A local council worker, Noel Werktodo, has been honoured at the monthly council meeting by being awarded with the prestigious title, “Lollipop man who took the most smoko breaks in a month.”
Mr Werktodo has shattered the previous record, held by the men who are repairing the Great Wall car dealership, with 679 smoko breaks in the month of November. Mr Werktodo told the Eastern Advocate that he was very proud of his accomplishment. “If you average that out, it’s almost 23 smoko breaks a day. I take about 10 minutes for smoko, so that’s just under 4 hours of smoko a day.”
In an effort to encourage more lollipop sign-holders to aim high and beat Mr Werktodo’s record, council are now instituting overtime pay for those on ‘smoko’. Spokesperson for Bathurst Council, Peter Siddle, said that the initiative will instil aspirations in council workers. “People should always have something to aim for. Our lollipop men and women are great at taking smoko breaks. Why shouldn’t we utilise their talents instead of fighting against it?” The plan is estimated to cost the Bathurst council over $800 million for December alone.
Some in the Bathurst community are questioning the productivity effects this move will have on workers who already strive to spend as little time working as possible. Local resident Shelley Shell, who owns a thriving business that sells sea shells, said that the council idea will “destroy any chance we have of getting those bloody people to do some work. It’s already so rare to see them doing something. Every time I drive past a council worker actually using a shovel, I ring my husband up and we go to Hawaii to celebrate. We haven’t been since 2008.”