"All things are wearisome, more than one can say." - Ecclesiastes 1:8

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Teachers and bureaucracy

Teachers frequently complain about the amount of paperwork they have to do. I reckon they shouldn't so much for two reasons:

a) I don't think many of my colleagues appreciate that today most people have to fill in stupid forms where they say what they are going to do, then do it, and then fill in more stupid forms describing what they have just done. It has something to do with 'management' and 'accountability', apparently. Call me old-fashioned if you must but personally I'd like the people responsible for dreaming up this shit to be accountable to a firing squad.

b) They should adopt my ingenious bureaucracy-busting strategy - which is simply not to do it. Instead file tedious documents in the cylindrical repository next to your desk.

Amongst the drawbacks of this strategy is you get into trouble for this sort of behaviour, especially when dealing with people with professional authority over you who choose the memo over conversation as the default mode of communication - even though you see them face to face every goddam day.

But I would sill commend this policy to you, because for the unambitious its advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

5 comments:

Yorkshireminer said...

I have always referred to “the cylindrical repository next to my desk” as the general file and even have a label pasted on it so as not to forget. The whole bloody farce has been brought about by the bureaucrats .who on discovering what computers could do, didn't use it to make there work much easier but to make more work. It is quiet understandable, if they hadn't have done that then they would have been out of a job. Unfortunately they are using us to supply them with the mountain of imput, ie. more and more paper. The solution is quiet simple if it could be implemented and that is to ask the question does anybody read it if not dump it

Paulie said...

The people who invented this bullshit didn't get where they are today by doing your job any better than you do, or by communicating using any other means than the memo.

I like the firing squad idea.

By the way, has anyone pointed out to you that your limp-wristed opposition (passim) to National Service (apparently it's 'illiberal' whatever that means) is directly at odds to your advocacy of press-ups as a solution to almost every problem known to man?

dearieme said...

My boss "You have to write me a report."
Me "OK. What would you like me to say?"
Him "I doesn't matter. I won't read it."

Anonymous said...

As an academic retired for more than ten years, I can reveal without prejudice to my future career that when confronted by imbecile forms requiring figures which I could not give without expenditure of time and labour I have always found it simpler to pluck numbers out of the air. No objection will be raised if the figures given are internally consistent, and given the standard of competence of those whom it has pleased God to set over us it is of no great consequence what if any relationship the information which they receive bears to anything in the world of fact.

George S said...

"Call me old-fashioned if you must but personally I'd like the people responsible for dreaming up this shit to be accountable to a firing squad."

That is a perfectly simple matter. You just have to pick up the appropriate Grievances form from the office and take particular care to fill in the box headed Proposed Course of Action, entering for Criteria and Outcome, and finally ticking the multiple choice boxes labelled Anger Level from Mildly Irritated to Suicidal, potentially Murderous.

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