52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

if you don't know me by now...

We had a series of announcements at work last week detailing a big restructure that's going on. The last two times this happened, my job was physically moved between companies - with an outsource in 2004 and an insource in 2006 (nothing like good strategic planning, eh?). This time around, praise the lord, although various bits and pieces in my job are going to change, I'm at least going to both remain in a job and remain in the same company. Not everyone has been so lucky, and my colleagues based in another office down near London have just been told that their jobs, if they even still exist in the newly re-organised company, have been moved up to Nottingham.

During my 1:1 with my director to discuss how the changes affected me, I was shown an organogram of the new structure of the department. Because of the changes affecting this other office, no names could be put onto the organogram, but a dumb point at a box on the chart effectively told me where I sat. Good for me, but even as it was happening, I couldn't help but think about the people in this other office just outside London being given similar briefings and probably being told by their bosses that the organograms didn't have names on and that they might have a chance of a job.....

Details of how the news went down have been dripping through all this week. Apparently this other office has not taken it well, especially as all of their senior management has been parachuted into cushy jobs elsewhere in the organisation, leaving them to fend entirely for themselves. I also heard how their director broke the news of the changes to them: apparently, he stood up and said, and I'm not joking:

"I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I've got another job. The bad news is that it's a bit further from home for me to travel."

No wonder they've taken it badly. That is so David Brent as to be completely beyond a joke. As the great man said:

"Well, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Neil will be taking over both branches, and some of you will lose your jobs. Those of you who are kept on will have to relocate to Swindon, if you wanna stay. I know, gutting. On a more positive note, the good news is, I've been promoted. So, every cloud... You're still thinking about the bad news, aren't you?"

It's a bit close for comfort, isn't it?

There were stories of a video conference on Monday where the video screen in the office near London was broken, so they made the fatal mistake of assuming that this meant that the screen in Nottingham was broken too, when in fact it was working all too well. As a colleague of mine put it to me, it wasn't so much what they were saying, as the gesticulations that were accompanying what they were saying.

I have to say that I don't blame them. I happen to think that ultimately this move was both inevitable and strategically the right thing to do, but the management of the people issues this brings up has been nothing short of disgraceful. Although why would I expect any better?

As Harry Callahan once said: "Personnel? That's for assholes."

Poor sods.

{snip made here, for reasons of getting slightly cold feet about one particular thing I said. Gossip is gossip, after all...}

Sometimes it's good not to mistake your job for a career.

Of course, all of the above might be cobblers; nothing more than idle gossip. I'm not sure the truth of it matters all that much, actually. I'm prepared to believe that all of these things happened in the company I work for, and that's probably all that counts.




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