It’s always the case…


Some things will forever be trueSome things in life are entirely random and unexpected – a thank you note from your manager for work well done, a smile from a waitress in the middle of lunch service, the order to take an early day on a Friday, just because it’s the weekend tomorrow. These are the things that put a smile on your face.

However, these are uncommon events; some things happen to be a little more regular. So on this Friday afternoon we thought we’d share a few things that we think are always the case. Feel free to add your own, either in the comments below or on Twitter (maybe using #alwaysthecase so we can share your ideas).

… The meeting where you haven’t printed the complicated spreadsheet is the one where it actually gets discussed in detail

… The meeting where you haven’t read the papers includes something that you really need to respond to

… The printer only breaks when you have less than 3 minutes to get your printing and get to the meeting

… You only ever have a full diary on the day when you have deadlines to meet

… When you have a day set aside to get a report done at home someone asks for a 30 minute meeting right in the middle of the day

… Budget forecasts in month one are always wrong and usually under-spent

… The food in the cafeteria is bad

… You colleague wants to talk about interesting but none work related issues when you’re busy, then when you want to talk about such stuff they are busy.

… Your pen breaks when you’re in a meeting you need the notes for and don’t have a spare pen on you.

… Only one person in the whole team knows how to use the projector and laptop – and so will be called out of all type of meetings just to help colleagues.

… The formatting on your report will be messed up by someone trying to review it.

… Someone talking rubbish will hijack your meeting.

… The IT service desk is engaged at exactly the moment you need it

…that no-one is ever too busy to tell you just how busy they are

…The whole department is in meetings or lunch with their phones ringing when you have a looming deadline

…When you are feeling creative you get stuck with a repetitive task

… Cllrs don’t read their briefings

… Managers want you to explain on a side of A4 what has taken you 6 months, several 100 page documents, countless meetings and many wiki searches to understand

… The bike gets a puncture on the one day you have to be in early for a meeting with a senior manager

…When you just want to switch your brain off you are asked to be innovative

…You knew where an essential file was kept on your last team’s shared drive which you can no longer access

…You’re ill on the day you have sickness management training

…The fire alarm goes in winter when you have just started a meeting and haven’t brought your coat

…You have a cracking idea for a blog post which you forget as soon as you sit in front of your keyboard

…You only realise you really get on well with a colleague the week before they leave

…You have to hold back the ‘I-told-you-so’ in a project post mortem

…You’ll only spot the typo in the expensively produced publication after you open the first box of 1000

…You’ll break your neck to get an urgent, top priority paper produced for a meeting tomorrow, only for it to be postponed

…A project team will bemoan an over complex process, then demand that each of their 27 actions and seven sign off procedures are followed in order to improve it

…When the balloon is squeezed in one place the air is shoved to another, a.k.a. roles cut from one team mysteriously start springing up under slightly different names elsewhere

…Rubbish staff who interview well will get jobs over great staff who don’t perform in front of a panel

… The one item on an agenda that you think isn’t controversial, and so you haven’t cleared with your manager, is controversial

… Everyone get upset by the Exec summary but forget that if they had read the report all their fears would be answered

… Residents don’t understand what you do

… Your partner doesn’t understand what you do (just us maybe?)

… You’ll get an emergence evening meeting on the one night in a blue moon when you have to be at home

…The last days of holiday are ruined by a burning need to check your inbox

…Weekdays are sunny, bank holidays are rainy

…Senior managers will cave to unreasonable demands from councillors

… You produce a report that upsets someone

… Some gets upset by scrutiny

… Someone forgets that a lot of Council meetings are public and then get scared

… In august things will be quiet as no one will be around

… The office will be too cold or too hot for the next few weeks

Remember, add your own below or tweet them with the hashtag #alwaysthecase

Welovelocalgovernment is a blog written by UK local government officers. If you have a piece you’d like to submit or any comments you’d like to make please drop us a line at: welovelocalgovernment@gmail.com

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3 Comments on “It’s always the case…”


  1. … No-one ever wants a cup of tea, until you offer to make one.

    … The photocopier only ever jams three pages before it’s finished a job.

    … Any proposal which is initially exciting gets blanded-up beyond all recognition within three management meetings

  2. Andrew Says:

    Any item in a meeting introduced with “This should only take a minute …” will occupy the next three hours.

  3. BigK Says:

    You are asked to chair a meeting as a one-off stand in and end up doing it permanently.


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