Sunday, 20 July 2008

The One That Loves And Hates Things Like This. . .

I'll tell you a little story.

I work for a government department, which is fun.

Actually, that's a lie, it is miserable. A situation I am currently trying to address. Anyhow, just about a year ago, my team moved from a scruffy but much loved office in Dover, to a spanking new purpose built building in Folkestone. Of course it isn't as nice as the place we used to work at in Dover.

This new building has had a few problems, snagging it is called. There's been quite a list. One of the more controversial and ongoing ones has been the subject of proximity passes granting access to the building. For some reason these passes were only set up to work for one year and have now usefully expired, across the board. We were initially told that new passes would be made, at a cost to you the taxpayer of, well, God knows how much, but you can bet that because we are a government department a normal quote is taken and then trebled.

These new passes will be with us in a number of weeks.

In the short-term the plan for the existing passes is that they will be re-enabled until the new ones arrive. Yes, yes, I know, if the existing passes can be re-enabled, then why do we need new ones at all? The answer is probably something like 'someone has decided we need new passes, probably a committee, and that decision can't be reversed unless there's another committee and probably a focus group and a project team working to a delivery manager.'

Here's the real little gem, so skilfully hidden in this steaming pile of shite, an email was sat in my inbox this morning from one of the team (a fairly senior manager) that is in charge of the 'facilities managment'.* It spoke in vaguely confident fashion about how this problem is being sorted and that all will be well. One line in particular made me laugh out loud:

'I have been assured that this work is still underway and personnel should now shortly evidence resolution.'

What? I recognise the words, they are all good words, used in everyday English, but this is a combination of such that has hitherto been unknown to me. Evidence resolution? Oh, I see, you mean it'll be working again soon?

What a great representation of the civil service; not set-up properly, stops working, ridiculous plan to fix it, still not working, talk bollocks about it in the hope no-one asks any questions.

Don't worry, your taxes are being well spent.

* formerly 'accommodation team', then 'estate management', and will probably next week be called 'work place environmental management and resource best practice facilitation unit'. We do love a name change in the civil service.


Mac the Knife said...

I liked the one detailing the senior management meeting where the delegates were 'invited to own the change'.

Who the fuck are these people?

Snowolf said...

It really is Emperor's New Clothes stuff.

You have those who are keen to get on, so use this language in order to be seen to be playing the game, then there are those who actually believe that this is the way people should and do speak, and those that introduced this meaningless style - the people that are out of their depth and will go to any lengths to disguise it.

It isn't about political correctness, it is about drowning in a sea of mediocrity but attempting to look like one is a member of some sort of elite.

Call me Infidel said...

It's all a matter of customer focused stakeholders with embedded core functionality. Surely you understand that?
Seriously though, I think you have summed it up beautifully. "Drowning in a sea of mediocrity" pretty much sums up the ZaNulabour front bench....