Thursday, 14 June 2012

Continuing Churn

I'm actually off on a wee holiday and so am very pleased to introduce this guest post...

Earlier in the year, I posted a wee story called "Churn" which envisaged a bold new strategy for dealing with Youth Unemployment. I was genuinely sent this follow up story by someone who asked to be credited as "the outsider". I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest they may have some employment experience in this area...

If you ever want to get in contact, its

One year later...

Garry Hobble and Nigel Fanshawe stood in the company boardroom, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Head of Employment Divison in the Government and the Senior Performance Manager of the County Council.

The Human Waste Recycling project had been a revelation, earning plaudits and being nominated for the Regeneration Project of the Year.  The two men slapped each other heartily on the back, sipping champagne from crystal decanters.  Kerching! Gary reflected on a year at the top of his game, the finest food in the most expensive restaurants with holidays to both the sun and the slope.  He felt the smooth silk lapel of his Armani suit, of course all the luxurious living had resulted in a few extra inches around the waistline but now that he had taken out membership of the Premier Exclusive Gym that would not be a problem.

There was a knock at the door, in stepped two formal looking ladies with stiff, barely managed smiles.  Handshakes exchanged and brief introductions made, Ms Banks from the Government spoke first.
“Gentlemen, the outputs associated with your project have been astonishing, you have wiped out unemployment among young males, and this area has the lowest claimant count of any area in the country."
“Yes, I feel that’s because we try not to label young people” said Gary. 
“Indeed”, said Ms Banks, “and the added value of the programme is that you have also eliminated teen pregnancies and recorded crime is at its lowest level for decades.  However, my colleague from the County Council has some concerns about the impact of the programme and other factors we would wish to discuss”. 
Nigel Fanshawe looked slightly perturbed, bleeding bureaucrats in the municipality, he thought to himself, always have something to worry about, why don’t they just get on with what they are supposed to do – collecting rubbish and teaching children the things they don’t need to know that will never benefit them at any point in their life.

Ms Tumbleweed of the County Council shuffled some papers, “let me state for the minute, you appear to run an excellent scheme, however, in eliminating youth unemployment you also seem to have eliminated all the young men in the area.  Nobody is quite sure how, but depopulation has reached alarming levels and the impact on the local economy has been huge. Pubs have closed; the local football team is in liquidation and the only thriving retail outlet is the Ann Summers superstore, which incidentally is looking to expand."  Gary and Nigel guffawed loudly, exchanging back slaps and congratulations on the 'added value' of the programme.

Ms Tumbleweed slammed a tiny clenched fist on the boardroom table “Gentlemen, I do not believe you appreciate the gravity of this situation.  The local maternity unit is closing as are several departments in our FE College, indeed we have reached a point where basically no company is paying rates and no individuals are paying council tax.  The net effect is a reduced income for the County Council and let me just assure you that you have gone too far, our Human Resource Mis-management Department are looking to make staff redundant IN THE COUNCIL” – she screamed and slammed her fist into the desk again.  “Let me assure you, there are no circumstances in which I will allow you two dimwits to threaten my glittering career or my generous final salary pension scheme”.  A little light switched on in the boardroom, as Gary and Nigel began to comprehend that today was not panning out as expected; it didn’t look like they had been successful in securing that award after all.

Bolstered by the boldness of her municipal colleague, Ms Banks joined the fray and announced “As you know it is vital for national and local government to work in harmony, accordingly, Mr Fanshawe I am with immediate effect terminating your contract.  In addition, Mr Hobble, I am with immediate effect terminating your employment in the Civil Service – you're fired” 
Message delivered, both ladies slammed shut their briefcases and then slammed the door shut on their way out of the boardroom.

Gary and Nigel were rooted to their seats.  It was Hobble who broke the ice “To hell with them, we can start from scratch and take the recycling model to new areas, where we will be richly rewarded – as joint partners”
"What, are you serious you blustering buffoon? I would not enter into any half baked scheme with you.  It is your fault we are in this position, it was you who convinced me that we should double the outputs and make it a meatier programme”. 
"But please Mr Fanshawe," pleaded Gary, "I have so many ideas on how we can diversify the business with new programmes and snappy titles, We can have a programme for Graduates called Intern@ and a programme for people with addictions which we will call Habit@.  I also think we can introduce a new 'value range' programme for the lumpen proletari@.”
“Get out!”, screamed Mr Fanshawe, “you will never be a marketing officer and you will never partner me in business.  If you don’t mind I have to think about my next move and my next business venture”. 
He pinged the bell on the boardroom table and presently Tom arrived to remove Gary from the premises, which he duly did by carrying him upside down and throwing him down the stairs at the factory entrance.  Gary tumbled over and over, coming to an abrupt halt when his head slammed into the company sign, “Human Waste” – some wit had scribbled out the word Recycling.

One week later, Gary attended his first appointment at the job centre with his personal adviser.  Peering over her glasses she listened to his career to date details and his aspirations for the future.  Removing her glasses she smiled enthusiastically and said “great news Mr Hobble, people like you with a mental illness are now able to obtain immediate help from your first day of unemployment.  Indeed, a new project has started and offers support to redundant Executives – it’s called FatC@.  Here is your appointment, ask for a Mr Fanshawe.”