Recently I made a brief comment on the award Lord Peter Whispy received for his mincing of the mother tongue (there's no point in anchoring it, I'm not prolific at the moment so go and find it yourselves). On opening my emails earlier today I encountered a veritable butcher's shop of same - not from foreign Johnnies attempting to sell me stuff I have no use for, this was, disappointingly, from another government department. Those of you familiar with my occasional posts on the Facebook may remember my frustration at being unable to complete a job application to join Natural England, a sub-barony of Defra (or for the senior members of my readership, The Ag and Fish) for whom I used to work some years ago before circumstances and idleness overtook. Yesterday, and contrary to common sense, I once again requested an application form from them following a lead from Dolescum Central, this time for the post of Regional Geographic Information Analyst. It's to do with mapping and stuff. I like maps rather too much for someone of my tender years and when I worked for the Ministry, the digital mapping systems were just coming in and as my department dealt with field sizes we were just starting to use it to digitise the existing mapping data. I played with it and it was like, fun; I was able to calculate the size of our drive to a fraction of a square metre. It really couldn't have been that difficult to use as our mapping clerk was Finnish and she managed it ok. Fair enough, things have probably moved on a bit in 7 years but I thought I might be in with a shout. I have excised and present to your good selves some of the key phrases from the documentation I was sent, I leave you to judge for yourselves what the outcome was.Accountabilities for Natural England outcomes and objectives:
The GI analyst will work (sic) the GI specialist to provide geographic services to support the delivery of our strategic outcomes.
Natural England Behaviours (eh?) and role requirements :
Please identify a minimum of two Natural England behaviours per strategic shift (WTF?) and, if relevant to the role, any technical/specialist knowledge required.
The four Natural England strategic shifts that frame the Natural England Behaviours are:
Creating Environmental Leadership
•Communicates with people in a way that is meaningful for them.
•Engages partners and suppliers early, actively and regularly.
Delivering Our Business (What "business" ? - Earlier you said this post is primarily "internally focused". Oh, I forgot, no doubt there's an "internal market")
•Reacts in a positive and constructive way to problems and setbacks.
•Embraces and values difference.
•Is always prepared to adapt and minimise process in order to achieve a better outcome. (Actually, they way I interpret this crap is, "Do away with crap like this")
Oh really there's so much of this and it makes me want to cry. It's obviously designed for an internal application or for someone who's done an MBA (More Bollocks from America) and can understand this shit. There are four pages describing what "behaviours" are and I'm still none the wiser. I think it means job requirements and responsibilities allied to seniority. I remember making an internal application while I was there and it was nowhere near as daft as this. I mean, I even got an interview. How on earth does one start working there? How is today's iPod Touch wielding teenager meant to get a rung on the public sector ladder even if, as we are constantly being led to believe by those who claim to know, they don't really communicate using words containing vowels? Or are they taught this crap at school?
One of the repeating themes of the "behaviours" was doing more with less and reducing obfuscatory practises such as this. Oh, and right at the bottom, there was something the Jobcentre neglected to put on the original description - degree needed.
Ironically, while writing this I have been offered an interview for another job. The online application form consisted of, if I remember correctly, 6 questions along the line of "Tell us about yourself? Why do you think you're qualified for this job? and what are your best qualities?" The woman who phoned called to say she loved my application and it made her laugh. And she was American. Civil Service? Tossers.