On Strike

My neck is on strike. After a late night union meeting between my laptop, pillow, and six year old son’s elbow, my neck pulled out its usual job description and began crossing off items with a big red pen. Grievances were aired, and there was a moment of civil resistance before Voltaren and two glasses of wine were brought in for last minute negotiations. Unfortunately it all came to a screaming holt at 6am this morning. My neck was overheard shouting “viva le revolution” before putting down its tools and demanding a new work-to-rule program.

After a warm shower, it became evident that my neck was working the minimum hours required on a very basic contract. It involves one movement, and one movement only. Facing straight ahead with a slight tilt forward. I’ve attempted to begin discussions on a new workplace agreement with two of the key players (Messrs. Left and Right) but they have informed me just a moment ago that they are at a gridlock, and will only arrive with a wince. Messrs. Up and Down continue to refuse to enter discussions, they’re going to get back to me when they’ve finished their stop work meeting.

I dropped the children at school this morning after performing a range of activities in a squatting position. As I pulled up at the school gates I could see my girlfriend in my rear view mirror. A minute later I was at the traffic lights when she sent a text. I knew she was somewhere behind me and to the left.

“How’s the neck?”

“I’d turn around and wave at you, but I can’t”.

If the light change had been longer I would have been able to suggest that at least it was my neck on strike and not my nose. You know what you have to do when your nose goes on strike?


The protest is no surprise. The neck has been hinting for awhile that working conditions were unacceptable. I’ve been “going to” go and get a remote keyboard for months. Colleagues (my husband) have looked at my work environment eg. laying in bed with a laptop on my chest, and suggested a black ban on laptops while in horizontal positions. I didn’t like the alternative arrangements that were offered, being horizontal without a laptop in our house can be dangerous.

I’m currently in the middle of some collective bargaining between posture, muscle relaxants and ergonomic change. I’ll get back to you when we’ve reached an agreement, but I have a feeling chocolate and wine will factor heavily with negotiations.

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