Sunday, May 30, 2010

Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes comrade, eh? Eh?

The public service is in a constant state of reform. We're like a maintained website or a living organism that mutates or evolves. Actually devolves in some cases given its tendency to swing from being pro-contractor, anti worker then vice-versa.

Since I've joined I think my agency has been in reform the entire time. Under different names of course. X review, Y reform program, Z efficiency study.

Being a worker it usually has a minimal impact. I just get on with my job and do it and hope 'insert reform process here' doesn't fuck me around.

However, now and then, the reform process intrudes on me in that I get asked for my opinion. I even have to participate in off-site naval gazing. Who are we? What is our function? Who are our clients? Why do we serve?

This participation was recently forced upon me.

For once, I got into it. I got to meet a bunch of non national types and talk to them about what they did and learned heaps about what we do, the clients we serve, our function and yes, who we are. When personnel issues came up I even volunteered to be the group spokesperson.

I went total bolshie. I said we should have at our heart a staff welfare first model. Where numbers factor in conditions of service as a main priority. That we, the workers, who get asked to do so much have management make sure we're looked after.

I even actually have the leftist / black power "workers of the world, unite!" upward fist, said "right on" and referred to the assembled workshop peeps as "comrades". I took questions from management on what to do with workloads for the periods where they're under used (I said something about national IT infrastructure allowing redirecting of workload where the tasking could be done electronically) and costs and so forth. I responded that a happier workforce was more productive and therefore they'd get more out of the staff if conditions of service were met and enhanced.

Then I sat down, my heart-racing. Not only for talking a mile a minute and reduced intake of air, but because I'd unloaded a bunch of bolshie "right on, workers united will never be defeated" talk where managers were present.

Needless to say I wondered if I'd done myself a disservice by being so candid with constructive criticism.

Turns out, I hadn't. My boss passed on feedback from managers saying they appreciated my positive input. She said 'You know it's nice to hear talk like this. It makes you seem different to the person whose always talking about his bottom [hairiness, shape, ability to talk, values, production types etc.]''

'I know, ' I said. 'It's like I'm Jekyll and Hyde. Two different sides. That, or a centaur ... with an enormous arse.'

Thank-you, goodnight. Try the veal, tip your waitress...

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