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

Monday, July 13, 2009

I never wear buttons but I got a cool hat

A minor mutiny in the Branch Managers' meeting this morning. They will not take minutes of their meeting. It is not in their contract. Salome, attending the meeting as a representative of the Junior Management Team, tried to talk some sense into them.

"Do you want to have these meetings?"


"Well in that case you'll have to take minutes of the meeting to show what was discussed and anything that needs to be taken up and addressed elsewhere."

"But we haven't got time to write minutes."

"Make the time. If the meetings are important enough for you to come along to them, and for people to take the time to make the arrangements to provide cover for you at your libraries then they're important enough for one of you to take the minutes."

"Can we take the minutes and get somebody else to write them up?"

"No. I've been told we're not to dump any more work on Maudie. She's busy sorting out the materiel for your summer holiday activities."

"Well, it doesn't say anything in my contract about doing secretarial duties."

"I think you'll find that your job description says: 'Any other duties required by the Library Service.'"

Eventually one of them got fed up and volunteered to take the minutes. Salome made a point of telling them that they wouldn't be required to do them next time, too. This went down a storm with the others.

Salome told me about this afterwards. I couldn't understand the problem: the Branch Managers in the other areas of the Borough take the minutes of their own meetings and have never made much of a drama about it to my knowledge. They just take turns in alphabetical order and get on with it.

"What? Even little libraries like Glass Road?"

"Yes, even little libraries like Glass Road."

A few 'phone calls confirmed this. Salome is now determined that there should be no question of the Branch Managers in her area not doing similar. Quite right, too, even Policy Group minute their own meetings these days.

Of course, there is always that element of doubt. Salome, like me, is all too aware that everything is optional in this Library Service. If somebody decides they don't like something they can not do it and nothing will happen. Quite the reverse, in fact, the bollocking generally go to the people who try to get things done. Hey ho.


Lavinia said...

I really lament the demise of the skill known as short-hand. Once upon a time it was de rigeur. And I happen to be from that time. I can take shorthand as fast as anyone can talk. Alas, I am not free to attend your meetings!

PI said...

I'm excused form taking minutes 'cos no-one - including me can read my writing. Alas.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Lavinia: I could never get to grips with the full Pitman, no matter how much my mum tried to teach me (she had us typing from an early age). I can speed-write well enough to get most discussions on the page. Especially in our organisation, where ideas aren't exactly swift.

Sneaky Pat!

Madame DeFarge said...

I love taking minutes. I give every lazy person actions and avoid giving any to me. It's total power.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Quite so, Madame. I always reckon that the person taking the minutes has the most power at the meeting as they're the ones who determine what was decided and who's going to do it. I have to stop myself from volunteering as I don't think it's healthy any more.