Thursday, 26 November 2009

No Sex Generosity Please, We're British Bureaucrats...

Every year, the pensioners band together and have a Christmas whip-around for the woman who helps make their daily lives more bearable.

With some in their 90s and too frail to go out shopping, it has become their way of thanking Debbie Morgan for all her hard work.
And that can't be allowed to continue, can it?
The Somer Community Housing Trust has written to each resident to say staff cannot take cash or cheques as gifts and that they should buy cards or chocolate instead.
Who the hell are they to tell elderly residents what they can and can't do with their own money? Have they forgotten who the customers are here?
The whip-round ban comes after a long line of restrictions on the relationship between the tenants and Ms Morgan that have been imposed by the Trust.

She has already been banned from making dinner for residents and arranging coffee mornings, quiz nights and entertainment events.

The warden has also been told she cannot organise a Christmas party for the residents or attend funerals when they die.
As long as she does this in her own time, why not? Since when did employers decide that having their staff go the extra mile for their customers was a bad thing?

And meanwhile, the state is busy institutionalising this bizarre attitude...
Members of the public are being urged not to send unsolicited Christmas presents to troops in Afghanistan.
Apparently, it makes the job of the pencil pushers too difficult:
Capt Charlie Malcolm, who is in charge of post at Camp Bastion in Helmand province, said: "For personnel deployed overseas, personal mail from loved ones is very important.

"But the system can be completely overwhelmed by the public's generous donations, which results in mail from family and friends being delayed.

"The main cause of this is the huge and unmanageable number of welfare parcels, sent by well-meaning members of the public, to recipients not personally known to the sender."
The state: slowly crushing and stifling every generous gesture and private act of charity.

The better to reinforce the view that all largesse comes from the state. Not from individuals.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The state: slowly crushing and stifling every generous gesture and private act of charity."

Well that's one way of looking at the Afghan issue. A stupid way, admittedly, but it is a way.

Or could it be that there's actually a war going on - a real one, not a computer one - in which logistics are a nightmare, so the Army is asking folks politely not to send unsolicited stuff because it all takes up precious space in their helicopters.

On the one hand, the view of a serving soldier - the clue is in the 'Capt' bit - who is actually out there in Helmand province.

On the other hand, the view of L/Cpl JuliaM, 1st Bn Keyboard Warriors, Royal Armchairs, Greater London Div.

Hmmm. It's a tough one, but I'll go with the soldier.

Henry Crun said...

Dear Anon,

You have obviously never been a serving soldier, have you? Christmas parcels, no matter who they come from are welcomed by the troops with great gusto. The contents, particularly, sweets, chocolate and tobacco are always shared.

Besides, if Gordomm hadn't cut the helicopter budget back in 2000/2001, there would be plenty of space on board the Chinooks to make sure that lads and lasses in the further reaches of Helmand received a little something from home this Christmas.

Twat!

Anonymous said...

To be fair to them they are not telling the residents that they can’t give her a gift, they are explaining to them that she is not allowed to accept one (one of the terms of her employment) and giving them a list of gifts she is allowed to accept.

Von Spreuth said...

I actualy managed to get a püost on the bloody Mail!!!

WAHHAAYYY. the ban must have been lifted. I am soooo....pleased. Any way;

From their article;

Landlords at the sheltered housing development in Keynsham, Bristol, have warned that staff cannot be seen to 'profit personally from their work'.

Oh really?

So, I guess that all the chief directors, and managers get their "performance bonuses" paid in nutty, or Mars bars do they?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Henry.
You don't know me, and I don't know you. Both, either or neither of us could have served in the Army.
But what we do know is that Captain Charlie Malcolm has served and is currently serving in Afghanistan, and it's he who is saying that the Army don't want the stuff sending over, not me.
The reason?
Not because he is a bureaucrat (he's a serving soldier) or a friend of 'Gordomm' but because there are so many parcels being sent out that the ones the troops actually want - from wives, girfriends, parents and so on - are getting lost.
All of which, I fear, makes you the twat, not me.

TDK said...

To be fair there are reasons why staff in old people's homes and people who provide care to elderly at home should avoid compromising situations with their clients cash.

Unfortunately there some people who take advantage of the situation to enrich themselves. It may only be a minority but a few incidents of home helps being discovered to be the sole beneficiary in a will or of being found with cash "gifts" from the old lady who's room they just cleaned, raise suspicions.

Not an exact parallel but I can see why a Housing Trust would want to avoid a potential scandal. Having said that, such rules should be used with discretion.

JuliaM said...

"On the one hand, the view of a serving soldier - the clue is in the 'Capt' bit - who is actually out there in Helmand province."

That'd be the chap whose job it is to handle post, rather than one of the soldiers on the front line, right?

Hmm, no, don't think I would be inclined to take his word for it. Now when he's arguing for his job to be made easier.

"To be fair to them they are not telling the residents that they can’t give her a gift, they are explaining to them that she is not allowed to accept one (one of the terms of her employment) and giving them a list of gifts she is allowed to accept."

They're doing a bit more than that. They are banning her from attending funerals, etc as well.

And since when did a company get to decide on behalf of its customers (all adults) what they can and can't do to reward staff?

"I actualy managed to get a püost on the bloody Mail!!!"

Gratz! That's more than I've managed to do on most occasions when I try.

Must be something I said :)

"To be fair there are reasons why staff in old people's homes and people who provide care to elderly at home should avoid compromising situations with their clients cash."

True, but it surely isn't outside the bounds of possibility for them to interview a few of the customers to check nothing dodgy is going on?

The problem is, that would require judgement. We don't like that anymore. We prefer hard and fast rules.

Henry Crun said...

Oh dear Anon 16:41

Aren't you just precious? For the record, yes I have been a serving soldier. And yes, we did look forward to receiving Christmas parcels. Not just from home but from the very generous public.

In the past, we have had no problems as much of the deliveries are made via BFPO. It would appear that in Afghanistan the problem of logistics is becuase of shortage of helicopters. Since the start of this year logistical flying hours have increased by 84%, Merlins and MK3 Chinooks are only now starting to be deployed following terrain and avionic modifications which should alleviate the problem.

Unless there has been an overhaul of the ranking system I would say that the decision to receive or not receive Christmas parcels lies with Capt. Malcolm's commanding officer.

Anonymous said...

"That'd be the chap whose job it is to handle post, rather than one of the soldiers on the front line, right?"

Yes, that would be the man. Perhaps you know better than the loggie out in Helmand from your vantage point in... er... Greater London?

No, better to slag off someone you don't know, doing a job you've never done, in a place you've never visited, working within constraints you don't understand, to a budget he didn't set, using equipment he doesn't control.

Henry Crun - I'm the head of the SAS, so do one.

JuliaM said...

"Yes, that would be the man. Perhaps you know better than the loggie out in Helmand from your vantage point in... er... Greater London?"

I know it's not a good idea to ask someone 'Have you got just enough work, or have you got too much?' and expect an entirely honest answer.

"No, better to slag off someone you don't know, doing a job you've never done, in a place you've never visited, working within constraints you don't understand, to a budget he didn't set, using equipment he doesn't control."

Let's ask the troops themselves then. How about that?

"Henry Crun - I'm the head of the SAS, so do one."

The head of the SSAS has time to peruse blogs? Who knew?

Now you've told us, do you have to kill us?