Having a bad day? At least you don't have to hold your head on with one hand

Brit tree surgeon returns to work after grisly encounter with chainsaw 21 feet above the ground

Had a bad day at work lately? Whether it was your fault or someone else's, was there one day you felt as if you could barely hold it together?

You'll survive; you'll recover; you might even go back to work after a night's or a weekend's rest more optimistic than before.

Because you'll remember the story about Tom Connelly, a 21-year-old British tree surgeon whose job it was to climb tall trees with a chainsaw and cut away diseased or unwanted limbs.

In April, 20 feet up in a tree in the deeply rural village of Guyhirn in Cambridgeshire, (never mind; here's the map) Connelly's feet slipped and he fell face-forward onto the saw, nearly severing one arm and his head.

"It was an everyday job, but I slipped off my chainsaw irons onto my saw. I managed to hit it with my neck, unfortunately, severing most of the vessels. I cut through my jugular vein," he said during interviews after he returned to the job this week.

The saw cut a third of the way through Connelly's neck, nearly beheading him.

Colleagues on the ground pulled him down from the tree while Connelly held his head in place with his one good hand to slow the bleeding and keep from doing any more damage.

He was flown by helicopter to a more specialized hospital than was available locally, where doctors did nerve grafts that should return 90 percent of the mobility in his arm, repaired his neck and later told him the saw cut to within a millimeter of his carotid artery, which would have caused him to bleed to death too quickly for either his arborist crew or local EMTs to do anything about.

"I later realized I'd nearly cut my head off, so I am incredibly lucky to be here today," Connelly told the Daily Mail.

"He has always been accident-prone," according to his mother, Debbie.

What does this have to do with information technology?

Not a thing.

But it does give you a good story to tell the next time you're looking for some way to distract a user who is telling you everything except what you need to know, or keeps wanting firm details on a project plan that consists more of a headline in a PowerPoint presentation than a set of scheduled executables.

And the next time an upgrade or repair or reinstall gets screwed up because computers are both telepathic and malicious and know when you don't have time for that kind of thing – it will give you something to compare to how bad your day has been.

And a tip that's useful for every occasion: No matter what else happens, always keep one hand free in case you need to hold your head on.

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