You know you’ve worked in Local Government too long when…


Everyone receives e-mail circulars and usually they go straight in the recycling box. However, one of my friends from a neighbouring local authority sends circulars that require a comedic response which is sent to everyone.

And for some reason, I, and by the looks of it people from across our friendship groups find it difficult to ignore the temptation to respond. Not only is it ten times funnier than if it comes in a stupid circular but ten minutes thinking creatively about something different can get you over the hump in the road presented by a long afternoon of report writing.

All this is by way of intro to the funniest version of the game I have seen in months (popstars as fruit is good but nothing compared to this…): Participants were asked to complete the sentence: You know you’ve worked in Local Government too long when…

And these are my favourite responses (please if you see yourself remember this is an anonymous blog and don’t get too excitied!):

  You have to get a purchase order signed off by your mum before you can do the shopping

  When someone asks you what you want for your birthday you provide them with findings from a focus group and an evidence base

  You don’t talk of your next door neighbour but of a resident

  You know the exact person to contact when your bin isn’t collected (including which company the collection has been tendered to)

  You assume your community is defined by clear boundaries line set by a governmental body

  You ask your friends to fill in an equality monitoring form when they come to your party

  You don’t use stairs for fear of health and safety regulations

  You demand Gantt charts and RAG reports from your children’s school teachers

  You don’t have an invite list for a party, you have a range of stakeholders attending

  You start spouting jargon that you don’t understand

  You check out all the parking signs when you travel through the Borough, to check whether they are estates or on-street

  You smile at anyone in a high-vis vest in any authority doing any sort of work since “we’re all in this together”

  You set your Children performance indicators for their homework.

  You see chatting to the person next to you on the bus as a community engagement exercise

  When a friend offers you a lift you think ‘Ah, the Big Society in action!’….. then you CRB-check them

  You refuse to recognise a story as news until you’ve read it in an LGiU Briefing email

  You have to have three separate people sign off approval for you to send an email to your mother, to ensure it has the right policy and community positioning and doesn’t contradict previous correspondence on the matter

  You write all of your documents in the prescribed corporate font size and type for briefing notes, as anything else just doesn’t look right

  You put together a project plan for your own wedding and diligently update it until the event

  You go to a restaurant with friends and wonder aloud when the last Food Safety inspection was conducted

And the Creme de la creme:

You know you’ve been in local government too long when…

Your job title is longer than your address

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5 Comments on “You know you’ve worked in Local Government too long when…”

  1. localgov Says:

    By the way, the game isn’t over! If you have any other things we should watch out for to know we’ve been here too long, post a comment here and let us know.


  2. [...] really valuable to take a break and think about something different (which is where our excellent list of reasons that you know you’ve been in local government too long came from).  Here are some of my favourite ways that I’ve seen local authority staff waste [...]


  3. [...] in nature, dealing with ridiculous dress codes, badly judged e-mails or ways you can identify when you’ve been in local government too long.  We love sharing them too, so if you’ve got something you want to say then e-mail it to us [...]


  4. [...] people who didn’t know us to start reading – a simple little post entitled “You know you’ve worked in local government too long when…” went around the office and was also picked up by the Guardian (some of the comments on there [...]


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