Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The big fish, small fish ratio


I was saying a few weeks ago that I was tired of conflict, but have now come to the conclusion that it is unavoidable, almost on a daily basis.

Everyone is unwittingly placing themselves in confrontational situations, purely to safeguard their own arses. This especially applies to the workplace, and it especially applies to these troubled times of economic crisis, when a lifetime's worth of work (if you leave school now, you will not get a pension until you are 75) ends with the stark realisation that a pension of any kind is not guaranteed, even if you have been putting £30 per week into a private one.

I think all that anyone wants to do is eat and pay the bills in the most enjoyable way possible, but 40+ hours per week surrounded and pushed about by hungry and competitive colleagues is rarely conducive to human happiness. The young do not understand this, because all they know is what they have had to endure from the beginning. For them this is normal, and any aspirations to any sort of 'fulfilment' is considered a luxury which they cannot afford. 'Be thankful you have a job at all', were the very words said to a friend of mine when she asked to be given a tiny raise to the minimum wage at a famous clothes retailer. She was over 40 years old at the time.

Years ago I said that every aspect of life in Britain was being taken over by managers, and these people - once enthroned - are very difficult to shift from their positions, either physically or ideologically. They write their own contracts, you see. They formulate their own job descriptions just before describing yours. Even their employers can't easily shift them. In the banking world, when they are ignominiously sacked, they are also given a six-figure bonus on top of their pensions.

Now my question is, could this be blamed on the E.U.? The other - more pressing - question is, if we leave the E.U. along with all the legislation to do with reforming the lives of ordinary working people, could the managers revert back to enforcing long hours for low pay at the same time as reinforcing their own positions in the commercial world? It's worth thinking about, because the business world is not going to talk about these ramifications. It is one small consideration hidden amongst a bewildering set of others which we don't have too long to think about.

Today I am going to a workplace which has recently been taken over by a power-hungry, territorial and frightened group of back-biters (it's a dangerous mix), but instead of quietly getting on with it as I have been doing for many years there, I am going to confront any obstacles I encounter from recently installed managers with the words, "If you think that I serve no valuable purpose here, then go and speak to the estate manager about it, but for the meantime, leave me alone."

Of course, I know that they cannot do what I do, otherwise they would already be doing it, but they don't. At my age, I have to be careful, because I cannot afford to wait for the time it would take the client to realise that they cannot easily replace me.

26 comments:

  1. I found the above photo when I was looking for pictures using the word 'manager' as a source. God, I am so easily distracted...

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  2. I think you work where I work. The back biting and power plays are all new here and I'm really depressed about it. Someone told me not to sell out though and stay true to myself. Do my job and don't get involved in the power plays.

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  3. There are EU laws and UK laws, many are covered twice. The EU Human Rights laws is a case in point, where if we abandoned it, UK Human Rights would simply take over, minus some silly bits about not being able to repatriate foreign criminals. The minimum wages and maximum hours are already built into UK law.

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    1. As are the HSE, Mines&Quarries/Shops&Factories Acts ...the 'stayers' would have us believe the UK is some underdeveloped throwback that can't wipe it's own arse...

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    2. Oh good. I'll stop thinking about it then.

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  4. As long as you can do something they can't - and I believe that - it is alright.
    At the moment I see some young people working from 8:30 a.m. to 11p.m., midnight and sometimes 2 in the morning - for a career promise. That's no life.

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    1. Yes, but they must understand what I can do that they cannot, and vice versa. I had 2 good but boring meetings today. these may or may not help. I have decided to include everyone else in as much fun as I have there, because they seem to want it. They'll learn.

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  5. One thing delights me more than anything Tom - I am retired, I am on a pension and I can do as I like. Nobody can take that away (can they?)

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    1. I think you are safe, Weave - don't worry, carry on having fun!

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    2. Me too, Weave.

      If that's beer Tom, it looks a bit flat !

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    3. If that's beer, it's English ale which is always flat - and warm.

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  6. In my line of work, there's an expectation that we are available 24/7. Um, no, I'm not, and it's getting harder to find people who actually believe me when I say no.

    My current work project has been insane from the beginning. The client tells us what they want, we tell the client what we need to do what they want, and they tell us we don't need it. Um, yes, we do.

    Make bricks without straw. Carve stone without a chisel. Or stone.

    And then we get blamed because we are not producing what they want when they want it. We say we'll be happy to do so when we have the tools. They ask what they are. We tell them (as they've insisted on supplying them). They don't supply them and wonder why nothing's getting done.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

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    1. When the accountants get involved in procuration, that's what happens. My client does not ask for corners to be cut, but they try and cut them anyway, thinking that this is their job. They have a budget of millions, but try to save a few pounds. 'What a GOOD boy I am!'.

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  7. I am very thankful that I do a lot of my work from home. I do however with with some very challenging young people .

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    1. All young people are challenging or should be. If they are not, then there's something wrong with them.

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  8. I've just noticed a pint of beer on the desk - or could it be tea? I hope the former.

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  9. Oh no - Rachel's gone AWOL again.

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    1. John came and rescued me.again

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    2. Good old John. I'll re-visit tomorrow.

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  10. After many decades of different career choices and workplace atmospherics and office politics (even in workplaces without offices) I am now within a month of retiring. For good.

    Having made this decision to leave all that, and to open the door to whatever freedom of choice might mean, has made me particularly sensitive to some of the dramas that I've seen go on daily at work, and to be particularly glad to have recently had the pleasure to be working in a place with a varied cast of characters who really do know how to be part of team.

    Yes, it's grand to be collecting happy memories before retiring.

    (Those were some scary tales in your previous post about heavy lifting and moving while creating beauty.)

    Take care, Tom.

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    1. It's a scary life. Ah retiring... now there's a thought. What would I do, apart from write 10 times more of this shite?

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