A Mr Kipling standard of performance
Today I thought I’d recount a little vignette from a newly trained accountant I met at one of those awkward Local Government conferences we sometimes go to.
This particular accountant works up north somewhere (I choose not to say) and during her training period (not too long ago) went to her manager and asked him for some new work; so far so keen.
However, this is not the private sector and the response made me smile.
The senior accountant looked a little shocked by the approach of his apprentice and quickly gathered together a few small pieces of work to pass on. No more was said of it for the next three months until it came time for the apprentice’s half year evaluation.
The manager was a hands off sort of guy and my apprentice friend did not have a lot to do with him. Imagine her surprise then when she received her evaluation form pre-meeting and it said:
xxxx is exceedingly keen; always willing to ask for more work…. etc
During the evaluation bit it became clear that to become ‘exceedingly keen’ all she had to do was ask her boss for work once every three months or so.
I mention this because I enjoy the story (it is sooo local government circa 1990) but also because it has real implications for staff currently facing redundancy.
Many of us in the public sector will be competing with our colleagues as teams of 5 become 3 and 20 become 14 or even 10.
As the competition for the remaining jobs intensifies all of us will be kept or made redundant based on the opinions of our managers (or their managers) and often the final interview in which we ‘apply’ for our jobs will be a confirmation of their prior views of us rather than a fresh sheet of paper. We can’t blame them; it’s only natural.
Thus, over the next few months I wouldn’t be surprised if more local government staff approached their managers and demonstrated that they are ‘exceedingly keen’ as well!