Monday, April 18, 2011

Times is hard

I don't Blog about my work, it's a rule I don't intend breaking.  It's not that it's a particularly big secret, it's just that I see it as off limits.  I still don't intend saying what I do or who I do it for, but what I will say just now though is that it's an unsettling time for me, and for a lot of colleagues.

As a direct effect of the problems with the economy funding has been cut, unfilled posts have been simply done away with and so will never be filled, a new management structure has been created, overtime has been banned (we're still allowed to work extra hours, but only for Time Off in Lieu, not for monetary payment) and voluntary redundancies have already taken place.

This hasn't been enough though, it was never going to be, and there will be future cost savings, of that none of us is in any doubt, amounting to probably millions of pounds over the next few years.  I was at a meeting today about the possible future of the organisation for which I work, and the phrase "compulsory redundancy" was used, albeit within a sentence explaining that no one actually knows what the medium term future holds.  These are truly unsettling times.

For various reasons I work in an office where there's about a 60/40 split of those who won't be in any firing line for redundancy and those who might be.  Unfortunately I'm in the ....... well, you can guess, can't you.  The 60% of people who won't be made redundant are all nice people, but they can still earn overtime whereas I can't; they are all already on much higher salaries than I am; they will not be out of work, but I could be.  And when you're looking at even the vaguest possibility that you might be a candidate for future redundancy (and to put it in perspective and laying aside all false modesty, I'm actually very good at my job so I think I'll be safe), and you're looking at your new payslip showing no overtime payments for pretty much the same extra work you've always done and which needs done to get the job done, and when you're sitting next to people who are earning far more than you, and when those people, not realising the effect they're having on you, are discussing amongst themselves whose turn it is to work the next lot of (paid) overtime over the weekend (and indeed beyond, on the upcoming Easter and May Day public holidays when it's double time), then it's hard to generate much enthusiasm for the job I absolutely love to do in the best department of the organisation I don't ever want to leave.

And so, dear friends, that's why today I'm on a bit of a downer, for the first time in ages.  I'll be OK by tomorrow, I guess.


  1. I'd have thought given the structural changes taking place in your place of work someone should look at the apparently arbitrary way overtime is made available.

    One way of making an organisation more effective, whether in good times or bad, is to ensure that internal frictions are minimised.

    I hope someone asks you why someone like you who wants to work for the best organisation in a job they love is feeling down. Address that and whatever is thrown at an organisation collectively or individually will be better addressed.

    All the best Layclerk.

  2. Marginalia, what you say makes perfect sense, as ever, but while I trust our leaders to know this there are external pressures outside of their control and that's the Big Unknown.

  3. That's very crappy :( Hope you hear soon about your job and the downer passes.

    Here in the NHS it's not much different. It's sometimes very hard to motivate yourself to get up in the morning.

    All the best.


  4. Thanks Jackie. The potential redundancies are likely to be a year or more in the future as I think we've done enough to satisfy those with the money/funding/budget in this financial year, but I'm not sure whether that's better or worse for being further away!

    The downer will pass soon in any case.