You can guarantee one thing working as a freelance. When push comes to shove you’re out in the cold without so much as a blink of the eye. I have spent the last year working in mental health covering for a position which was finally filled last week. The boss calls me in and says he wants to be ‘fair’ and gives me two weeks notice. I’d hate to see him being unfair. May he end up in a secure unit with Michael Myers for company.

 

Work is a funny old place. You’re either on the inside track or picking up trash outside as I discovered after deciding to leave and start working out my notice.

First, I was asked to move desk and then excommunicated to another floor. No meetings, no phone calls, no mail. Absolute zip.

I seem to have slipped through the cracks and now have two months to work out my notice doing whatever I fancy as no-one seems to care.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

The skiver disappeared from our office six months ago under mysterious circumstances. It followed numerous clashes with the boss who has since refused to be drawn on the subject.

These two egos provided some uncomfortable but highly amusing encounters with both bellowing bragging rights like a couple of old tuskers.

His known misdemeanors included being found sleeping in the storeroom of an afternoon, taking numerous days off work with various bogus ailments and an inability to take orders from a female superior.

Surprise, surprise, he rings out of the blue this week and shed some belated light on the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of office disappearances.

He ‘accidently’ accessed the boss’s email account and found that his immediate manager had been sending regular messages reporting on his behaviour.

He then read through six months of her emails, ran off hard copies and, next time they argued, pulled them out and presented them as evidence of his victimization to the very person whose email account he’d illegally accessed.

Not surprisingly she hits the roof. As a result, he first threatens an industrial tribunal and then demands three months pay to leave without a fuss. They basically say ‘bollocks, you’re sacked’ and give him one month’s pay in lieu of  being put outside with the cat and empty milk bottles.

He, of course, seems to think he is innocent of any wrongdoing as he always did (see ‘office life’ category for his long and illustrious fall from grace).  Classic.

 

A zen-like calm existed in the office this week. We sailed into smoother waters thanks to the Obersturmbannführer taking a few days leave. A result for us but a loss for our European cousins who will have to endure her elephantine tramp and waspish tongue as she steamrolls across the continent fueled on cheap sausage meat and lager.

However, it’s important to remember in our harbour of calm that life is dialectical and a rhythm of opposites. So, back to the misery on Monday morning.

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