Saturday, August 11, 2007

Anal prob-ation

I had yet another probationary review recently. Apparently I joined the civil service too soon - if I had started around a year ago, my probation would only last a year. For me, it's two years, ending in a few months. So I have to keep my nose clean until then. I just wipe it on forms anyway.

Apparently I'm doing fine, even if certain work practices that I adopt don't really meet with the approval of my boss - but they are effective. The ends justify the means anyway, so fuck off boss.

I dread the day when I have to fill one of these new forms out for one of my staff (at the moment, they're all out of probation, but this may change), it's like a mini PMDS form where the supervisor not only has to give an overall rating on the scale of 1-5 (like the annual review stage), but also on each individual competency. It's several pages long, and has to be signed off on by the jobholder before being submitted to Personnel for filing. In a dusty file that'll only be opened again when the jobholder retires, commits suicide, gets welded to a toilet seat or explodes.

Is it any wonder the civil service is such a slow moving monolith of an organisation, when all this internal stuff gives so many people so much to do. I sometimes wonder if there isn't a toilet paper requisition for when you want to do a poo at work (which, if you have read my previous postings, is a popular activity in my workplace).

I reckon there is an entire division of civil servants in the Department of Civil Service (wherever they are) who spend the day dreaming up new forms to keep themselves and thousands of others in jobs. Form Creation Division, it'll be called. It'll have round-the-clock tea breaks and incubation units for newborn forms. There'll be a Research and Development Unit, where forms will be stress tested, strapped to crash test dummies, set alight, shoved up a HEO's arse and thrown off a tall building. The only assessment that won't be done will be an Environmental Impact study on the number of forms to be binned because they have the wrong contact number or a tiny typo in the small print. This would prove the civil service to be one of the biggest producers of waste in the country.

And I'm not talking about the smell in the toilets.

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