Monday, 29 December 2014

Horrible Work Organizations: The Appeals Procedure aka The Guernica Treatment

Myself and others have all been through the appeals procedure, appealing against decisions made by the institution when considering our initial grievances - of which there were/are many. On reading a tome entitled Scenes from Institutional Life and Other Writings by John Vaizey (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson 1986) I came upon this description of an arcane medical treament to which he was subjected at the age of fourteen during the Hitler war. The lack of care and the Byzantine procedures endured by the young Vaizey may well serve as a metaphor for the HR management and its promotion of the dignity of labour in my employing institution.

"One day I was x-rayed in bed The hard cold plates were thrust under my back and I shrieked. I shrieked so often and so long, and I picked at my head, that Anna and the Sister (whom I rarely saw but whom I loathed almost as much as I loathed Anna) told my parents that I was deranged. So far as I am aware, I still had no narcotics in case of addiction. Then I was taken down to theatre, on a trolley that jolted me in agony, to return awake in a plaster case that reached from below my knees to above my chest. I was put in a bed in the middle of the ward. I was no longer going to die and the daily dressings had stopped. I was to recover by means of the Guernica treatment, when septic wounds were enclosed in plaster of Paris, and were allowed to suppurate until the general decay cured itself. There is a certain epic Spanish quality about this treatment: out of the mouths of maggots that accumulate there comes a corrupting cure; the patient passes through the valley of death by a noisome route: the pus stains the plaster and drips through. Life comes from decay and disgust."

Perhaps this is why I feel comfortable in referring to the University of Wretchington,  my employing institution as 'The Toilet" - a decaying and corrupt institution, where decay and disgust are ever- and omni-present, where for the badly wounded and injured there is always the hope of a corrupting cure, if they get out in time.

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