You want me to do what?!
Yep, you guessed it – it’s another guest post which has been sent in to us, and trust us when we say it’s a doosie! If you have your own amusing anecdote or serious point to make about local government or life within it you can send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org – especially if it’s anything like this…
A few weeks ago my service head asked me to put together a Powerpoint presentation which covered everything that’s gone on in the department over the last year: our achievements, savings programmes, what projects we’re leading on, what is going to happen next year, and so on. Of course, this request came in at the last-minute – why would I need any time to research it properly and speak to the many people I needed information from? But that isn’t where the fun begins.
Nor does it begin when her only comments on the first draft I sent through read ‘more positive survey results info please’ (pretty much those exact words), or even when she actually did give me proper feedback and it consisted mainly of requests for information that she knew full well didn’t exist.
No, the fun really began when I showed her the final draft the day before the presentation, and was told ‘this is great, but what I want is for the notes to be hand-written’.
Let’s let that sink in, shall we?
The notes, which I’ve already typed up and are much neater than any hand-writing could be, are to be hand-written. I point out that I have the handwriting of a 4 year-old with learning disabilities. I ponder with her the dangers of having one copy – what if it gets lost or damaged and then has to be rewritten again? To no avail. They are to be hand-written. I mean, what other work could I possibly have to do that would take precedence over writing these notes out?
‘Oh, get someone else to do it’, comes her advice. So I do ask one of the team administrators to do it (more of an apology than a request), and they have the same reaction as any sane person would. It’s embarrassing. It’s a palpable waste of time.
So it gets done, and done far more legibly than if I had scribbled it. And my service head is very happy with the final product. After all, I am nothing if not a loyal servant (albeit one who then tells all in a blog). The only possible explanation is that she wanted it to look like she had written her own notes.
Which, quite frankly, is ridiculous.
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