Monday, 25 February 2008

A missed opportunity.

As regular readers will have noticed (and as is rather obvious from my last post) I have been away for the last couple of days. Indeed I had a ‘long weekend’ which included the booking of Friday as a day’s holiday. A shocking dereliction of duty I’m sure. Only 15 days holiday allocation left to be taken (or more likely lost) by the end of the financial year in March.

Driving to our destination for the weekend on Friday morning and listening to the radio hoping to alleviate some of the boredom created by sluggish traffic, I discovered with some interest that that day was ‘Work your proper hours day’.

Apparently it was part of a TUC (Trades Union ‘we’ll keep the vested interests flying here’ Congress ) initiative to encourage the many people who work unpaid overtime to merely fulfil their contracted hours and no more for a day once in the year.

I’m not going to go on the self evident stuff supporting the view that if you want to work all the hours sent then that should be your choice.

Or that work is less important that home, family or social life. Work’s a financial means to an end. If you really do like your job and it was the career you wanted then so much the better. However there really are more important things to be considered and they don’t generally involve your name and your current designation being printed on a small piece of cardboard that can be handed to a willing recipient.

No, the thought that occurred was around the evidence (which has been pretty accurate throughout my own working life whilst employed in both the public and private sector) that seems to suggest however many hours an employee is present at their place of employment they still never seem to be able to complete a full days work.

Fag break, coffee break, turn on computer, chat, make work related phone call, make non-work related phone call, raise official purchase order, fag break, coffee break, shop on e-bay, make work related phone call etc etc.

I know that social interaction is important but we really do seem to have perfected this into a fine art, wasting time during the hours when other matters may be regarded as more pressing. Or put another way, finding that ten hours at the office are required to complete five hours work.

Leading a team within the NHS I’m sure you can imagine that several of my staff are members of one comradely organisation or another. Which the TUC would naturally regard as admirable.

But the ramifications of suggesting to the brothers and sisters that they work solidly throughout their contracted hours for the day could have been quite amusing.

Formal grievances being laid against the evil martinet/ fascist/ bourgeois line manager for bullying / unreasonable behaviour/ expecting that work be undertaken during the time when the ‘impending revolution of the proletariat’ must be debated.

Assuming I could survive the building of barricades and ensuing ‘La Semaine sanglante’ it would have been fun.

Possibly not much, but almost enough to have altered my personal plans by 24 hours.


Liz said...

Ah. that's intersting - because I was thinking of a post taking a different view (sort of). I'm in work this morning and obviously I can't blog while in work (!) so will write it later. If I remember.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Personally, I think regular coffee breaks and cigarette breaks focus people better.