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You think your work is futile?

You think your work is futile? Come and see PDQ Insurance at work!

'Potted' a play by Tim Barcode

(have you seen Tv's "the office"? Well you have to see this)

Management practices are bollocks

"Many of the practices behind modern management jargon seem to mean little to the workers they are designed to help," says Fringe play 'Potted' director, Sam Fisher.

Interviews and discussions by the team who wrote and are producing the play show that much of the training and reporting systems add to the frustration of people working in offices. "This is providing a lot of material for the play we are doing about working in an office."

"One of the interesting complaints office workers came back with was that staff training lasting several days made no difference to the work place (beyond an initial period just after the training). Instead some reported that rather than making things easier, long staff training sessions only increased the pressure to complete work in less time. One person said that a week's compulsory training would mean over 1000 emails to deal with.

"Another frequent issue was timesheets which had complicated coding systems, and in the end were often filled in by staff as works of fiction. Staff filling them in felt they couldn't be accurate as what they actually did would look bad and perhaps cost them bonuses.

"The idea of the 'Emperors' new management system' kept cropping up, people felt many of the meetings, training and reporting systems really weren't any help, but no one can say that for fear of it reflecting badly on them.

"The discussions with people who work in offices has been in no way scientific but has produced some interesting insights. Clearly many systems designed to make offices more efficient must help but the clear picture is some manager's lurch from one fad to another and adopt 'one size fits all' practices. There was Theory K, quality (TQM), Business process re-engineering, Process mapping, Risk management, Added Value, ISO certification, benchmarking, best practice modelling and now triple bottom line reporting.

"I talked to many people in a city council I used to work and they complained about endless meetings they were subjected to, including in one team, meetings to work out why work wasn't getting done."

26, 27 and 28 February 1-8 March 2003

The Office, Level 5, Rockshop Plaza, Manners Mall, (Opposite McDonalds).

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