over-weight middle-aged women); the customer-facing hatch team (young chirpy college types); and the relay supervisors team (whose job it is to pass queries from pillar to post).
As with last years successful fundraiser, the Waterford course was tough and relentless as it was Ballybeg signing day.
One of the busiest sections of the Marathon, the relay supervisors section, were bogged down with ‘electronic paper work’ all morning and many of the hatch problems had to be relayed from administrator to administrator over the three hour period.
“We were too busy to deal with them right away! I’m absolutely shattered after it all” said Waterford Scheme section supervisor Cathal Murray (Hatch 17).
“The queries just kept on coming. There was no let up at all. I must have forwarded at least 13 e-mails by noon. Every hand was on deck this morning, but all for a great cause.”
“I think i’ll need a week off after this.” added Murray.
The Waterford social welfare office was alive with debate and admiration from local unemployees waiting to sign.
“It makes a change alright. I’ve only been waiting for an hour now and I’m already top of the queue. They should have a fundraiser everyday” joked 24-year-old Tommy Macnamara from Clonard Park who was signing on for his cousin in Thailand.
Another man said: “It’s great to see a face behind the hatch window when ya sit down. Usually the fuckers would be munchin’ a bag of tayto beside the photocopy machine with their fat arses turned ta ya.”
One of those cheering on the civil servants was former health board executive James Maher.
“I feel for them, I really do. I know some of the lads have been training for weeks. It’s a long auld stretch all the same.
“I’m sure there’ll be a few ‘siestas’ had during the 2 hour lunch break. Then its another hour of it. My hat goes off to them.”
Many department employees were attempting a personal best, by actually finishing the day, or just feeling what its like to do a hard days work.
A total of €347 was raised from the four-hour work Marathon.