We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

From the dew-soaked vetch

One of the peculiarities of this place is that we are always trembling on the Apocalypse but we never actually get to there. Mind you, given that we never get anything done and dusted it ought not to be surprising that we never get round to the end of the world.

Each day we wonder if, and how, we'll be keeping the doors open at all our libraries. We'll get by by having the caretaker lend a hand on the counter or the reference enquiry desk at Helminthdale Central. Or staff on rigorously-fixed hours that can on no account be tweaked for fripperies like doctor's appointments, or funerals, take thirty minutes for their lunch hour at three o'clock. We're not buying the stock we should be: not enough is being ordered, which is as well as the Acq. Team are down in numbers again, and anyway the orders and invoices aren't being signed. Most service developments are on hold: lack of staff time, lack of resources, uncertain economic times, but mostly the dither and lack of direction of senior managers. Staff are demoralised, spread thinly and expected to deliver much, looking forward to next year's pay cuts and working in an organisation that drifts from one crisis to the next and in which you don't know if you've ever done a good job but get to hear about it quickly enough if you've made a mistake.

So we spend another year tottering about on the knife edge of oblivion. And what of our fearless leaders? What stirring words of spiritual uplift and confidence-building import pass their lips? Do they speak of sunlit uplands? Do they gird our loins for battles ahead? Do they swaddle us in their confidence in our capacities and capabilities?



It upsets me greatly to see our staff being sold down the river by a feckless and dilatory management team. It would be diabolically awful if they were doing it on purpose. The fact that they're doing it by default just makes it so much worse.

8 comments:

PI said...

It must be hideously frustrating.
I've got a picture of the tall yellow flowers to see if you can name them. No pressure:)

Webrarian said...

Due note taken. Tomorrow I shall start talking about the sunlit uplands. Again. For the umpteenth time.

I do try. But it's hard when it feels as if you're the only one who is...

Kevin Musgrove said...

Pat: it is. I'll have a dekko at your flowers.

Fair do's Chris, you're not on your own. But you are an endangered minority!

Madame DeFarge said...

I am now going to join both my local libraries in an act of random guilt.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Good on you Madame! (-:

Affer said...

It has been my experience that the absence of demonstrable good management across the Public Sector can largely be blamed on the mania for 'Meetings' and 'Communications Strategy'. Endlessly I have seen and heard Managers use the excuse of a full diary of meetings to justify the absence of real management, whilst the apparent 'need to consult with a wider audience' is too frequently the block to proper, timely action. One effective cure might be to line a whole bookshelf with copies of The Peter Principle.........

emu said...

It's always unsettling when you hear that an organisation's got a "communications strategy" or an "equal opportunities strategy" and even scarier when they have a "strategy for success."

You'd like to think they were givens.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Affer: welcome! That does, sadly, sound just like the voice of experience.

emu: you old cynic!