• Page update – 30/10/12

    Joe Citizens - new story, regarding Motability scooters. My favourite!

  • The Un-Civil Servant

  • BB

    BB is Bureaucratic Bullsh*t.
    It can also stand for Big Brother.
    In the civil service, they are one and the same.

  • What’s it all about?

    Bureaucracy is an umbrella term for official incompetence; that is, incompetence which has officially been sanctioned as being good practice. No-where in the world is that more apparent than in the British public sector. Misadministration of public services is the backbone of every government led department.
    Trust me, I’m a civil servant.

  • It’s a disease

    Bureaucracy runs rife through the corridors of power like a child riddled with ADHD, high on fizzy pop, crisps and jelly-beans.

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  • Bullsh*t Alert

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The Enemy Within

My job here at BB HQ is to answer enquiries by telephone from Joe Citizen – I say citizen and not public because the government always refers to you lot as citizens, never the public.  At least they do in our communications.  Has a bit of a ‘Big Brother’ edge to it, don’t you think?  Anyway, here I am, in one of the millions of large offices, sat in front of a computer with a headset on.  The novelty of the headset making me feel like a US Marine or pop star wore off about nine years ago.

Now, here’s just one of the many things that really tests my patience; my fellow members of staff.  They can be as exasperating as the customers who phone us. Take Janet, who sits on my right.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s a lovely lady in her early sixties and I do like her.  It’s just that she is rubbish at her job.  She’s been here since Harold got one in the eye but she hasn’t got a clue.  Does that scare you, citizen?  It should because incompetence is rife on every level.  And why does her lack of ability annoy me so?  Because she is constantly asking me questions in between my own calls.  And this isn’t confined to Janet.  Dotted around the room you can see heads popping up and people turning round to ask questions of their slightly more knowledgeable colleagues.  It’s ridiculous!

And why are we so crap?  Well, amongst other factors, it’s because our training (haha!) is crap.  And our training is crap because our trainers aren’t actually trainers.  The trainers are just people like me who work on the phones.  They volunteer to be trainers solely to get a few weeks break from taking calls from lovely Joe Citizen.  They have little or no training experience and they have never had teacher or trainer training.  The only qualifications they have are big gobs and even bigger egos.  And they are ALWAYS women.  I don’t know if that’s significant – probably not but I thought I’d mention it.   You can tell who they are because they saunter around the office like Cheshire cats, laughing and joking at a high rate of decibels and generally pi**ing the rest of us real workers off.  Oh, they think they are so important.  They have about as much clue to the job as good old Janet.  The only difference is they have a thick manual to work from to teach the new recruits.  Most of the time though, they play silly made up games like ‘Hopes and Fears’ – basically asking each recruit to stand up and reel off what they hope to get out of the job and what they are afraid might go wrong.  Another one I heard of was the ‘trainers’ getting each recruit to be a character out of Coronation Street!  Why, I hear you scream?  I have no bloody idea, I reply!  Anyway, they got told off for that one.  I have lost count of the times a ‘trainer’ has been summoned to the office for a dressing down, yet they still use them for training.

That’s the way it is.  That’s why we’re so rubbish.  That and that the job changes on a daily basis and we can’t keep up.  We receive no refresher training and rarely receive training when changes are introduced.  Mostly we are told what to do or not to do by e-mail.  And we get millions of those and no time allocated to read them.  You see, time away from answering the phones is time that may detract us from our targets.  And targets are our prime reason for being here but that’s for another day.


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