Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Boredom as a way of life

The other week my acupuncturist told me I'm not really suited for the sedentary desk job that I have and I need to move around more. It's great when a medical professional confirms something you already know. He also said that at least 50% of the people in this country really don't like their jobs, yet another thing I already had a slight inkling of.

When I was at University I thought the admin/support people were completely useless. Now I am one of those people I know the truth: there are just enough useless people here that those of us who can do a good job have to spend an awful lot of our time clearing up other people's mistakes. It's not a case of institutional incompetence, it's more that it's very difficult to instigate change of any sort. If they hire someome who turns out to be no good, it's such a turgid procedure to get rid of them that they're generally just moved around until they're in the place where they can cause the least damage. Of course that means we all have at least one dead horse attached to the team cart, slowing us down to a crawl.

The thing is, I wouldn't mind having a tedious job quite so much if the management here was significantly better. I've been here for over two years (but hoping to find something else by Christmas) and every time you get a bit settled you're moved into another team in the latest restructuring effort. I've been in my current team for a month and I'm only just getting an idea of what I'm really supposed to be doing. They're supposed to be providing proper training for the new employees we've just taken on but the rest of us are taught/told nothing so you usually feel as though you're having to bumble your way through everything. Job satisfaction is definitely an oxymoron here unless you've got so little going on outside work you have to live through your job no matter what.

The other thing is more to do with environment: thanks to the rampant boredom the rumour mill here is in full flow most of the time. It used to annoy me no end that people would leap on any throwaway comment and twist it into an impending calamity but it's now obvious that people do it because they need something to think about and the job itself isn't enough. This is probably typical of admin jobs: you have to pay attention to lots of small details which are 'important' to the work but completely uninteresting so your brain is not engaged at all.

I think I've just proved how boring the job is: I've written those ridiculous paragraphs of prattle and that was more interesting than doing any work.

Monday, 22 October 2007

An end has a start

The first of many.