Queue up for shoe shine is Writers’ new mantra

The Statesman

KOLKATA, 6 MAY: There was quite a buzz in the corridors of  Writers’ Buildings as enthusiastic employees formed long queues in front of the two newly installed shoe polishing machines giving work culture a toss. They were seen polishing only their shoes and bags but even took off their belts to get a shine even as some of the users not familiar with its functioning kicked the machines worth Rs 15,000 each to make them work.

The state public works department today installed two shoe-polishing machines in front of the VIP corridor and behind the chief minister’s office. As news of the arrival of the machines spread, employees took a break from work to try their expertise at shoe polishing.

Queuing up in front of the machines, some employees even took off their shoes and held the pair in front of the machine for a better shine. Some visitors who had come to meet the ministers were also found using the machines. The excitement, however, died down soon after it was found that the shoe polish had run out of stock, obviously due to the over-enthusiasm of the employees.

An employee said that the cobblers of the area will now have a hard time due to the free shoe polish facility at office.

Although such machines are common in the government offices of Delhi, it is first of its kind in the state. Banga Bhavan possesses one such machine. Interestingly, Banga Bhavan authorities decided to purchase the shoe-polishing machine after it was found that guests used bed sheets to polish their shoes as a result of which linen had to be purchased on a monthly basis.

According to an official of the PWD, the move was undertaken to provide better service to the government employees. The department plans to install 12 such shoe-polishing machines at various locations in Writers’ Buildings. Out of which two are to be installed in the second floor soon. A section of the officials consider this to be an unnecessary expenditure particularly when the state government is going through a severe financial crunch. Officials of the PWD, however, said the machines were procured from some additional funds.

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