It makes me sad that most of the opportunities for people to engage in fresh and dynamic thinking around how digital can change the face of the public sector happen out of hours; It a sure sign that the core of the public sector still hasn’t realised the potential.
Due to the complexity of my leave year and my inability to actually take leave, I have been of work for the majority of the last four weeks and I am not sure it’s done me the world of good you might think it should. In short I hate the sucky management stuff more today than I was before I had a holiday.
I try really hard to disconnect from work when I am on leave and for the first week; when I was on the Isle of Wight, this was made easier by the complete lack of internet connectivity where we were staying. The second longer break at home with my wealth of internet connectivity hasn’t gone as well.
I admit the guilt of being off for so long has caused me to peak a few times at my work email, and that it transpires is all it takes. One look at a random email and your day is ruined. Some stupid so-and-so has asked for such-and-such, are they the stupidest person on earth? Often it’s the most innocuous comment that does it.
I am particularly wound up by the random emails of admin – you know the type, please for the sake of the company tick this box, or fill this out in triplicate to confirm that the coffee cups are all lined up. In the fog of work those emails just get a minor grunt and are chucked back with the lack of thought they deserve (or indeed require), but when you have been removed from the actual grind for any amount of time these emails just become the focus of my “everything that’s wrong with the world rants”
I know these emails exist in most if not all companies and this isn’t really a rant against my current job or employer, but really are there not better ways for people to be spending their time?
Over the last few weeks, I have allowed myself to think about work and the many ways in which it is getting me down and how and what I spend my time on is the key theme that keeps coming back
- The amount of meetings with no end or no aim – Yes I know what the books say, but that’s bull, “excuse me director X but I am not coming because you don’t have a clear agenda and aims”… doesn’t work
- The amount of documents to say the same thing to someone else, the amount of stat chasing (and i mean management information, not you know the useful ones that tell you if customers are happy).
- The endless emails asking for stuff that really no-one would care about if they honestly just stopped and thought about it for longer than a second.
- The amount of time I spend just doing stuff, when really someone else should be doing it, but either through my own incompetence, lack of trust in them or the unreasonableness of the demand they can’t.
Now I don’t directly control all of this – which is something else that sends me into the work/hate spiral. I can’t stop most of the management stuff, and when I do not hate it for existing I hate myself for not doing it quickly enough and moving on.
So with only three days until I have to actually go back to work, I’ve been formulating what I can do… and now I might go off and write that down somewhere, because otherwise I will be distracted and forget only to remember I hate it again on Monday morning.
I’ve never really settled on a career. Yes I’ve been doing roughly the same thing and increasing levels of seniority since I graduated from university 11 years ago, but it’s not like I planned any of it.
I have, to all intents and purposes, been living off the fact that between the ages of 18 – 23 I did nothing but play about with computers for an unsociably large amount of time. Ever since then I’ve just been putting in the minimal amount of effort to keep my knowledge topped up and stumbling from job to job making it sound like I know what I am talking about.
When ever I give a presentation I aways feel like I could have done it better. Mainly because I know if I’d had done a bit more preparation, or actually thought about the topic more methodically I might have made more sense, but also because I know I will never be hitting the heights of the TED talkers.