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Council Staff

Two planks

Are all council staff as thick as two short planks? Well obviously not, but some definitely have a problem in the comprehension department and others are just plain rude and should be reminded who pays their wages. Give a council officer a posh title with ‘Head’ in it and the power soon corrupts. I offer this short anecdote which may throw some light on the state of our councils.

Some years ago when I managed a small business I had to ‘lose’ one member of staff. He wasn’t stupid (he’d been to grammar school and acquired some GCEs) but wasn’t nearly as productive as he should have been. Afterwards he asked me for a reference as he’d been offered a job by the council. I wrote one designed to get him an interview and neatly avoided any negative points.

Later I was thanked for helping him to get the job and he told me about the exam he had to sit.

It was a written paper providing multi-choice answers to fairly easy questions. He answered all of them in 20 minutes and wondered what to do for the remainder of the two hours. So he carefully rechecked his answers and left the room and wandered around town to pass the time. When the two hours had elapsed he returned to the exam room and sat outside to see if he was needed for anything.

Out came the other candidates and he was surrounded by several of them wishing to congratulate him on having the courage to walk out early from such a difficult exam which they couldn’t complete. Not surprisingly he was offered a job and within a relatively short time gained a promotion. However the point is that the candidates who couldn’t finish the two hour exam he completed in 20 minutes got jobs too.

OK, I have an admission to make. It was Greenwich council, not Bexley, but I bet the situation there is no different.

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