Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nice work if you can get it....?

In yesterday's paper we had a report of a civil servant of AP rank in the Department of Defence who was paid €80,000 a year to do nothing except sit on his hole reading the paper. More here.

Has the world gone mad?

Eighty fucking grand? To read the fucking paper? Ah come on now.

I'll do it for forty. No quibbling!

Ok, so there are underlying causes such as harassment which can occur at all levels, and to be fair to him his complaint to his Personnel Officer about being idle went unheeded, but it does raise the question of how many civil servants are sitting doing nothing in single-occupancy offices. Heck, there are many in open-plan areas doing fuck all!

I'm not one of these by the way. I have a wide area of responsibility and rarely get a moment to myself. I'm also not in a position to be idle, given that my desk and computer monitor are visible from a wide area and by many people at any one time. I'm not senior ( by way of rank or tenure) enough to hold the coveted corner desk within my unit which guarantees privacy for the incumbent to surf the net, watch DVDs and follow auctions on eBay. This prime location belongs to a HEO who, funnily enough, likes to delegate a lot of stuff to the EOs. A HEO who's not very fast with the Alt and Tab when I approach with a form to be signed off or a question, so I can usually see what's on the screen, or I can just glance at the task bar. Invariably, it is something completely frivolous. Nice work if you can get it, eh?

It's demoralising for those of us in the lower ranks who are not afforded these luxuries of time and optimum accommodation, and who actually do stuff.

But it's not restricted to the public sector, might I add. I had a manager in the private sector who used to spend hours on the boardroom phone talking to her daughter in New Zealand. On company time, at company expense. She was never taken to task about it. I think the bandages on the Managing Director's head had something to do with that.

I've said it before, in hierarchical organisations the higher up you go the less you have to do. So Bord Snip and dear old Lenno would do well to focus on many of the useless layers of middle and senior management when considering how to make cuts. Fuck it, the EOs and SOs run the bloody places anyway!

P.S. I'm not at work right now by the way!

No comments: