Friday, 6 July 2012

The Blinder Leading the Blind

My line manager is one of those people that you occasionally meet in life whose stupidity is of such a seemingly boundless nature that it is to be marvelled at that they actually manage to feed themselves. Moreover, she is one of those people who likes to regularly attempt to impress those around her with what she perceives is her vast knowledge about everything concerning anything. In doing so she treats me to tantalisingly disturbing glimpses of how the human brain, given the right conditions, can devolve and decompose through lack of use in much the same way as a ball of Blu Tack will dry up and harden into a diminutive ineffectual hard lump if not exposed to occasional active stimulation from the outside world. Among the numerous examples of her minuscule mental capacity can be counted the fact that she feels it is acceptable to Capitalise in the middle of Sentences for No apparent Reason, and the recent incident in which she cut her lip when she managed to fall up a hill.  

(An artist's impression of my manager’s brain prior to advanced decomposition)

And yet she is in a position of management in a front line service of a London local authority. I was initially perplexed as to how this situation could have come about, but, after absently contemplating the question for some time whilst rhythmically scratching myself at my desk, it occurred to me that she is in that position not through merit (clearly), but simply because she wants to be . She has climbed the ladder (and subsequently descended quite a few rungs if her tales of past glorious seniority are to be believed) through sheer wilfulness and the ability to irritate those who have been duped into employing her to such an extent that they inevitably recommend her for positions of advancement, or at least sideways ‘experience building’, in other departments or services. They then act as enthusiastic referee for her in order to ensure that she is successful in her unwitting quest to be shoved as far away from her current department as possible. This negates the need for her superiors to engage in the lengthy and thorny process of dismissing her for her frequent acts of colossal incompetence. It then occurred to me that just in the local authority for which I work alone there are dozens of middle managers who have found themselves in the similar position of earning a decent, if not exceptional, living by being incompetent enough. And if this is the case in the borough in which I work, it is highly likely that this situation is duplicated elsewhere in all other boroughs, including the borough in which I live.

So there you have it: London is not only crawling with, but its local authorities are also managed by, dribbling morons who, if the mood takes them, will literally defy the laws of gravity in order to fall on their faces.

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