Monday, 18 November 2013

Horrible Work Organizations: The Makings of an Arse Organization

I suppose I ought to introduce you to the personae in this horrible place. So far I have introduced you to Mr and Mrs Half Arse Houlihan, the Entire Arse and I have referred to several others. The first genuine Arse to appear as such was a character parachuted in from an adjoining town. His arrival was met with the distribution to about 50% of his new colleagues of an informative text from a seemingly aggrieved but possibly concerned and well-meaning former colleague of his. The fanfare which greeted the arrival of Ramsarse, as he was known, was one of the funniest things I witnessed in The Toilet. I will try to include the full text of the Ramsarse 'denunciation' here soon.

Opinion on Ramsarse and the contribution he made to The Toilet is divided. My opinion is that he was a self-interested timeserver, who showed no leadership and let the ascendant Arses have too much power and influence to the detriment of the development of the enterprise. Although he occupied a large office, there was nothing in it of his which indicated that he would be around for long. As soon as an opportunity arose to feather his nest again further, by taking yet another redundancy package, he would. And he did. And he completed a number of personal projects in the meantime, none of which had anything to do with his senior management position and his leadership role. However, maybe I am being too harsh on him and his kind. Maybe an organization such as The Toilet is all about dysfunction and perversion, of promoting self-interest over collegiality, of shafting colleagues as often as can be done, of racing to the bottom and being content to stay there. In my early days there 'Fuck You' was suggested as the organization's motto.

Sad stuff. But back to another of the characters. Entire Arse in his non-senior days was fleetingly referred to as Diarrhoea Dick, so called because invariably on his return from his half-a-dozen or so  holidays in the sun each year, he would phone in sick with a stomach upset. And it wasn't just after holidays, it was a very common occurrence. Clearly he has a health issue with eating, but I never witnessed him stuffing himself, so to speak. On a few occasions when we arrive at the rail station on our way to work, he usually breaks away before we enter our place of work and says that we'll meet later. I interpret these intervals as occasions on which he ingests huge amounts of food to see him through the day. I have never witnessed such behaviour however. Who knows, maybe it is his fix time with some addictive or recreational substance? Maybe he's just having a smoke.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Horrible Work Organizations: Working for An Arse

So, predictably, as my lawyer suggested, the time came for another appointment with our Occupational Health people. How do you feel at the moment? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being .... and 10 being ... would you say that you are feeling low? Have you ever thought of killing yourself ('No, but I and several others have thought of killing the functional psychopaths who run this dysfunctional institution'.) Would you care to expand? Well it's like this, Sister, think of families that you know of which have problems. Think of those families as systems where 'issues' fester, grow and may manifest themselves in anti-social behaviour, criminal behaviour, addiction issues and so on. Now think of this institution as a system which gives rise to such behaviours. Think of the talent and opportunity lost to this institution because of its protecting its own narcissistic image, its denial, and its desire to protect its senior managers - no matter what allegations have been made against them.

When I last met you, Sister, I told you - in answer to one of your bureaucratically administered questions - that I wasn't feeling suicidal. That is true. On only one fleeting occasion in my entire life have I ever experienced such a feeling. However that doesn't mean that I don't think of suicide. I think that it is fair to say that for most of the days that I have travelled to work since 2005, I have thought of suicide as I travel to and from the institution's nearest railway station. One day as I arrived, travelling on the same train to Wretchington was a man who I recognised as working for another of the town's big employers. He was ahead of me as I proceeded along the platform to exit the station. Walking along the platform's edge, he looked back over his shoulder, down the line. Nothing was approaching. He jumped and fell onto the tracks and lay there. An onlooker became very distressed. I kept walking hating the guy for doing what he had done, endangering life, distressing fellow passengers and railway employers. I reprimanded myself for being judgemental. I held this feeling for years until I began to see clearly the Arse of this institution in which you an I now sit. How my fellow traveller must have suffered in his place of work to take the step that he did which led to his lying on the tracks. He survived his move and was to be seen subsequently in local inns chewing the cud with fellow drinkers and former colleagues. I wonder, Sister, how many other members of the nation's workforce find it unbearable, for whatever reason, to turn up for work.

For most of my working life here I was managed by a thoroughly incompetent prick we called Half-Arsed Houlihan. He never did anything completely well, always had an excuse, lied, deceived, betrayed, stole, appointed his new wife to positions of influence etc. It's all there, evidence is there, the allegations are legion. He is still in post, having been promoted. He was succeeded in his departmental management role by someone who was good, and, I believe, had integrity. When the going got tough the bullies in the outfit made sure this guy left. Half-Arsed Houlihan then saw to it that his now wife was appointed, a wholly manipulative destructive narcissist. It wasn't long before she started targeting people she wanted to be rid of, middle-aged heterosexual males to whom she would made sexual advances, or in whose company she behaved inappropriately. Several members of staff made a stand, most of whom have now left the institution. Quite a number left without making a fuss, simply to be away from her madness.  To seek any form of redress through the institution's systems, policies and procedures was often seen as a waste of time as she had a line up of senior managers, by and large male - including her manipulative husband - who would close ranks against any complainant. It may be that the institution is now protecting here. During her term of office, she appointed a number of gay males, characters whom she could manipulate, as they weren't appointed for their talents but rather for their perceived weaknesses.

The current manager who has stepped into the breach while Mrs Houlihan is on long-term sickness absence, is the Arse to beat all Arses. A middle-aged gay, obese, insecure male who seems to have a desperate need to be liked. He is an Entire Arse. This is the manager who in the company of a Personnel manager said, in all seriousness, that he is concerned for my mental health. Sister, I ask you, who wouldn't be experiencing mental ill health working in a place like this?

Well it looks as if we have run out of time, Mr Llama. I'll send you another appointment in the post for about three months from now.

Sister, do you get my point about it being a dysfunctional institution?

See you then, Mr Llama and stay well.

Sister, my name isn't Randall Patrick McMurphy.

See you in the New Year, Mr Llama. I hope it's a good one for you.