Here in Bangkok, there are elevated roads called Expressways. You pay a toll to use them.Working at the toll gates is a terrible job. Staff sit for hours on end reaching out of a window with their right arm to grab cash being paid by drivers.
The same movement again and again.
Many of the staff wear supports on their arms. Quite often it's obvious that they can hardly move their hands. Reduced to a claw-like grip when they take your money.
I am sure many end up with chronic pain and maybe unable to continue working.
But what can they do? They are poorly paid workers with little power to change their working conditions. No chance the Expressway management is going to redesign the toll booths. Or carry out an ergonomic study to reduce repetitive strain.
No, the situation of Expressway staff is pretty much hopeless- they are doomed to disabling pain....
Or are they?
There is one guy who proves otherwise. We call him Wavey Davey.He is visible hundreds of metres before you get to the tolls. Because he is not sitting meekly in his booth, he is standing outside it.
And that's not the only thing that makes him stand out. Every time he takes cash from a driver, he swings his whole arm through 360 degrees over his head. Like a bowler in cricket. And all the time he is calling for the next car to move up, to keep in rhythm with his swinging arm.
No supports or braces for Wavey. He is like a ball of energy bouncing on his toes, dancing his way through his shift.
Wavey is a man who thinks out of the box.
He has discovered his own answer to repetitive strain - turn small movements into big ones.
I bet some people laugh at him. But I don't. He's got RSI sussed - that is genius!