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October 04, 2006

The first day of the rest of my life?

Yesterday was my last day on the staff of a well known - indeed internationally known - training establishment and I left the gates and a large part of my working career last night with very mixed feelings. There is the obvious one of leaving behind the friends and colleagues one has worked with and the income that goes with actually being employed. (The pension is such that I will need to find an alternative source of revenue fairly swiftly!) But there is another aspect which concerns me probably even more. This institution has been consistently briefed against by the civil service (who noticeably fail to mention the cost of running their hugely expensive college in a former stately home and which delivers nothing any university in the country could teach at a fraction of the cost!) and is now being run down - presumably to be broken up and disposed of as soon as they can justify it. Our international customers cannot believe that we are allowing this, much less that our politicians are stupid enough to be promoting it!

The ultimate losers will be the taxpayers who will, as a result, get a service from the now deprofessionalised services we formerly trained, that will be increasingly driven by cost cutting and reduction of service delivery. The people being parachuted into it as "Managers" have no idea of what the service provides or does and are completely incompetent when it comes to taking command of incidents or emergency command centres - but that's alright according to the civil service manadarins, because it simply means that we have the right gender or ethnic balance in place in the management now and, after all, only a fraction of their time is spent dealing with an emergency. Responsibility is now being pushed down to the lowest levels in the hierarchy so you will soon see the incident commanders being prosecuted by the HSE because they have failed to observe some management dictat drafted to protect the managers and not in any way workable on the incident ground. Worse, the centralised training that made sure everyone who had a responsibility for incident command had the full suite of skills and the underpinning knowledge to support them has been swept away and replaced with a cockamamie system of "skills acquisition" driven by a mantra that "it is unecessary to know what you are doing, you only need to be able to do it". This mindset will shortly begin to kill people - in fact it already has. Two dead in a shire because the incident commander had neither the experience nor the knowledge they should have been able to acquire - and two more in a major city for the same reason since the inception of this politically motivated and half baked approach was instituted on the orders of that arch buffoon - John Prescott, ably aided and abetted by a civil service coterie hell bent on destroying any claim to management that is not from their favoured school of "generalism".

So what will I do with the rest of my life? Well, I have several irons in a number of fires at the moment - one of the biggest ironies has to be that my former employer is desperately trying to persuade me to do part time work for them - twice the money and none of the responsibilities I have carried for the last thirty six years. You gotta love it!

I wonder if I could get away with writing a biography? Probably not, a former colleague and boss once remarked that if we did we'd probably have someone suing us on every single page. Mine would probably be every alternate page, but I know exactly what he meant. We know where the bodies our lords and masters want to keep hidden are buried. Silence, though, may not be golden if what has been done to our service in the last five years ever comes to court. I hope it does.

But, for today at least, I have the freedom to enjoy a look forward to being free of the managers whose arrogance is exceeded only by their complete and blissful ignorance of the service they are destroying. It's a wonderful feeling.

Posted by The Gray Monk at October 4, 2006 08:34 AM

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Congrats on the new life. If I were you I would write that biography. Just publish and sell it in America, where the laws require that a person prove that they have been harmed financely by your remarks.

Good luck and let us know when your books make it to the U.S.

Posted by: skipjack at October 4, 2006 05:53 PM

Good luck..

Posted by: Simon at October 5, 2006 01:12 PM

I shall certainly give both my attention!

Posted by: The Gray Monk at October 5, 2006 04:51 PM

Good luck and I like the twice money for less work... GRIN

Posted by: vw bug at October 5, 2006 05:54 PM