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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  14/11/2010  :  06:26
NEW VERSION TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR MEMBERS WITH SLOW CONNECTIONS TO CONNECT.

Follw this LINK for last version.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 11/06/2011 : 17:07
Tizer you are so right..and not least in the civil service..raising our last two children we were entitled to family tax credit,now they are both uni-fied (ha ha) there are forms to be filled in for finance..I am staggered that virtually every time information passes from us to the govt dept it is recorded wrongly or not at all, nearly every letter they send out is duplicated and sent again a month later whether we have filled the forms in or not and sent them off, each time they mess it up it costs us "days" of time on the phone trying to put things back on track, each time you ascertain it is back on tack over the phone another letter or email comes in telling you it's not...in all my life i have never dealt with such incompetance..and in the phone calls it is obvious the people at the other end have not got a clue what has gone wrong..as I said to them this week, if you are given training and you don't understand the system how on earth are we meant to!?

Edited by - belle on 11/06/2011 5:09:03 PM


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thomo
Barlick Born Old Salt


2021 Posts
Posted - 11/06/2011 : 17:35
A classic case of "brain bypass", the training given as a matter of course and immediately forgotten, or you have achieved your goal, you have arrived, now down to the important stuff, "What to do tonight", also known as office syndrome!


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 12/06/2011 : 06:34
Bit more complicated than that Thomo. I believe that the staff are just ordinary people trying to do an impossible job, the problems lie in mismanagement at a far higher level. An example: One of the big mistakes made in the rush for IT systems was to cut the staff before the systems bedded in. If you can remember that far back one of the scandalous facts that emerged was that temporary staff (Many of them the same people that had been made redundant) had to be engaged to input the data into the system. Far from cutting the staff requirement, the initial phases of computerisation demanded more staff. As the systems have never reached the performance promised there is a lack of staff to examine individual complaints and deal with them face to face. It's not the office staff who are at fault but the fact that the political masters wanted the staff savings too early. The workers at the coal face are left to do their best but they are snowed under. I sympathise with them, they get the flak because they have to deal with people who are confused and angry. A no-win situation.

Tiz, the slate quarry reminds me of the common thread that goes behind business failures like Enron etc. Why was it that the auditors didn't pick up on what was happening years before they eventually crashed? Little doubt that in many cases they are culpable but fines for professional mismanagement are very rare. The Natinal Audit Office regularly flags up scandalous mismanagement in government, think IT contracts and MOD just for starters but what effect does it have? They have no teeth, no authority. There is no effective oversight and management  to right the wrongs. It's a common syndrome, how many years is it since the EU accounts were signed off by the auditors?  Too big to be allowed to fail by being brought to book?

Belle, the current situation with the conselling services for schools and the resources available is a scandal. I am convinced from reports I get from people actually doing the job that the wholesale revision  and re-allocation of responsibilities that is happening is a smoke screen for reducing costs. The Gove response to the court case over removal of funds from the local councils seems to bear this out. When faced by the Law and logical argument the Treasury Solicitors told him he had to stop, they could see the train wreck that was coming.

07:30. Just got in after a bracing walk round the purlieus of the town.  Lovely morning, about 8C, no wind and a clear blue sky so full sun. Two things grabbed me. If you like watercress have a trip down to Valley Gardens, the watercress bed in the old mill leat is in full growth and easy to reach. At one time a restaurant owner in the town used to go down regularly to pick some but I haven't seen him down there lately. Plenty for everyone!

The other thing is that someone in authority has had a rethink about the new standard for the one way sign at the Church Street end of Newtown. They had put the new one in the middle of the pavement. Bad enough but made worse by the fact that on that corner next to the bank entrance the 'footpath' is only about a foot wide! Had a chat with our resident street-sweeper Mark (who does a good job and is a cheerful lad) and he'd noted it as well. We had a good early morning whinge about the plethora of cast iron street furniture that has appeared in the town centre over the last five years. We both reckon the Chinese ironfounders must have a hell of a salesman in the area!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 12/06/2011 : 11:38
Belle, I sympathise with you having to deal with the civil servants but just think what it's like for anyone running a small business. We've struggled for 15 years to cope with VAT and Inland Revenue and government initiatives meant to `help' small businesses and it's got worse, not better. There must be plenty of owners of small businesses who have ended up on anti-depressants due to these problems. Here's one small example. Every time we sell to an EU company we have to submit the details and the company's VAT number in a monthly `return' to Revenue & Customs. Sometimes the `return' is returned to us saying the VAT number is "wrong". We check with the company and are given the same number so we send it back again with an explanation. Revenue sends it back to us again saying `wrong number'. This can go through a number of cycles before the same number is presumably accepted by them - at least we stop getting it returned to us. The Revenue staff won't contact the EU company themselves or tell us what is wrong with the number, yet there is nothing we can do when the company always sends the same number!

But dealing with customers is just as bad. We sell to large companies and their staff often give us invalid credit card details or make other mistakes. They lose our invoices and then email us with "Please send the invoice again, we've lost it" - no apology for wasting out time. Sometimes the staff email asking for information when it's all on our web site. Other times they don't seem to understand their own business area.

Stanley, it's kind of you to defend staff but let's face it, we've raised a generation of people who were never allowed to `fail' at school, never ranked one against another, always `winners'. `Doing a good job', being diligent, doesn't come naturally any more. As Thomo says, `brain bypass'.


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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 12/06/2011 : 13:15
I sympathise with you Tizer, sounds like another branch of the same problem. deadly ended up on antidepressants over the malarky we had to go through, he can hardly bring himself to open post from them these days.
Stanley..having been involved in "whole sale revision" only a couple of years ago, I would say your assessment of the situation is only partly right, yes there is a cost reducing exercise, but if it is being done properly, it is specifically designed to address the problem in your previous paragraph..ie mismanagement at a far higher level. One of the things i admired about George Brown is that he was not afraid to tackle the issue that all of us have mentioned on this site over the years..namely the promotion of incapable people to management positions where they earn inflated salaries for doing a worse job than those under them. It's the curse of the civil service, councils, education, the NHS etc Restructuring was meant to be a tool that addressed this.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2011 : 05:50
Of course there are incompetent people at all levels in management. The point I was trying to make is that we should start at the top, not the bottom, when deciding who to blame. When I ring to speak to someone about a problem I always tell them that If I sound angry it's not directed at them but the system. They always thank me for saying that. I always try to think what it must be like dealing with complaints all day.

 Have alook at this LINK.  Remember Prescott building the Regional Fire Control Centres under PFI even though the Fire and Rescue Seryvices said they didn't want them and they wouldn'r be any improvement. Hard to work out the costs from the report but they are enormous and totally unused. The Audit Office will no doubt make this clear for us when they report in July. Whose fault? Political managers or Civil Service?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2011 : 08:01
I do the same Stanley, like you say they must get an earful all day long so if I have to complain I am careful to say i is not them i am blaming but the system.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2011 : 08:29
I think they appreciate it Belle. I know I would if I was working in one of those dreadful call centres where discipline verges on criminal behaviour. Of course I betray my roots, I feel sorry for anyone in a repetitive soul-less occupation because I have been lucky enough during my life to have what I call proper jobs. I'm sure you know what I mean, things like driving round the Dales delivering school milk and later doing the same thing with everything from steel to cattle all over the country. At the end of the day we had the satisfaction of a job well done and a concrete result. One of the things that worries me these days is that I have no knowledge as to how many of the new jobs reported carry any job satisfaction or provide a living wage. I fear that many of them do not achieve what I consider adequate conditions or remuneration.

Add to that the fact that despite all the 'improvements' and the fact 'we have never had it so good' many thousands of young people leave school and don't have the automatic transition we had into a job where we learned the virtues of getting up in the morning and spending the day doing a useful job that taught us how to improve ourselves. As far as I can see most of the starter jobs today are dead-ends with little opportunity for advancement.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2011 : 08:40
You are right there, I feel the boys especially are let down terribly by what's on offer in terms of starter jobs..when will those in Govt realise they are not thinking ahead enough..how many men on this site would have enjoyed a first job in the hotel industry or the care sector..that's all that is on offer here..or shelf stacking in supermarkets..and as you say no chance to move upward... and extremely poor pay.


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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2011 : 15:54
Belle, I'm not sure that things have changed that much over the last 50+ years.  While still in high school I worked after school and week ends for $ .55 per hour, I was made an "asst manager" and got a raise to $ .60.  At the same time period I worked at Rolls for a couple of summers at $4.25 an hour.  After school I started at Rolls working in the mail room..delivering and picking up mail around the plant and offices, my wage was minimal (non union).  I went to uni at night, after work, and finally got my degrees, while moving up the job ladder.

I dragged that out simply to illustrate what I believe is lacking in many of our young people.  First of all the kids want government funding to go to uni,  they do not  want to start out in basic jobs.  They belong to the "now generation", they want everything and they want it NOW!  Many of them do not seem to grasp that they have to work for it...TV has them convinced that they can have it now.

It is no wonder that kids or young adults from immigrant families are "taking" the jobs...maybe it is simply that they are more prepared to start at the bottom and try to work their way up.

Edited by - Herb on 13/06/2011 8:54:36 PM


HERB


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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2011 : 18:17
I know what you are saying but it's those in our generation who are responsible for filling their heads with this stuff, we began Tv, advertising, Hollywood, computer games, we never stopped to think what effect it might have on them..they haven't just arrived on the planet as a different species, they are a product of us!


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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2011 : 20:59
Exactly, we have let them fall prey to TV ads and so on, maybe some form of national service might be one of the answers....not limited to military service.


HERB


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2011 : 23:12


quote:
Herb wrote:
 maybe some form of national service might be one of the answers....not limited to military service.
What did you have in mind ?



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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 14/06/2011 : 04:49
Nothing bores youngsters more than Old Farts like me telling them about starting work on £1 a week plus board, doing National Service and then getting married and buying a seven acre farm with a loan of £2500 from the bank on a wage of £8.50 a week. It was hard work but I enjoyed every minute of it. In the 1980s when I did Ellenroad we used Manpower Services workers which was a form of National Service and a lot of young people got their first experience of proper work on MSC on a minimum wage, learned a lot and went on to get proper jobs. Not perfect but better than what we have today.

An American salvage contractor is spending $500,000 on a sidescan survey in the Arabian Sea. He's looking for Oscar Bin Liner's body. Well, it got him an interview on World Service! Funny old world.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 14/06/2011 : 05:33
Bradders I am not sure what form it might take, but I would see it including both male and female, with no medical or academic exemptions.  It could include military duty and all support services , it could include community work, maybe senior support5 service.  What would you suggest/or not?


HERB


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