Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Whose blog is this anyway?

Barbara's been faced with something of a dilemma. The company (which I won't name) for which we both work has offices and research centres all over England and Wales. One of these is near York and it is here that most of the Animal Health and Welfare work goes on. Yesterday, the Head of Animal Wealth and Helfare phoned Barbara and asked why she hadn't applied for the job advertised internally and based at the York site. Having already applied for (but failed to get) an earlier job with that business unit (and don't start me on the bureaucratic structural organisation nonsense of this company), she was uncertain about this new post, which would have been a promotion, but not any significant pay rise. Apparently no one else in the company has applied for this job and it would be Barbara's for the taking. And the head of Animal Wealth and Helfare was much taken with the presentation she did for the earlier job interview.

So where's the dilemma? Well, York's not exactly commuting distance from here, and the job would involve taking her career in a somewhat different direction to the one she had planned. On the plus side, work here in Wales has become increasingly fraught as the Welsh sector of the company goes through one of its all-too-frequent crises of management. At least the outfit in York is slightly better run. But at the end of the day, it's still the same mis-managed company and it's a big move for no immediate monetary reward.

But if she turns the offer down, when might the next one come along? And since the opportunities for promotion in Wales are currently zero and likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future, York might be the only escape. As I've whinged about before, Barbara is already doing the job of someone two pay grades above her. She has brought in more money to the research centre here in the last two years than the rest of the Wales sales team put together, and she's not even supposed to be doing sales work.

An answer has to be reached today. Technically the closing date for the job was yesterday, which was why the head of Animal Wealth and Helfare phoned Barbara in the first place. Given that she knew about the job and didn't apply, I suspect the answer will be to stay here. But recent events - the failure to get the first job, being passed over for the management training programme and the ongoing failure of the Wales management team to address the problems facing the company make this a less happy place than it was.

When we both started here, five years ago, Barbara was one of seven research consultants and the office had a buzz about it. Today there are three left; one of them retires next month (and there is a singular lack of effort to replace him), one is out of the office four days out of five on secondment to another organisation, and the other is Barbara. Quite often she's the only person in the office apart from the secretary. Sometimes even the secretary's not there. There is no buzz anymore, and no sharing of ideas. The whole place has an air of 'end of term' about it, not helped by rumours that one of the upland research farms (and there are only two in the company) is going to be closed.

I don't know what Barbara's going to do. I certainly don't envy her the choice. But if she decides to go to York, I'm not wearing a flat cap.


Blogger Stuart MacBride said...

You won't wear the flat cap, but will you buy a whippet?

August 09, 2005 6:20 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...


Actually we once hatched a plan to cross Chiswick with an Italian Greyhound in an attempt to get miniature Lurchers. Sadly the Italian Greyhound lady was too old.

August 09, 2005 6:21 pm  
Blogger Stuart MacBride said...

And Chiswick too damn short. The poor sod would have needed stilts!

August 10, 2005 10:14 am  
Blogger JamesO said...

Not for an Italian Greyhound - they's very small

And besides, if a lady is willing, she'll lie down. Chiswick had a half-brother called Horace Rumpole, whose mother was a labrador. Major, Chiswick's dad (and his grandad) must have really wooed that labrador lady.

But then he came from a very Catholic family in deepest darkest Perthshire;}#

August 10, 2005 11:05 am  

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