Dead wood

Michael O'Leary seems to be one of those people you either like or hate.

Marmite Man?

Personally I like his style.  While he can be brash at times, he is a down to earth businessman who has built Ryanair into one of the world's leading airlines, and that has to stand for something. 

Now he is attacking the gubmint and his attack is right on the mark – ‘The more bureaucrats, the worse it will get’.

One of the [many] problems with the system here is the sheer weight of bureaucracy.  Ireland is awash with middle-managers, qangos and needless organisations, all paid out of the public purse and producing nothing but hot air, statistics and trouble.

In my working days I had the misfortune to have several middle-managers.  One in particular springs to mind.  She was an arse licker extraordinaire which is presumably how she got the job, and in all the years I knew her she did sweet fuck all except cause trouble.  She used to have an orgasm every time she mentioned the word "meeting", so she was always going to a meeting, having a meeting or coming from a meeting.  Every now and then she would demand that we all attend a meeting and that was essentially a couple of hours of my life that just vanished down a black hole.  None of those meetings ever produced anything productive and I would leave them with my head swimming with management-speak clichés and a headache.

She wasn't anything extraordinary.  The place was full of her ilk, and you could easily spot them around the place as they always were carrying papers to a meeting somewhere and talking loudly on their mobile phones.  There used to be a saying in the place that people were always promoted up to their level of incompetence and this was true.  In fact there were two types – the workers and the lickers.  Workers just did the job, and if they were good at it they could kiss goodbye to any promotion as they were too valuable to shift, whereas the lickers would steadily rise upwards like a turd in a cesspool until they reached their level of incompetence and there they would remain no matter how useless they were.

My place of ex-employment is no different to just about every state or semi-state organisation.  The health service is a classic example and it looks like Irish Water is going the same way.

In my Utopian world every office worker would be required to do a simple task – explain exactly what their job is and explain precisely the return of investment the taxpayer is getting for paying their salary.  Any job that is patently non-productive would get the bullet, plain and simple.  Any qango that couldn't justify its existence would be binned. 

Everyone knows that if you want to get a good apple crop you have to heavily prune the tree, and the workplace is no different.

It would play havoc with the unemployment figures though!

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Dead wood — 13 Comments

  1. I read an interesting article recently from a woman bemoaning the fact that CV's she gets never mention "the ability to get things done." Instead it's all corporate speak ticking the boxes for the human resources bureaucrat. So, like you, I admire O'Leary simply because he got things done and fuck the begrudgers. Work, by definition, is about getting things done and meetings by their nature are about talking about getting things done.

    • Administrators aren't interested in getting the work actually done.  They love to spend their time working out how long each individual takes to do each individual task, costing each individual item, dividing by ten and subtracting the number they first thought of and the putting the whole lot in a report full of nice colourful graphs.  I get the impression that O'Leary would prefer to see results rather than a graph?

  2. I remember having written a comprehensive CV for a job that when I went for an interview that the Personnel Dept gave me a form to fill in whilst I waited.   I refused, telling them that all the info was in my CV.

    When the Technical Director interviewed me he was pleased at my stance and said that the Bloody Personnel Dept were a law unto themselves.    He offered me a job, but was rather surprised that I turned him down telling him that I would not work for a firm where the pen-pushers were in charge.

    • All personnel departments are a law unto themselves.  Aren't they now called Human Resource Management or some such officespeak?  God be with the days when Technical Directors ran the technical businesses. 

  3. "I would leave them with my head swimming with management-speak clichés and a headache."

    Like these?

    Heads up
    Step up to the plate
    Huddle (informal meeting)
    Ball park figure
    Informed choices
    End game
    Customers (when it should be 'passengers')
    Issues (when it should be 'problems')
    Healthy eating
    No platform
    Carbon footprint
    Climate change

    • I had another one [yes – I had several] who I swear learned his lines from Gus in "Not the dead donkey".  He was forever running things up the flagpole to see who saluted or dropping things into the toaster to see what would pop up.  His only advantage was that he was a total idiot and it was just too easy to confuse him with a bit of twisted logic.

  4. It was ever thus, they kick the incompetent upstairs to get rid of them and there they stay until they retire on their enhanced pensions. I don't think it is any better in the UK at least it wasn't when I worked in local government.

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