Sunday 12 August 2012


We had a bit of a management reshuffle at work a while back. Responsibilities for various things got shuffled around. I have a pretty reasonable grasp of the detail of what most of the managers around me do, so I was rather gobsmacked this week to discover that one of them had almost no grasp of one function that he had managed for about 4 years.

Let me give an example to illustrate.

Let's say you work in a pub. Six months ago, jobs were shuffled and you became the bar manager, and the bar manager moved over to manage the accommodation section.

One day, the ex-manager walks into the bar and sees a bin full of empty bottles, and goes berserk at one of the bar staff.

"Why aren't these bottles sorted by colour? We've always sorted out glass recycling by colour, as that's what the recycling company demands."

You look at the manager oddly. When he handed over to you, nothing was said about sorting empty bottles by colour. And there never appeared to be any need to do so, as the big empty bottle skip out the back in the car park isn't partitioned into clear, brown and green glass anyway.

All the other old timers look at the ex-manager funny too - they've been there for years, and they've always just thrown all the glass into one big skip.

Being a bit puzzled, but slightly unsure, you climb up and peer into the skip in the car park - it has no partitions, so sorting by colour would be a waste of time.

You check your records going back years - the paperwork you have from the glass recycler has no mention anywhere of glass recycling. There is no chance that 5 years ago, you were indeed getting a partitioned bin, and this changed when you took over without you knowing.

You ring the manager of the pubs down the street and ask them how they recycle - they all do it like you are doing it now (mixing the glass) and laugh at the suggestion that bottles have to be separated.

Your final call is to the glass recycling bloke, who is silent for a few moments when you ask about colour sorting. He's puzzled - why are you asking? You tell him about the ex-manager. He explodes with laughter - so loudly, you have to pull the phone away from your ear.

The final check is to search the records for the first order form for a recycling bin. You find it. It's for a single, unsorted bin. The name and signature and phone number of the ex-manager are on the paperwork. He supposedly ordered it. He supposedly managed it. And he had no idea about any of it.

And then he gets on his high horse and tells you that you are doing it all wrong.

Just gobsmacked.

1 comment:

Steve at the Pub said...

Hmmm, trying to feel your pain.
Unfortunately I've never worked in a show big enough for that sort of BS to go on.
A company with somewhere between 300-500 staff is as big as I've worked in.