It turns out, we're told today, that we were originally slated to go through this process this time last year but T.Aldous cited problems with staff availability due to staff sickness (we're sick of him) and school holiday activities (but hey, we're only providing a front-line service to the public). It was subsequently postponed to some undefined autumn period but "I only found out in December that we were going to have it in February this year." Then "we had it rescheduled to September as that would be better for us but now for some reason it is going to be this month with Mary having the first of our evaluation interviews this morning."
So get this: we've had at least a year's notice of this happening, have won at least three postponements and have done absolutely sod all about preparing anyone for something which could have serious financial consequences for low-paid staff. The one consolation, I suppose, being that the library assistants are so badly paid there's nowhere to downgrade to.
In briefing those members of staff not having to staff the counter or enquiry desk or answer telephones T.Aldous spends half an hour telling us that none of this is his fault and listing the emails he's received on the subject from Human Resources, citing date and timestamps for that added touch of authenticity. He spends precisely no time whatever telling us what we need to be doing.
Could library assistants get together to make sure that they're singing from the songsheet and not accidentally doing themselves down by underestimating the value of the work that they're doing. Our Leader replies:
"They've got together at Dutch Bend and Catty but I don't know what's happening here."
How about support during the evaluation interviews?
"Your line manager will be in there with you. You could ask a union official to accompany you but they'll be too busy."
And then the classic:
"I'm only here telling you this because Human Resources wouldn't make more briefing sessions available this month."
And there was me thinking he was telling us because he's paid to manage the service and the staff providing it.