July 14th, 2010

Memory overflow

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

A while ago we used to have all our leave sorted out by people on the shift, the sergeants got together & arranged it so that more or less everyone got leave when they wanted it. It was a situation which worked well for many years.

Then someone decided that a department ought to sort all this stuff out, so they created one & staffed it up. this means that there were less staff doing the job that the people in charge of sorting out duties used to do.

The upshot was that suddenly, getting leave & time off was severely restricted. Instead of applying for leave when you wanted it, you had to know a year in  advance what you wanted & then apply for it & the minute an exact year to your holiday drew & you’d still have only a 50-50 chance of getting it. This seemed very strange since before this new department, you had a 95% chance of getting what you wanted and nothing had changed except people were getting paid lots of cash to sort it all out, like it needed sorting out.

So we’ve had a couple of years of not getting leave, not getting it when you wanted it, and having to change your hours so some people who otherwise wouldn’t get anything, get something. You might think that changing from a system that works to a system that doesn’t work, might lead back to the system that worked.

No, the answer is to let a computer sort it out. We’ve been told about this brand spanking new software which can miraculously sort out duties & leave is coming, soon. It’s been coming for 3 years to my knowledge. For all I know it’s in now & is just as hopeless as the real people who can’t sort it out now. How will we know? I guarantee people won’t suddenly start getting all their leave applications fulfilled.

So we’ll have a department of arse-sitters & spread-sheet viewers that someone is paying for, plus we’ll hve stuck many thousands into the coffers of some software company for even more electronic shite that doesn’t deliver what it promises.

And I still won’t be able to go away for the weekend with the wife next April.

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  1. Locally LOST says:

    Hmm, that sounds remarkably close to a place I work. Now that the world cup is over we can finally apply to have days off again, even though most of our department was affected in no way whatsoever by the world cup itself

    July 15th, 2010 at 12:33

  2. Stonehead says:

    It’s the same everywhere.

    I used to lead teams of up to 60 people and no matter which company I worked for I always found it simple to organise holidays. I had a big wall planner with the the public and school holidays shaded, plus a diary. Staff with school-age children had first call on school holidays, those who’d worked bank holidays the previous year had first call on them in the current year, and after that it was first-come, first-served provided no one department was down more than a quarter of its staff.

    Everyone could see at a glance what the position was and if they wanted to organise swaps, it was up to them to come to me with a viable solution.

    Then came the rise of “Human Resources”. Personnel departments went from being a couple of clerks responsible for collating and filing personnel records to huge, bloated monstrosities filled with numerous experts who came up with ever more complicated ways of stuffing up what should be very simple tasks. And then passed the actual work back to the managers…

    July 15th, 2010 at 19:19

  3. Civ_In_The_City says:

    And another example in the ‘didn`t see that coming’ category: The European Working Time Directive”.

    As with all the health and safety stuff, it was never intended to become an over-bearing, onerous sack of shit. But it did.

    At my place we used to book leave by filling in a little green form, pass it to our manager to sign off, then file it in the ‘annual leave’ folder. Someone, maybe him, maybe me, would put it on a calendar somewhere. Job done. And very handy to look back and see how much time you`ve already taken (can you spot a tiny ‘trust’ element in this process?).

    Then that form went electronical, to test the new electronical forms system. It was shite. The already small form had to be scrolled up the screen because of all the toolbars, buttons, widgets and web-frippery stuff that is apparently essential with all electronical forms systems.

    Then they scrapped it because they realised it was shite.

    Now we`ve got the mother of all electronical systems for all manner of stuff, of which applying for annual leave is just a small part.

    And it`s shite as well.

    If I pick the ‘start date’ for my weeks holiday as October 12th 2010, then click on the ‘end date’ widget, should it automatically skip over everything between now and October 12th, because it`s a computer, and even the dumbest computer can be taught that you don`t return from holidays before you`ve even left?

    Of course it should. But does it? No. It`s shite. Thick and shite.

    And it`s the global market leader in ‘back office’ software.

    I shit you not.

    July 15th, 2010 at 19:53

  4. Tony F says:

    I work in a very small company. There are 3 engineers covering a large area, we manage to work it out so our area is covered by two of us at any given time, we get our holidays. We don’t have a manager to do it for us, and we have to get it right or our customers will take their money elsewhere, and you can not blame them.

    July 15th, 2010 at 21:12

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