I love local newspapers. The Dorset Echo particularly. Especially when I come across all those “isn’t our local area the BEST” articles. Here’s a gem. Entitled, “What makes Dorset workers so happy?” the piece features interviews with ten local business people (possibly more, the nausea made it difficult to count). All of them talking about how amazing it is working in Dorset. Well, bully for you. So, your “average happiness rating” is seven out of ten, and the “vast countryside breeds contentment”. Gah. We’ve got art, culture, crime and Boris Johnson. Beat that. One café owner notes that he loves running his business in Dorchester, having worked in London for years. "It is a lovely happy environment and the customers are completely different from anything I had experienced in London,” he says. Is London really so bad? I decided this required further research, so I consulted last year’s City & Guild Happiness Index (pictured – and yes, such a document exists). Lo and behold, London is coded green for “below average happiness”. But aha! The southwest is only 0.09 points up. How does one measure happiness anyway? Regardless of what newfangled happiness barometer the survey people have invented, I still think Dorset-based florist Eileen Lewis’ comment that, “There are not many places that are better to work then Dorset” is a slight overstatement. Is that just in the UK, or in the world, Eileen? Where did the Dorset Echo find these preternaturally happy people? Are they on drugs? Were there bribes involved? Where’s the balance – the depressed pharmacist who’s being driven out of business by all these happy, healthy people? What I really want to know, readers, is whether you are happy? N.B. I’d particularly like to here from happy people in Scotland, coded blue for downright miserable.N.B.II Go Timpo. Yet another of your happy cobblers has piped up for Timpson. He says: "Something about the job gets me up in the morning and makes me want to come in every day. I work on my own but it is a busy shop and I really enjoy it."
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