He has a head! Also that last big update was ALL THE SAME COLOUR and thus very boring. Next I move onto the problematic triangles as shared on Instagram...
Now for work stuff. I will try to make this brief because I'm too tired for a lengthy explanation and it's really boring out of context, but basically...
Our team leaders have finally come to an agreement with their higher-ups that the minute-takers' minimum weekly minuting requirement will be increased from three meetings a week to four, in a bid to attempt to cover more meetings. In a perfect world we would cover everything, but the pure fact is we do not have enough staff; we had several new agency Chairs start over Christmas (who have subsequently left and been replaced), which enabled additional meetings to be booked into diaries, but they did not increase the number of minute-takers in order to cover said additional meetings. We have to prioritise initial conferences, receiving-in conferences from other authorities, and anything for more than four children. Everything else has to be done by the Chair themselves.
The Chairs' diaries are so full they barely have any admin time, and the service being "citywide" means what little time they do have between meetings is spent travelling from location to location. What this means in real terms is that they have no time to read/amend/sign minutes and plans, which is making everything go out of timescale.
Anyway, in order to facilitate us doing one more meeting a week (for full-time staff, anyway; part-timers will be expected to do two per week) they have had to take a task off us and give it to the central CP team at Margaret Street. That task is the post-meeting outcome forms and associated admin. (The Chair completes an electronic outcome form and we update the meeting on CareFirst, send decision letters, etc.) Given that the central team already have a backlog of DOH outcomes (where there is no minute-taker), our reaction to this news yesterday was abject horror.
After the abject horror and ten minutes of ranting at our line manager (who is on our side but she and her colleagues have reached a point where they had to agree to something just to keep the peace from their higher-ups) the three of us who were in at that point just sort of... sat there, in silence. Utterly defeated.
The advice is now to stop fighting and let the systems break down. If we get backlogs, we get backlogs; if Central fuck things up, it's not our problem; if the Godawful Stats continue to have an impact, so be it. Basically we have to do as we are told and prove that this shitty idea is actually a shitty idea, because they won't listen if we actually say so and think that giving us four meetings a week will miraculously Solve All Problems. We've been told to log all our activities, including travel time, so we can account for how long things are taking and evidence where the time is spent.
Most of all, we have been advised not to let it get to us, to rise above it, or to sink to the same level as colleagues in other areas who do the absolute bare minimum... but we pride ourselves, in South, for providing an excellent service, and by the very nature of the work you cannot simply 'switch off'. We have two colleagues on long-term sick, one of whom is another of us who probably cares too much, and we're really worried she'll just look elsewhere rather than coming back to this ridiculous shambles of an operation.
At this point I am so bloody exhausted that I don't even care any more. I give up. We've all given up. At some point there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and everything will suddenly come together into a bubble of perfect communication and systems that work, but right now things are just... drainingly, mind-numbingly frustrating.
So, there's that.
I have quite a busy weekend ahead, and given I spent the entire frelling Bank Holiday weekend with a migraine, hopefully this one won't be a bloody write-off as well. Because work being stressful is one thing; losing out on what little free time I do have thanks to my body being obnoxious is simpy not on. :P