I've been trying to avoid this one. Everyone else had had a turn and now I have to have a go. Kitty, one of the Early Years Librarians had an eye test a few weeks ago, during which the optician told her that the council might pay for the test. Like any sensible person (which should preclude anybody working for Helminthdale Libraries) she contacted Human Resources to see if she could apply.
"Do you use computers a lot?"
"Not a lot but I do use one every day."
"Have you got an email address?"
"Then you're eligible."
Frog line manages the Early Years Librarians so Kitty let him know she's had an eye test and that HR reckon the council would pay for it. Not having access to any funding, Frog had to ask Mary for the money. The rest is inevitable. Mary, being worried that if one person gets a free eye test they'll all want one is asking anybody she can think of whether they agree with her that Kitty isn't eligible for one. This is standard library management strategem #6: if you don't like the answer you're given, keep asking round until somebody gives you the answer you want.
Those asked so far are divided between the "don't knows" and those, like me, with enough experience to ask: "what's corporate policy on this?"
I have some sympathy with the "where is the money coming from?" concern, but not enough to be on Mary's side:
(a) If it's corporate policy then it's inescapable. The question really is "where is the money coming from?" not "can I stop this expenditure?"
(b) If it's a health and safety concern and a legitimate low-cost way of valuing staff, why not embrace it? Why does everything involving staff benefits have to be a battle of attrition?
(c) Is it really a good idea to be putting the blocks on expenditure on eye tests for staff at the same time as library management is encouraging the ordering of any old shit to make sure that budgets are spent up?