Posted tagged ‘colleagues’

Spreading our wings

November 1, 2011

Staying in touch

Wise men say you should never go back.  Wise men also say that diamonds are only lumps of coal that stuck to their jobs under pressure, but that’s a story for another day.

Recently I found myself ignoring the first of these nuggets of advice and dropping into my old workplace.  Having left there a short while ago I had steadfastly resisted the urge to pop in and see how they were doing, unlike many of my colleagues who had been doing so on a regular basis since they left.  What they hoped to achieve is beyond me – the place hadn’t fallen apart after six days without them and in any case all they were doing was distracting people.

However, I was asked to go in to talk to a colleague who needed some support with a project I had some skills and history in, so keeping as low a profile as possible I made my way in and said a few brief hellos before going to the meeting room as quickly as possible.

Turns out that two of the other people who had left at about the same time I did had taken it upon themselves to go in that day as well, and had spent an hour or two each sharing stories about the goings-on in their new workplaces and more or less useful titbits of information.

This got me thinking about a shade of the silver lining which may be tenuously clinging to the edges of this cluster-muck of a situation local government is currently in; the forced Diaspora of council officers. (more…)

Our colleagues ain’t so bad

June 21, 2011

Voodoo pins can break my bones but names will never hurt me...

Local Authorities are basically conglomerates of all sorts of different services staffed by all sorts of different types of people. Whilst it is often the case that staff, whether working for a company or a public sector organisation, will defend their organisation regardless of what is going on, it is not always the case in Local Government.

So why this tendency to, as the Americans would put it, ‘rip into our colleagues.’

I’ve heard two or three examples of this over the past few weeks which can point the way a little:

1)    The ‘I could have done it better’

Local Authorities are having to make some tough choices at the moment and our local newspapers are keen to shine a light on some of the cuts and fee increases that are happening. Just this week, a series of parking increases were getting our residents, and thus the local papers, exorcised. No matter where you went in the council people were sharing their wisdom over exactly how the situation should have been handled; be it by phasing the charges, communicating better or maybe being a little bit smarter about the across the board policy. If you talk to the parking managers they will roll their eyes, point out that they considered all of this but quite simply in order to make the income target this was the ‘least worst’ option. And I believe them.

2)    The ‘Oh, for *7%^s sake; you’re really just not helping’