I was so happy to read David Greaber’s interview on Salon.comi about his thoughts on reduced working hours, ‘bullshit jobs’ and why the jobs that give to society seem to be the lowest paid. An Anthropologist (and anarchist) lecturer at the London School of Economics,Greaber has run with issues that have always been on my mind. I guess we all wonder at times why the spread of pay for work is so horribly inequitable.
As a member of the great mass of unemployed, the concept of fairness in pay for work really hits home as I question why others are paid to, well think about this……….
I recall inventing an unemployment policy I called “Job Challenge” when I was thinking more Graebery in my past. It went something like this……..
A. You attend an office, shop or are simply on the phone seeking a service from someone paid to do a job.
B. They treat you poorly, do not provide an appropriate service or correct information, and don’t help you at all.
C. You believe with reasonable certainty that you could provide a better service than they do, you have suitable qualifications or the expertise to do the job they currently do.
D. You raise your arms and shout….”JOB CHALLENGE” and are immediately in touch with the person’s manager, who on hears your challenge and sums up what you and that worker have told them.
E. If your challenge is “found”, You get the job and the other person is sent to seek Social Security.
F. You undergo a two week trial.
G. If you pass the job is now permanently (until challenged) yours.
This policy has many good outcomes……
1. It immediately improves customer service.
2. It gives the unemployed a real chance at finding suitable work.
3. It makes dealing with dickheads more fun.
Ahhh, we can but dream.
With yet another recent job knock-back. I tell myself ‘there is always a reason’ and reflect on my presentation, behaviour, thoughts and experiences. This is how I convince myself I am progressing despite feeling I am sliding further downhill. My “Individual Assessment Report” on the recent “suitable but not preferred” Assessment further drove the reflectors in my brain. All I can say is I hope the interviewers never find themselves in my position. (I don’t believe they ever will because they are unlikely to ‘leap empty handed into the void’ as I have done, leave a very reasonable ‘No bullshit’ job, throw themselves to fate and move thousands of kilometres across Gondwanaland. (No real regrets by the way)
However back to the ‘Assessment’. Some background………….
1. I am now what’s called a ‘mature’ jobseeker, and Mr Abbot our venerable PM has suggested a further 10 years of work should be about right for me.
2. I have a solid working experience of over 30 years across my field, and never till my move here has this been in a ‘bullshit job’.
3. I provided the panel with referees that have known me and my work well over those years.
The panel did not call my referrees insteadthey contacted me for names of recent supervisors from their own department (all 3 of whom had known me for an average of less than 4 months, and therefore not that well. They then asked them about “past and current performance in relation to the position’s selection criteria, primary objective and key responsibilities…..”
My ‘Assessment’ Results:
Referrees said I was-
‘very knowledgeable’, ‘very passionate particularly about working collaboratively’, was ‘diligent and reliable’, could ‘work in a self directed manner’ but ‘tended to ‘over research’ topics’
Now for the “Not so good for getting a job in the public service” ones.
‘has been observed to sometimes express considerable frustration about bureaucratic systems and processes‘ has developed good relationships with managers and other team members, despite initially presenting as over-confident and abrupt‘ ‘personal style can be abrupt‘ has‘strong personal style had potential to ‘rub people up the wrong way’ though this not witnessed as occurring. (My emphasis)
I did however ‘address the Panel’s questions about referee comments in an open and reflective manner, and said that I had learned to “lower expectations about what could realistically be achieved” in a bureaucracy.
Recommendation: Suitable. though not successful applicant
I am sure others with PS experience would agree high expectations about what can realistically be achieved (for others if not oneself) are often dashed in the public service. But there’s more bad news for them…ii
Now of course I cant sign off without mention of the situation for public servants keen on blogging or merely joining the farce book community who are now crippled into silence if not chosen for their compliant loyalty.
Well reflection really is a fine thing.
I thing these are excellent credentials for becoming a blogger. I am eminently suitable.
Possibly also excellent credentials for becoming a Human Rights Commissioner. (Although I am NOT a Liberal Party member or past member and am not a mate of Senator UNOCCUPIED PALESTINE Brandis.)
Although our ‘Freedom Commissioner’ appears to come further down the line from other aspiring candidates in relation to, ” demonstrated superior performance in sensitive problem resolution”
“JOB CHALLENGE Mr Tim WILSON!’
Don’t think I’d have a chance with the boss do you? Must be time to review the policy.