The Architect builds my anger up


Et tu, Architect?!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog piece which introduced you all to a semi-colleague who took credit for an excellent piece of work under false pretences.  Well, I am now able to bring you round two of the saga.

Before I go any further I want to say that this is not meant to be a blog about venting personal grievances.  I will not name them, no matter what the bribe is, and will try not to get too worked up about the whole thing.  I’ve chosen to write about it and share because I get the ever growing impression that this is becoming less and less an isolated incident in the public sector, which worries me.

As regular readers will know, there are many restructures happening in local government at the moment due to the Comprehensive Spending Review, one of which I am now part of.  The work I am responsible for and have been delivering with the help of an excellent team is moving over to another service area entirely, and I am the only one of my team who has been given the chance to follow it.

So, to keep it simple I am eligible to apply to do my job, as are six others from other parts of the council (it’s a big restructure).  All of these have rightful claims to the job and have dealt with the issue in an amicable (if slightly strained) way.

The last person up for it is our friend, The Architect (whose moniker I shall henceforth jargonise to TA).  As you may recall, TA has been on secondment to central government for some time, and wanted to stay there permanently.  We  were all recently sent the proposals for our restructure, and have been invited to make our comments.Suffice to say that TA’s comments have not only lived up to expectations; they have by far surpassed them.  The levels of vindictiveness and spite exhibited by some of their comments makes me wonder whether I have a form of amnesia and we were previously married, splitting up in the most acrimonious of circumstances.  TA has in a four page response:

  • Questioned the need for a restructure (they missed the CSR from their central govt office I guess);
  • Implied that I have let my current team down by not ensuring they are part of the restructure;
  • Personally insulted the service head;
  • Slammed the proposed working arrangements;
  • Spread false information about my pay grade and status so as to remove me from the ring fenced pool
  • Again, tried to take credit for other people’s work and declared that they, personally, have been cited as a leader of best practice, and;
  • Try to open up the list of people applicable to the post to more individuals, some of whom are old friends form their days in the council.

These comments were sent to everyone involved in the restructure.

To say that I am not best pleased is something of an understatement.  To make these points personally to the Service Head in private would be one thing, but to send them round to the entire service is quite something else.  Regardless of the accuracy of most of them, the allegations it contains could seriously undermine my future standing and working relationships, should I be lucky enough to get the job at all.

I worry that this will become increasingly commonplace in the near future, with colleagues dragging others down in an effort to climb over them.  I understand jobs are scarce and people feel a need to have an edge over their opponents, but I’d much rather that edge was found through being better at them in some area, rather than stabbing them in the back and then suing them for getting blood on their clothes.

To take only one extract from their comments, I think that the Service Head might just do whatever they can to make sure that they get whatever it takes not to have to work with them.  I quote;

“In short this feels like a student cum graduate attempt at a restructure, rather than a senior professional attempt”

Right, that’s enough venting from me – time to go home and make a voodoo doll.

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6 Comments on “The Architect builds my anger up”

  1. Private Sector Sympathiser Says:

    TA’s days are definitely numbered….It sounds like she made a nursery cum primary school pupil’s response to what is an incredibly unfortunate and difficult situation!

    You’re not expected to be happy about potentially losing your job, but a little professionalism and sensitivity should certainly be a criteria for the new generation of local government workers. It’s such ignorance, self-interest and greed that have led to many of the decisions that have got the country into this mess after all!

  2. localgov Says:

    Oh, and thanks to one of my fellow bloggers who took out some of the harsher language and refrences in this post before it went up – otherwise it would have spiralled into a rant/rage cycle!


  3. [...] naive and we knew what was coming. However, the way it happened, the effect it had on previously reasonable colleagues and the trouble many Local Authorities had at making the whole thing stick was beyond our worst [...]


  4. [...] In fact, the only person who had nothing else besides this job (which is the position I was in) was The Architect, and you can guess my feelings as to [...]


  5. [...] There are an awful lot of very big issues facing local government at the moment which have been blogged about by ourselves and by many others far smarter and more linked in than we are.  There are also major issues facing individuals within services and teams which will affect their lives and future. [...]


  6. [...] we felt justified in making a point, although it didn’t appear to get through as we had to return to them later.  Even our DCLG masters have felt content to stick their boot in, from Grant Shapps to Eric [...]


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