T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh

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The Latest Office Fiasco.

Sometimes, I honestly wonder how people get to be managers...  You'd think it would involve some level of people skills, right?

Tina R doesn't seem to possess any.  She can flip from being sane and pleasant to angry, ranting and terrifying at the drop of a hat, then switch right back again to apologise if you happened to get the brunt of her rage.  She's demanding and stubborn and impatient and fails to understand the phrase "she's on the other line at the moment".  And she also sends emails last thing on a Friday afternoon (at 3.45) that send the entire office into a tizzy.

You can ignore most of the statistical stuff, but some of it is relevant so I've left it in there (bold emphasis mine, with notes in square brackets). It should also be noted that none of the typists were on Tina R's emailing list, which is rather unfair considering it concerns them as well. I should really email her and ask to be included on her future admin-email lists, but she'll probably come up with some reason why I shouldn't be on there...


- To review the workload distribution between GCH Admin Team
- To review the workload distribution between Admin team across HOB
- To address working together issues between Admin and Chairs at GCH.
- To review the workload distribution between HOB chairs
- To agree a transfer process between Aston and Care Management sites.

Summary of issues:

At GCH LAC cases account for 520 children CP cases account for 135 children.

The distribution of work between GCH admin is therefore disproportionate when two staff each work on each Child Protection and LAC.

The care management site typists are responsible for Child Protection DOH but LAC typing is the greatest percentage of workload. GCH chairs cover 640 children. All Saint chairs cover 484 children plus their share of 16+ cases. Therefore the distribution of workload between the two typists is unequal.

[Yes, I agree, it is unequal. And you know why? The minute-takers at GCH don't do anything, so the typist is bloody drowning.]

HOB has approx 24 children in external placements. 17 of these children are allocated to GCH, 7 to All Saints and 3 within the 16+ team. Aston very rarely have external mtgs. Therefore the distribution of external reviews is unequal across HOB


The admin staff at GCH have consistently requested a Child Protection/LAC split as a preferred way of working. Tina R and Tina H do not agree with this in principal as evidence of improved working is seen at the two other sites where there is no split. However the views of the GCH admin team have been considered and the following recommendation aim to share the workload whilst allowing some level of split.

[Translation: the GCH staff are not communicating with each other, and their working atmosphere is unfriendly, uncooperative and generally a shambles.  They are basically refusing to work together as a team despite the fact that every other frelling CP team in the entire of Birmingham, never mind HoB, are working together.]

1. To seek shared administration accommodation for the Child Protection and LAC admin to improve working together arrangement across Child Protection and LAC.

2. The typing for the Asylum Team accommodated children should be the responsibility of the All Saints typist.

[Translation: they're dumping half of GCH's workload onto me because I'm the fastest typist they have.  Never mind the fact that a) I'm already doing typing for SHAO and GCH when they need me to, plus my own workload at LAO and b) I emailed Tina H on Friday to tell her that I was working through Shafiq's insane backlog and therefore could not do any cover for the foreseeable.  So clearly Tina H hasn't had the guts to stand up to Tina R to even consider this.

It also raises a couple more issues, in that one of the POs at GCH, Maxine, was meant to be transferring to LAO because there isn't room for her at GCH with all the new Chairs... she'd be based at LAO and still doing her own cases, which is insane enough anyway.  She was blatantly refusing to be transferred and we didn't really want her coming over either, because she's got a superiority complex that swamps even Sandra's (Maxine is the Chair I typed minutes for about this time last year, who then sent me a snarky email to say I'd done something differently to how she wanted, purely because they'd got in a new temp who'd made the same mistake but I was on email so got the brunt of it...) and it would cause extra work for Cynthia so we'd need Ivy as well and the entire atmosphere of the office would go wrong.  So, anyway, if I'm typing the Asylum Team children's cases, does that mean I have to take them over to GCH myself, using public transport?  Is Tina H going to play carrier pigeon forever?  Is Maxine coming to LAO?

I'm perfectly happy to do it.  But it would've been nice if I'd been frelling consulted first.]

3. GCH admin can continue to offer split service in the following areas: Convening of new conferences /Reviews, Prompt sheets/ Outcome sheets, Input on chairs calendars, Distribution and preparation of files for mtgs for Chairs.

[We've discussed this before and don't do that.  The Chairs are more than capable of finding their own bloody files and quite frankly, we don't have time for it.  It's because of above-their-station POs like Sue and Maxine that this stupid rule even exists.  Basically, we're all saying "bollocks to that" and carrying on as normal.]

4. The following tasks should be allocated to a Child Protection admin team workers: Production of a monthly list of cases from the calendar of all GCH chairs and responsibility for sorting any queries or reconvening of Child Protection or LAC cases identified as a result of this information and responsibility for the management of the white board.

[In our case, management of the whiteboard is my responsibility.  It's my system and I have the neatest handwriting.]

5. All four admin should be responsible for co-ordinating telephone queries on a duty rota.

6. Aston chairs support in the undertaking of external reviews by having approx three cases each identified for which they will be responsible for reviewing.

7. We appreciate that additional admin is an ideal solution and efforts are being made by Carol Wilkins and Carol Douch to secure funding for additional admin time.

We also appreciate that all chairs and admin like to be responsible for work within their own unit and to have clear boundaries of responsibility in place in order that they are able to plan and manage their own workload. We have sought to enable both site splits and also individual responsibility for the majority of workload where possible. However we do need to act as one area and it is the responsibility of Tina R and Tina H to ensure that workload and admin is distributed equally within the current service requirements and resources.

If you feel that you have any better ideas to address the issues raised then we would be very happy to consider them. Please can you send in comments by 10.2.06.

Tina R & Tina H


So, yeah.  I sense a team meeting may be coming very shortly.

I think what pisses me off the most about this is that we weren't even consulted and didn't know the Tinas were even having a meeting.  Having expressly stated my workload is currently huge and I can't do any more cover, they go and assign me more work to do for bloody GCH, when the ideal solution would be to get another typist there, rather than dumping it all in my hands because I'm efficient.  There are limits to my efficiency; I'm only human, FFS, and they'll be the first to complain when I'm drowning and need help.  And then who are they going to turn to?

This Asylum Team typing thing also has repurcussions for Cynthia, because she's refusing to distribute them, and rightly so.  They're not our cases, and she has enough to do considering she's only part time.

It also seems like they haven't taken into account that I don't drive and am reliant on either getting a lift or using public transport, and to get to GCH would involve at least two buses in and out of the city centre.  Or they have and, as stated, Maxine is coming over to LAO.  Which I really don't want, because if she's as snarky in person as she was via email I'm just going to refuse to type for her.  I sent her a polite email back last time explaining that our Chairs do things slightly differently and frelling apologising because she made me feel so guilty about it, and she replied, grudgingly, saying I was right.  Quite frankly, I don't need that kind of hassle going on when I've already got Sandra to contend with.

We definitely all need to get together and discuss this.  Tina H hasn't phoned us up or anything since Friday, so she knows she's going to get her ears bitten off the next time she sees us...

In other, unrelated annoyances, I'd left my phone off silent today and received a text message while it was in my bag.  My phone makes a slightly comedic "Boooing" noise when it gets a text and it's fairly loud.  The message came through and both Amanda and Sandra looked up, giving me filthy looks.  Which I wouldn't be annoyed about if everyone else didn't leave their phones on the loudest bloody setting all day, especially Cynthia and Amanda, who get texts and phonecalls all day on their mobiles.  So that was rather irritating.

I'm also bloody exhausted because it took me an hour and a half to get home.  I missed my first train by about 30 seconds and the next one was delayed by 5 minutes or so, then I was waiting 30 minutes for a 258 so didn't get back until 7.00, having left 11.5 hours earlier this morning and having been at work since 8.30.  Seriously, if I don't gain some flex out of this week I'm going to hurt people.

Aaanyway.  I'm going to have a bath in a bit and then snuggle up in bed with my embroidery.  Or perhaps try and turn my little inspiration from Friday night into something recognisable.
Tags: annoyances: people, annoyances: public transport, twm are in league with the devil, work: child protection

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