Early in the
Twenty-First Century, depression-related, long
term staff sickness became a major problem for
employers. Small companies with few employees,
such as my own, could be particularly disabled by
the absence of even one or two key individuals.
When both Mr Jones
from Finance and Miss Peterson from Despatches
succumbed, I resolved to understand which factors
in their lives influenced their moods. I hoped
that I could emulate mood enhancing experiences
within the work environment and hence promote a
more emotionally robust workforce.
I talked at length
to these employees and discovered that both were
members of historical re-enactment societies.
Furthermore, it was this element of their lives
which contributed overwhelmingly to their
Mr Jones would
spend many hours polishing and enhancing his
Roman legionary armour. He would fight campaigns
with first century comrades, authentically
experiencing the hardships of long marches,
tented accommodation, basic food, strenuous
labour and battle. Similarly, Miss Peterson would,
weekly, endure the stringencies of being a
kitchen maid in a medieval castle, yet feel all
the better for it.
I commented that
pursuit of these pastimes seemed hugely more
demanding and time consuming than employment.
They agreed, but explained that re-enactments
were not real life and so did not
provoke the stress and anxiety of workaday
activity quite the opposite.
It was this
revelation together with the impending collapse
of my company - precipitated by the absence of Mr
Jones and Miss Peterson - that led to my new and
radical strategy. I closed my business as a
registered company and re-established it as an Industrial
Manufacturing Re-enactment Society.
The affect was
immediate. Existing staff continued in their old
roles with new enthusiasm and commitment. I was
overwhelmed by volunteers wishing to enact the
roles of production line operatives, faithful in
every detail to the best of earlier employees. Mr
Jones and Miss Peterson even forwent the first
and sixteenth centuries to embrace this new
society with gusto. The obsession of society
members was such that I felt obliged to insist
they went home at evenings and weekends and try
to include other non-society activities in their
from production and from the public visiting our
factory to enjoy the spectacle of industrial
organisations soon followed. The rest is history.
Popular with the
public remain Saturday Night City Centre Pubs
Turning-Out Re-enactment Societies, as
police and youths recreate pitched battles
between officers and drunken yobs, always
stopping at 10.30 pm so participants can enjoy
the camaraderie of a pint together before
churches are full as Religious Re-enactment
Societies have allowed people to enjoy the
formal and social aspects of religious
communities without the mental anguish of
evaluating their doctrinal veracity.
The incidence of
infectious diseases remains low due to Hospital
Cleaning Re-enactment Societies, drawing on
the principles of Florence Nightingale.
And, of course,
people are able to spectate at all these events
due to Public Transport Re-enactment
Societies founded on long lost Victorian
Now, in the mid
Twenty-First Century, all commercial,
governmental and personal activities are
undertaken as re-enactments. Commitment and
quality is first class, but nothing is considered
as real, and so stress-related mental health
problems have been eliminated.
Britain has become
a true 'Re-enactment Society'.