Diary; A lighter take on the working week.

We start with a project board meeting. All is going well until the project management advisor suggests this is not a project board any more as the project is too big. We need to have a programme board and seven project boards. So, no time to do anything meaningful for the rest of my career then. The day gets better until the social services complaints manager decides that someone who made a complaint for someone else, who didn’t want to complain, should have his complaint dealt with as though it was a complaint under the corporate procedures instead of our procedures. I want to complain that it seems as though the complaints manager wants as many complaints as possible so he can make sure he doesn’t go out in the current job evaluation system. But that would probably get us into the grievance procedure (or is it the disciplinary procedure, or is it the capability procedure?). Yes, I was right, no time to do any real work today then.

It’s our management meeting. Half a day of looking at how to save money. We call this month “flip chart month”. It’s that time in the financial year when senior management realise the projected overspend can’t be addressed through just freezing care assistant posts, so out comes the flip chart for an “any ideas welcome” session. I am sure that flip chart paper must be quite expensive.

I turn up for the young people in transitions steering group. So do the managers in my services. Problem is no one turns up from children’s services. Still, we manage to put together an action plan for children’s services. Not a waste of time after all, although I am not sure that my colleague in children’s services will appreciate some of our radical thinking. Transferring their projected underspend to our services being one of our better ideas.

This is the meeting I most look forward to each month. It’s the meeting with our finance colleagues to talk about audit, charging, sundry income and bad debts. I love the term “bad debt” as it suggests there is such a thing as a good debt. I think I will look at all my debts as being good debts from now on. That means I don’t have to feel guilty about owing so much money. Northern Rock might not agree. I can’t actually remember what we agreed in this meeting, but I expect I have to do something, so I’m looking forward to the minutes.

Finally, something to really enjoy. I supervise a new team manager who is really getting to grips with practice issues in her team. She also seems to understand performance indicators, so I am well impressed. She makes her team laugh, which is an added bonus.

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