Someone asked me what I was doing for a living, and I replied that I am a slashie. I have been a slashie for longer than the term has existed. I am very interested in work, and jobs that other people would probably sneer at always have some interesting new feature to learn.
Over the years I have covered a lot of different areas, and I am usually pretty confident about the actual work side of things. The problem with most workplaces seem to be the people.
Over the last twenty or so years, this problem seems to have been reduced by making most of the staff temporary, the idea being that the managers need some experience and get to stay, whilst everybody else is replaced frequently according to the needs of business or whether they are regarded as nice chaps, or whatever. One company I was told about, a surprisingly household name sized business, was running an entirely illegal financial project, on the basis of temporary staff who could not answer bonus seeking managers back without losing their jobs.
Unfortunately what I have seen since returning to work after taking care of my mother, is that the longer term staff tend to be actually less experienced than the temps, because they have done the same job the same way for far too long. Personality disorders abound, because they were the people nasty enough to get these ‘safe’ roles, and the workplace is hazardous for anyone with any empathy or intelligence, since these individuals inevitably get rid of anyone who is a challenge to them or who might show up their inevitable weaknesses.
This trend has been enhanced by the steady reduction in rights.
Ageism has massively increased, and now that the Conservative government have passed the responsibility for pensions to employers, it is likely to continue to increase, which is not good news for Gen X or millennials, neither of whom get to retire at all.
The solution to this for business is to create self-employed roles for people who will not be considered for full time employment because it is simply too expensive to pay into their pensions.
Therefore, we have an army of underemployed and paradoxically self-employed slashies.
I have about five jobs, a couple of other projects, and I am not that unusual. When I am asked whether I am available for yet more work, I simply move the times for things around.
Other people focus on one slashie role at a time, and burn out relatively quickly. It is far better to like work sufficiently to spend almost all of one’s time seeing what is available and making sure you are there for it.
Personally, I would ban employment agencies altogether, the cumbersome and antiquated method of employing a middle man is simply foolish when all you want is to
- soak up your departmental budget to ensure it for the next year, or
- bring in a team to complete a boring job nobody else wanted to do, or
- fill a skills gap
There are far more efficient ways of doing those things, and people could be far better off if they were simply contracted out via the many available ways of doing it so that slashies could earn a decent living.
HR departments are also poorly managed, although how you could be expected to read 700 CVs for one job, as happens regularly now, I do not know.
The software available for reading people’s CVs so that agency or HR staff don’t have to bother is also very poor. This is not helping business find the right people at all.
Part of the reason for having an unemployed portion of the population is to enhance choice for business. It has most certainly gone rather too far if they can’t even read the CVs.