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

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dancing in the dark

We're going to Hell in a handcart. It's not like we've not got the people, or the resources, or the commitment to our service. It's just that we don't know what the blue blazes we're doing or why.

So we struggle to make sure that the doors stay open because the opening hours were established quarter of a century ago and nothing's been done to either recruit to these peculiar hours or reorganise the hours to try to match staffing resources to market demand. We have the time-and-motion people in to check us out on the day when we're double-staffed upstairs (due to our also having the staff from the branches that had that day cut from their opening hours in the eighties) and every Tuesday morning there's a Borough-wide panic because there'll be one person on holiday and there's nobody to provide cover.

When we're not pratting about with the timetables we're skittering off in all directions doing things that we hope will improve services, or ameliorate known deficiencies, or meet new agendas that we've heard about by circuitous means or because they're interesting or fun things to do.

And what of our senior managers? They're sulking in their tent, stewing while we caper and lark and generally take the piss out them. I've never worked anywhere that is so openly derisive of its management. Or a management that has so deserved it. Which is a shame as they're not stupid, they're not evil, they really do want to do a good job of things. I just can't understand why they can't see that if they don't engage positively with their staff they can't get the buy-in they keep talking about. Or that saying "thank you" collectively and publicly is worth a million vacuous statements about valuing their staff. Or...

Oh what's the point? We are where we are and the prospects are only gloomier.

Frog, who has a madly idealistic commitment to providing the best services for children that he could possibly manage, summed it up as we left the premises.

"It's an awful thing to have to admit: these days I'm only coming into work for the craic."


Gadjo Dilo said...

Frog is once again my hero: if he's "only coming into work for the craic" then presumably he isn't getting paid for his services to the children of Helminthdale.

Affer said...

I really feel for you and your colleagues. In the Public Sector generally, there are very few leaders - the terrible thing is, why would anyone with that key management attribute want to dedicate themselves to such a suet-pudding of a career. I remember a Consultants report which began: "I have done a Critical Path Analysis. The situation is a) Critical and b)you are leading everybody up the garden Path.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Gadjo: he'll be being paid a lot less once the new pay scales kick in!

Affer: a colleague swears that they had a peer review involving IDeA and a bunch of chief librarians and that in their presentation to the Chief Executive of the corporation they said: "We would like to flag up a few positive points about the decision-making process in this local authority and how these would affect the development of this library service. We really would. And we've spent a week looking. But we couldn't find any decision-making."

Gadjo Dilo said...

He'll still be paid a lot more than I am, and I certainly don't get no craic.