Digital Chinese Whispers


It’s a competitive world out there, and with recent events and the coming months it’s only going to get more so.  As with anyone brought up in the world of cricket and fair play, I would like to think it’ll be a level playing field for all concerned, with support being given by colleagues for applications and interview preparations, the best candidates getting the jobs and a no-hard-feelings mentality should one be pipped to the post.

I’m not that naïve however, and something happened today to highlight the lengths that some people will go to in order to gain an edge.

A colleague, who shall remain entirely nameless, left our team some time ago on a secondment to work in a related field in central government.  Once they had left they proceeded to insult local government every opportunity they got, and vowed never to return to the petty, bureaucratic nonsense and political point scoring that it entailed (their thoughts, not mine).

That, of course, was before the elections and subsequent reviews.  They since had their secondment finished and weren’t able to secure a suitable role in central government or anywhere else, so have had to accept that they are returning from whence they came.  However, they are no doubt going to continue applying elsewhere in the hope of leaving us behind once again to go on to bigger and better things in their eyes.

While they were with us, our team worked on a nationally recognised project and have been cited as one of the best around.  One colleague in particular did just about all of the work to set it up (and a damn fine job they did too), building it up from a concept and set of ideas to a fully realised set of projects and events, involving thousands of local people and worth millions of pounds.  Their blood, sweat and tears went into ensuring that people honestly came from around the world to see how we did things.

This project was figure-headed by our director, who as well as pushing to get it off the ground championed it at a strategic level and ensured that it was able to flourish and thrive.  Between these two people great things happened in our area, and local people enjoyed real and practical benefits which improved their lives.

Of course, we all chipped in and did our bit.  I myself attended and helped out at many of the events, as did the rest of the team, but all references, plaudits and credit goes back to these two people.

Imagine my surprise therefore when I opened a page on an influential newspapers website to read quotes from the ‘architect’ of this project and their hopes and ambitions for the future development of it – all of which came from none other than our friend, the secondee.  In the piece they were quoted as the voice of the project, and came across as the person in charge of how it all worked.  The fact that every word they said was contrary to many conversations and arguments that have been had in the past is almost neither here nor there – it is just brazen lying in my book.

It is one thing to pad your CV out with some extra gumpf, I’m sure more and more people will be looking to do exactly that in the coming months.  Turning ‘shelf stacking’ into ‘stock monitoring and replenishment’ is par for the course, but to use a contact in the press to not just associate yourself with a successful project but to be quoted as responsible for it smacks of digital fraud.

In this day and age of the internet more and more people are using it to check up on candidates and see what they have really done in the past.  If this person uses this and other tactics to get a job over those who actually have done the work then something isn’t right, it’s immoral and dishonest.

In fact it simply isn’t cricket.

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8 Comments on “Digital Chinese Whispers”

  1. localgov Says:

    Incidentally, I was sent the link to the news story by a number of different colleagues, all of whom felt the same way about it and couldn’t believe they had the cheek to do this.

    It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way!


  2. Does this simply remind us of the old adage… Don’t believe everything you read in the papers!


  3. [...] A raw and outraged blog post from We Love Local Government on the “immoral and dishonest” behaviour of a senior colleague who having belittled the organisation while on secondment to central government, then returned to [...]


  4. [...] A raw and outraged blog post from We Love Local Government on the “immoral and dishonest” behaviour of a senior colleague who having belittled the organisation while on secondment to central government, then returned to [...]


  5. [...] A raw and outraged blog post from We Love Local Government on the “immoral and dishonest” behaviour of a senior colleague who having belittled the organisation while on secondment to central government, then returned to [...]


  6. [...] will clam up around us for fear of online questioning or ridicule (not that we are nasty that is, unless it’s well deserved).  We also open ourselves up to the kind of attacks that #Baskers unwittingly and undeservedly was [...]


  7. [...] lead us to making mistakes in the name of chasing success, of profiting from others misfortunes and putting ourselves above others to get to where we need to [...]


  8. [...] not just the media which we like to have a good rant about either.  When a ‘colleague’ took credit for another’s work we felt justified in making a point, although it didn’t appear to get through as we had to [...]


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