Posted tagged ‘work’

Being out of form

April 5, 2012

Theo: In and out of form, often in the same match

As a sports fan I am well used to discussions of ‘form’. Football players can be on and off form at almost the drop of a hat; with cricket players we are often reminded that ‘form is temporary and class is permanent’.

The concept of ‘form’ has always interested me; it is in many ways a fleeting concept and yet given a lot of weight by those who comment on our nation’s favourite sports. It’s both a catch all term used to define whether someone is generally doing things right or doing things wrong but also a relative term balancing a performance in one moment of time with a performance once made or a potential or optimum performance. Thus, if I play football to my normal standard I am on form whilst if Theo Walcott plays like me he is off form.

Thus, form becomes relative to individual potential; something which tends to separate it, and the sporting world it inhabits, from the rest of us.

You see, whilst Theo Walcott (sorry for picking on you Theo) could be on or off form compared to his career heights we, the members of the local authority, are generally compared to our compatriots or our job specification. What’s more; even if we are compared to our past performance, and even if it is accepted that we are not performing as well as we have in the past it is usually put down to laziness, or people not trying as hard as they usually would. Theo Walcott can be on or off form; apparently the rest of us can’t.

Is that right?

After all, if it is possible for a sportsman to lose form then surely it also possible for a member of staff in a local authority to lose form?

If we view form in a more general sense then, divorced from its sporting basis, then surely form is just a reflection of the human condition, one that is not consistent and leads to differing performances at different times.


A Mr Kipling standard of performance

November 26, 2010


Exceedingly good performance not limited to cakes...


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.