23 November 2012

The Friday Joke - Redundant - we have a screensaver for that!

Communicating with staff by email is a really blunt way of doing so. Much better to talk to everyone in small groups.
From: First Team
Sent: 23 November 2012 17:11
To: AllStaff
Subject: Weekly message from the Deputy Chief Executive

This week has obviously been dominated by the news of Capita being named as the officer recommendation for the NSCSO contract.

The announcement of the details and of the business case has surprised people in two ways. Externally observers seem taken aback by the scale of the savings the council will receive - £125 million over the lifetime of the contract with an extra £8 million investment in the service as the contract starts.

Internally staff affected have undoubtedly been surprised by the rapid scale and pace of transformation.

The two are obviously connected.

197 posts could leave the borough for other towns in England and Northern Ireland by December 2013. For people with a partner working in London and children in London schools, the thought of upping sticks and moving to the north of England is probably unappealing. But it is important for those of you affected that you shouldn't immediately think the only alternative is redundancy.

Capita, if they are confirmed as our partners, are a large organisation with 50,000 staff and they will be committed to finding alternative roles within the company for NSCSO staff wherever possible.

In the meantime, screensavers and posters advertise the range of support available for anyone who would like to take it up, both in relation to NSCSO and budget savings.

Andrew (Black Hole Travers)

Please define "unappealing" in the comment box below.

The council treat employees as a commodity and don't give a tinker's cuss for their lives and feelings. They disgust Mr Mustard.

This Friday joke isn't, of course, at all funny.

Update 11:47

An open apology to Mr Travers

Apostrophes cause so much trouble. In this case the message, sent to me by several sources unfortunately came in an incorrect version first and a correct version later. When changing from one email format to another the apostrophe often turns into a comma and my informant tidied up the email and accidentally deleted the end of the word "shouldn't". I am sorry that an incorrect version was published (see Brian, look how quick and easy an email can be!).

Yours contritely

Mr Mustard


  1. Hello, Mr M. This is even worse written than one of Nick Walkley's weekly warblings. As you have tweeted, Andrew Travers lives in Sussex or somewhere nice like that.

    I don't understand what these screensavers and posters (!) are advertising: 'support... in relation to NSCSO and budget savings'.

    What does he mean? You who are about to lose your jobs are going to have less money to spend in future?

    I know it's not up to me, but if I worked at NLBP and were affected by this NSCSO outsourcing, I would have 'walked' (even if only for a short while) in protest when this announcement was made. I am a strong believer in standing on one's dignity!

  2. Hi Citizen

    Andrew Travers had cut down his time in Barnet and was also acting as Director of Corporate Resources at East Sussex County Council where spies told Mr Mustard that he was as popular as in Barnet (how popular you will be able to work out for yourself). They were relieved when after the contract with Comensura (who now provide temps for Barnet) was extended up until December it became apparent that would be the end of his time in E Sussex. He also became S151 officer there for the 6 months.

    Unlike many senior officers who travel huge distances to the magnetic hub of One Barnet, it can't be the excessive fees that attracts them can it? Andrew Travers lives in, wait for it, Haringey. Perhaps he just fancied a breath of sea air after the claustrophobic atmosphere of Barnet.

    The screensavers and posters will be advertising the support put in place for staff at risk. You can go on a workshop entitled "Interactive Interview Skills" or another called "Accessing the hidden job market" (I think the jobs have been hidden in Belfast and other Capita locations) and my particular 'favourite' "Change and me" which "deal with the emotional aspects of change and teach staff coping mechanisms for coping with stress" so everything will be all right then? Just what you want to see every morning for the next 6 months when you fire up the computer.

    Funnily enough if you have got to look around the country for another job, and Revs & Bens staff for example do have skills that are in demand, then East Sussex is not a bad place. the staff there are very friendly. If you have to move, why follow Capita. Choose the location where you want to go and see what is available.

  3. I absolutely agree with Citizen Barnet: I think if I had been a member of staff receiving this email, I would not have been responsible for my actions. I may very well not be responsible for my actions anyway, on their behalf: I simply cannot believe the tone of this dreadful piece of 'communication', and have had to re-read it several times.One day perhaps Travers will learn quite what it feels like to be in the position of someone facing this news, with all the terrible distress it causes. I sincerely hope so, anyway.

  4. Glad to see the word was shouldn't, but the fact remains that the tone of this email does not reflect the real distress being caused to loyal, hard working employees now facing the loss of their livelihoods: Travers says that those with families rooted in London "the thought of upping sticks and moving to the north of England is probably unappealing" .... probably unappealing? And offering as consolation aupport via a screensaver?

  5. Look at the time of the email 17.11
    On Fridays most staff have leave at 17.00 when the phone lines close - They have this condescending email to look forward to on Monday when they start their week :(


I now moderate comments in the light of the Delfi case. Due to the current high incidence of spam I have had to turn word verification on.