Poisonous poodle is clearly barking

Last week’s letter from ‘Anonymous Bitch’ savaging the work ethic in the
public sector has prompted a flood of responses. Here’s a selection…

Well, she says she is a bitch. I couldn’t possibly comment.

The public sector is well shot of this poisonous poodle, and we should be as
delighted as a dalmatian with two dictionaries that this dog has decamped to
private sector kennels.

Seriously, it’s a bit sad that her view of the entire public sector revolves
around her experience in one temporary job.

Clive Hodgeon
Deputy chief executive, Defence Vetting Agency

Hitting right note in wrong manner

I may be on my own here, but I agree with everything Anonymous Bitch said. I
just think it is a shame she phrased it in such a negative manner.

I worked in the public sector for two and a half years. I had to leave
because of the boredom and frustration – it is simply not the real world.

In the establishment in which I worked, there was not one person who was
there beyond 40 hours per week, not one. People took two 30-minute tea breaks a
day, lunch lasted anything from one to two hours, and it was worse in the
run-up to Christmas.

I’m sure there are many genuinely hard working civil servants, but I think
they are in the minority. The majority have an extremely ‘cushy’ existence and
will vehemently protect it.

There is a rather peculiar interpretation in the civil service of what the
terms ‘work’, ‘hard work’, ‘customer focus’ and ‘professional’ mean, and this
seems to be acknowledged by most people except the civil servants.

Name and address supplied

Anonymous Bitch takes the biscuit

I am furious at Anonymous Bitch’s sweeping statements. She obviously does
not know what she’s talking about.

I work for a local authority and a lot of my work is dealing with staff with
stress-related illnesses. In my five years’ experience, I do feel that we work
hard and deserve some credit for trying to do a job most people would hate.

Tasha Carvalho
Personnel and training officer, Watford Council

Dum dog sweeps reality under mat

As with any organisation the size of the NHS, there are bound to be problems
with employees. However, this is the nature of human beings and not a
reflection of the quality of NHS staff or bad management.

It would be a sweeping generalisation to suggest that NHS employees only
talk about things like Coronation Street over frequent cups of tea. Having
worked both in the private and public sectors, I can confirm that such
discussions go on in both sectors and in my opinion as long as it is not to
excess, then it helps with team building. Poor performance is closely managed
and the appropriate actions are taken to remedy the situation.

What are you going to do? Put NHS employees into isolation booths to really
encourage them to become productive and team players? Excellent – the old
battery hen approach.

Granted, not all employees of the NHS work long hours (this is, however, as
it should be – there is more to life than work). But some do, and that is why
the NHS is actively encouraging employees to take up flexible working
arrangements and is writing policies to encourage staff to work flexible hours
and, indeed, to reduce the amount of hours they put in.

Anyone who feels they can make such an informed judgement about the public
sector after only spending a short period of time in it is either the most
observant of individuals, or somebody who should keep their comments to

Darren Robson
Assistant HR manager, NHS

NHS definitely not on sick list                       

I left university in 1997 and worked for several large private companies.

I am now employed as an HR adviser in the NHS and work long hours with no
extra pay or time off in lieu, I know the hours I put in benefit the patients
and that is my choice. I also know I am valued by my employers.

I enjoy the challenges and changes that occur everyday and I wouldn’t go
back to working in a private company.

While I am sorry this person had such a poor experience, it cannot have been
in the modern NHS, where we cannot afford to employ ‘slow dullards’.

She made a sweeping assumption that all public bodies are the same; how
wrong Anonymous Bitch is, she is welcome to come and see how hard our
staffed-starved department works.

C J Murray MCIPD
Via e-mail

Let dozy dogs lie

I would love to be able to respond in an appropriate fashion to Anonymous
Bitch, unfortunately I am too busy and don’t have the time to commit pen to
paper to someone who clearly doesn’t know the first thing about working in the
public sector.

Clare Keogh
Head of personnel, Oxleas NHS Trust

Sorry to read it

I was extremely sorry to have read the letter from the ‘Anonymous Bitch’ in
Personnel Today. What was more disappointing was that it was published at all.

Chris Border MCIPD
Personnel manager, Vehicle Certification Agency

Editor’s note: The e-mail address of ‘Anonymous Bitch’ has been
traced and all the responses will be forwarded to her. The letters page is a
forum for all views to be shared, regardless of whether Personnel Today agrees
with them.  Keep them coming. E-mail your
views to personneltoday@rbi.co.uk

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