Wednesday, October 08, 2014

A guide to modern management

Have an issue at work?  Understand that the modern manager is like a guitar-player that only knows a few riffs.  Here's two of the most common:

a) "We hear what you're saying but instead of the issue you raise, let's focus on your failure to observe the approved bureaucratic protocol".  This means in practice that you probably didn't inform the correct people in the hierarchy in the officially-sanctioned order.  This is always and everywhere a more serious matter than the one you originally raised.

b) "We hear what you're saying.  Let's work out why any problems you're having with this are actually all your fault".

Translation: "We have power and you don't - what are you going to do about it?"  This is why trades unions are on balance a jolly good thing.


sloppy said...

Hi shugggy,
I'm called Neil Burns, an ex-pupil of yours. I believe you taught all my 3 older brothers too. at a certain Glasgow high school built of red brick.
I also occasionally see you in a certain west end pub that used to be called chimmy chumgas. though I can't verify that and if I see you I won't drunkenly bother you and ask for a cigarette even though I don't smoke.
N.B. - really, i won't. Unless I can have a guarantee you won't blog about it , and bothersome ex-pupils in general, afterwards.

But regardless I felt compelled to comment because I agree entirely with your referendum posts and perspective.

Being a 22-y.o. young man in central Glasgow you can imagine the peer pressure to be a Yes supporter. I imagine Germany in the early 1930s was a similar kind of pressure to bow down to a nationalism. It wasn't pleasant.

I could go on all day about it but I'll just say the main feeling is relief it's over, and now we can get on with daily life and perhaps grill the incumbent SNP govt on what they've done (i.e., not much, save the Scottification of everything -Police Scotland? What was wrong with regional polices? What was wrong with Scottish Executive? Its all baby steps to their endgame of home rule. It needs sorted out.) since '07 and their smokescreen is now gone.

But now the smokescreen'll be devo max , and even if we had independence it'd be the English in general, I suppose. Such is the nature of an irrational philosophy like nationalism.

I voted No and on the 18th I played my bagpipes in my Labour Vote No t shirt. My surname is Burns. Half my family speak Gaelic. I'm a proud Scot, I'm not ashamed to say it. I'm also a proud Brit, not ashamed about that either. Why should I be? Some all-encompassing political map of the UK where England is blue and Scotland is red?

According to Wikipedia : "The fallacy of composition arises when one implies that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole (or even of every proper part)."

I think Yes supporters, by and large, failed to grasp this point, and the notion of a philosophical fallacy in general.

Neil Burns

Shuggy said...

Hi Neil,

Thanks for your comment. The pub? Heh! It's okay, it's not a secret. Cooper's? That's me alright.

The 1930s Germany analogy is too strong but I entirely agree it was a deeply unpleasant experience. I'd say those who think it was a jolly debate are almost always Yes voters who were largely talking to like-minded people. I guess that's okay since I think that's one of the reasons they lost but I certainly don't want to go through that experience again. You might be interested to know this vaguely bullying peer pressure was felt by some of your former teachers as well. One of them, who I won't name, was buckling under the pressure but I persuaded them to vote No by the power of text. Isn't technology wonderful thing?

P.S. You're 22 and I taught your older brothers? I do actually remember but don't I feel old?


sloppy said...

P.S. I'm sorry for the Nazi reference. Does that mean I lose, as per Goodwin's law?

Surely there is another nationalist ideological recruitment movement that coerced the unwilling to do its bidding ... Beyond Hitler, and pop culture, (I was going to use imperial stormtroopers from Star Wars) I'm all out.

But hopefully you get the gist of what I'm trying to say. I've been variously called a traitor, an "English commie" and several friends of mine of many years now no longer speak to me.
The overwhelming emotion, post-indyref, is relief.

In fact the energization from the referendum ( a referendum which so supposedly had so little to do with the SNP-?) has only resulted in SNP membership double and the other main result is we've forgotten about SNP failings like MacAskill's attempt to arm our police force, the Nats' 7-year council tax freeze (which in real terms amounts to a cut and hey no one least of all me likes paying council tax but the foxes in Glasgow didn't exist when the bins were getting taken out twice a week. In our street the binmen come once a week now, if even, and the vermin has increased massively. We even had a rat in the house.)
etc. etc. etc.Anyway I'll stop bothering you now but it wouldn't be an internet post from me without me plugging my band so *deep breath*
P.P.S. Please don't delete this post >_<

Shuggy said...

No, that's okay. 1930s Germany a little strong but somehow the whole thing had a faint interwar whiff about it nevertheless. I'm actually glad when I find I'm not the only one who thinks so.

You're right about the lack of scrutiny for the Scottish government's handling of the powers it already has and I also agree that 'devo-max' will be the latest distraction. The Smith Commission won't recommend it because it's a terrible idea that's unworkable. The SNP will do the whole 'we woz robbed' all over again but I'm optimistic that they won't get as much traction for this as they think they will.

Sorry to hear of your travails. I've been relatively fortunate in that the only people who have fallen out with me over this are people I didn't really like that much in the first place but I know this hasn't been everyone's experience, to put it mildly. I'm getting the impression it's those who were engaged in politics for the first time during indyref that are coping with defeat particularly badly.

sloppy said...

Some thoughts on that point... Yes appealed, for the swing points, to a massively fickle electorate. As we know Dundee and Glasgow who voted Yes also had among the lowest turnouts. There's many reasons for that but one might be how fickle their voters are. For example this guy I know who voted Liberal in 2010, SNP in 2007 and 2011 and Yes in 2014. He has literally never lost an election, as it were. (I'd suggest the Liberal 2010 vote fulfilled his aim of kicking the Labour party, though it didn't get his chosen party a majority, so he still sort of 'won', on some moral, meta-level)

While this is just one person, it speaks to a more general malaise, which is of people who are non-political.

To him, politics is basically a sort of lifestyle choice, akin to if you drink Coke or Pepsi or wear Nike or Adidas... And in reality politics a long, compromising struggle. Far too many people don't understand this. (I'm thinking one thing that maybe might help this is if voting were mandatory, with a 'None of the above' option for those who wish it). Well, perhaps.

Now I'm going to see if we can still rise now and be a nation who can beat the likes of Georgia again. - Update - the game's over and kicked off at 5? Strange.

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