A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not a hand out…..or up!

We have recently become aware that a local branch of an international not for profit organization that purports to give “a hand up” has been giving “a hand out” in the form of termination slips to some of their front line workers. To those who have spent any time helping out in their retail operation this should come as no great surprise for it is obvious that something had to give with the recent hiring of yet more “managerial staff”, it seems that they are going to rely even more upon non paid labour to do the actual work! Being one of those places that finds “work” for the welfare for work program and the recent downturn I suspect that there will be little difficulty in getting warm bodys to order around but how much will actually get done is questionable based upon past performance in this regard.

I am reliably informed that a number of folk who have spent a great deal of their time helping out on a volunteer basis have walked away with the feeling that the hand up philosophy does not extend to their own staff but rather that the term dysfunctional would be a better description. This again should not come as a surprise as almost any organization run by a “committee” tends towards that description, but when said committee, or in this case the Board of Directors, rules in a secretive and non communicative manner without personal knowledge of the day to day operation then things are bound to be less than ideal.

Despite being the major supplier of funds to actually run the day to day operations (and pay all those “managers” and front office staff) the retail portion of this organization has always been rather low on the list for those who have the ultimate responsibility for its operation. There seems to be little realization as to what it takes to run the retail portion, little acknowledgement of the efforts put in by longtime staff and volunteers, and little effort put in to improve the way in which things are done. Whether this is due to a lack of expertise at the mid management level, to “too many chiefs and not enough Indians”, or to a lack of understanding of the issues at the board level is debatable, but either way on the army base just up the road they will have a word for it.

In army lingo it’s a total CF!

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