Messianic tendencies are afoot in the NHS as the survivors of the organisational restructure crawl out of the wreckage and reassert themselves atop the reconstituted dung heap. It’s like watching badgers crawl out of their den, shake off winter’s fleas and be about their business oblivious to the preceding seasons.

 

Ah, the look of bemusement turning to disgust on the new office manager’s face as they watched me carefully wipe the accumulated biscuit crumbs off my desk into a cupped hand this morning and eat them. Needs must in thrifty times.

 

Well, it was my end game with the NHS today when I had to have an interview for a job I didn’t want that had already effectively been allocated to someone else. I dutifully played the game and am finally free bar working out my three months servitude.

Not the best time to face unemployment but the tang of opportunity  is in the air. I couldn’t help asking the panel of interviewers why they thought I should want to work for them. I think that sealed the deal on my self imposed fate. I heard the coffin nail go in after that one.

 

I keep thinking I’ve reached the bottom at work but senior management find disingenuous ways to plumb new depths in their pursuit of shafting us.

They’ve been urging us to take voluntary redundancy and mutually agreed resignation schemes to meet the required 55% job cuts in the NHS. Now they’ve realised too many people want to leave and have changed their minds.

I wasn’t best pleased when I heard the decision so told my boss I’d work out my three months notice anyway.

“No, you can’t do that. You have to apply for a job.”

“I don’t want it.”

“Well, you have to or you are making yourself intentionally unemployed and we can dismiss you at the end of this month.”

“So I have to apply for a job that I don’t want in order not to get it and qualify for a three month period of notice that is in my contract anyway? That stinks. Do you seriously think I want to work for people like that?”

Silence.

Toe the fucking line jobsworth. Pass the ammunition.

 

The creeping death that is work was lapping at the boot straps today in the shape of our weekly two hour office pow-wow.

Why is it some people have to go into excruciatingly lengthy detail about what they’ve been doing (boot licking and general toadying aside)?

Their resume quickly becomes a kind of background drone like the distant sound of traffic. I drift back into consciousness and they were still whistling on. I check my colleagues and they are in various reposes of advanced boredom or glassy eyed desperation. Never mind, it will soon be over.

 

The upper echelons of the National Health Service have taken a leaf out of the SS management guide with their duplicitous finger stepping treachery.

No sooner do they offer us money to leave in the shape of voluntary redundancy and mutually agreed resignation schemes than they withdraw the offer a fortnight later saying too many people are taking up the option.

I wish I could say I was surprised but it is the latest in a series of goalpost moving tactics as the NHS tries to save £20 billion over the next four years. Let’s home the tidal wave of revolution sweeping across north Africa and Arab Peninsula laps these shores. I have my pitchfork and torch at the ready.

 

How do you leave your desk on your final day of work? Wipe any trace of your existence from its face or leave it littered with the detritus of your passing in the shape of old files, rock hard orange peel and filing drawers whose corners are shored up with stale biscuit crumbs and peanut shells?

I’ll leave that old sock, the tin of tuna in brine and chewed up biro. The rest is best consigned to the bin of history.

 

Sometimes it feels as if there is only the width of a paperclip between sanity and exterminating particularly irksome work colleagues. The methods of dispatch are multifold. The stationary cupboard an arsenal of death to the willing hand.

The telephone line garrote, bludgeoned with a cellotape dispenser, death by a thousand staples, being force fed the juice of markerboard pens, gutted by the paper scissors or simply pushed out of the window. Idle and murderous thoughts beneath the yard arm.

 

Handed my notice in this week. A strange but liberating experience. Just an office rat running the maze. That’s how I spend the prime of my days.

 

You have to laugh at some of the current terminology used by the National Health Service in describing job cuts.

Downsizing, staff rationalisation, ratio reduction, cost saving efficiencies, market lean workforce and effective staff redeployment (to the dole office) are just a few examples of management speak which allow the masters of the universe to think of us all as jelly beans and  potato chips. Where is ‘V’ when we need him?

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