The extra bits...(Under construction).

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Dog is discussed ...

     The shift engineers (myself included) are at present undergoing a structural reform within the Fun Factory. This, apparently, is in the name of the latest term being bandied around which is 'harmonisation'. We are being sold this turkey idea under the speal that all the factories within our owners group based in the United Kingdom are being 'harmonised' so that we all have the same structure and follow the same working practices. Mmmm not sure about this idea as our little Fun Factory is a tad different to the other factories within the group having more of a diverse set up of machinery than our sister factories. But I'm sure that our owners have looked fully at all the angles, have researched, modeled and held countless meetings about 'harmonisation'. I have every faith that they are doing this purely to improve working conditions, earnings and our general health & welfare, after all a happy workforce is a productive workforce. Oh I'm sorry you must excuse my cynicism but after over thirty years of similar rhetoric in different factories I am not holding my breath.

     Now you may well ask to the reason that I am sharing this information with you? Or you might not but I am going to bore enlighten you with the answer anyway. During the process of 'harmonisation' we have been included in some meetings, the first a group one to outline 'harmonisation' and our options, the second a one to one to enable individuals to discuss their concerns and finally another one to one for each individual to inform the company which option they wish to apply for. Oh how remiss of me not having explained said options, basically there be three;- Option 1 being a dogs body at the bottom of the engineering ladder (no need to apply as we are all guaranteed this spot, option 2 is the 'multi-skilled' and higher paid role (only one per shift team of 4) and finally option 3 being the higher paid of all being shift engineering team leader, tis also the role that brings with it the most stress and bullshit. Now personally I think that in such small teams as ours this will cause a tad of turbulence in our working relationships, but then again that does not appear to be the company's concern.

     Now bear with me as I am creeping slowly towards my point. My present position is 'lead shift engineer' which is the equivalent of option 3, which I have managed to do for about three years now without getting the sack. Only option 3 comes with a healthy pay rise but a whole load more bullshit responsibility. So during my final one to one which option I intended applying for was discussed. Here I was told that option 2 was not for me as I did not 'fit the bill', fairs fair and I appreciated the honesty so would I be applying for option 3? But before I answered I asked "well, where does the company see me?" to which came the reply well there are doubts about me for option 3 being as my attendance record has been poor in the years first quarter and there is a worry that the added pressures of the position would cause a relapse. With this in mind do you think that your 'condition' may return in such circumstance? Oh and it would be frowned upon if I did not apply as the company expects employees to constantly try to better themselves.

     So we finally get there, "do you think your 'condition' may return....?" errr let me see now, mmmm ahhh you are referring to my depresion, of course the penny dropeth. Well unfortunately the answer to this is extremely simple, no my 'condition' will most definitely not return due to such circumstance  because the bitch that is depression will always stalk me in the shadows of my life awaiting opportunity to rend my mind a fucking shambles once again!!! Everyday is a day managing it and trying to take a tiny step forward and not fall back into the abyss of mindless shit that the bitch draws my back to. For fucks sake how the hell am I supposed to answer such a question when I have no bloody idea of what is to come. I am trying my best and that will just have to do you stupid retarded fuckwits.

     Of course this was not the way I responded verbally but just some of the thoughts that cascaded through my mind as I digested 'harmonisation'. Being the gentleman and completely sane person that I am my response was perhaps slightly more eloquent. "Since returning to work from my 'conditions' last return, I have come to understand more about my 'condition' through medical advice and I am certain that the structures and management techniques that I now employ, together with the improved medication and its positive impact upon my 'condition', that I am in a position to provide you with the service that is required. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration over my 'condition', live long and prosper." Ok so perhaps not the last line, though I was sorely tempted.

     I guess what I am trying to say is not that the company does not have a clue but that there is so much to do because people fail to understand that depression is not something that can compartmentalised nor covered with a broad stroke of the brush. It affects each sufferer in so many different ways and is an absolute bastard to live with. For me it has torn my life apart, I have lost 'friends' and it has caused so much heartache that I had reached the stage of taking my life. If it was not for one little dog I am certain that I would not be here rambling on today. Of course I couldn't answer the questions fully and truthfully because I do not believe there is an answer, just time.

    Speaking of time, thank you for yours in reading my words, till the next time take damn good care of yourselves,



  1. Sounds to me like another way for the company to pull a get rid of people and put more work on others scheme. No answer you give will change what they already have planned for them or you. All you can do is ride it out and see what that plan actually is.

  2. I thought it was against the law to use an employees health as a discussion basis, especially the prospect of demotion should you not be able to answer a question that they shouldn't be asking in the first place! Well done on your eloquent answer.

  3. Harmonisation sounds like you are all going to start singing! Jolly Good Fun! Hope you survive the harmonisation and return to tell the tale. In the real sensible world, how's the pond coming along?

  4. Why must we endure such arseholes in our lives?

  5. I do get visits from the Black Dog and do feel his hot breath on my neck, Fortunately that is as far as it goes, within a day or 2 i have shaken him off and normal service is resumed. I had to chuckle as I read your post, all companies dish out and amazing amount of Bulls**t complete with the Buzz words currently in fashion.I am so glad to be out of all that.

  6. John, that is awful of them. Would they have dared to ask someone suffering from cancer or heart disease or diabetes such a question? Mental illness is NO DIFFERENT. How dare they treat you like that?! This really pisses me off on your behalf. Is there any way to lodge a complaint against them? Here in the US they'd be getting sued, and rightfully so!

  7. If you've lived with depression or lived with someone who is "subject" to depression, you know that what you've said in this post is the truth. Unfortunately the management of most companies (and I was in management for over 40 years), my self excluded, have their collective heads up their collective asses when it comes to mental health. The only solution is to hide it from them (if you can) or take permanent disability if it's available. They will never understand and if they do, probably don't give a shit anyway. Hang in there Buddy, you have friends out here.

  8. what a comforting have all the workplaces and all the people doing all of the same things. sounds ever so......robotic. *shudder*

    i'm thinking they were treading a delicate edge just bringing up your "condition" at all -- over here, even though we're not the Nation of Litigation that our neighbours to the south of the 49th parallel are, them admitting they'd already forethought NOT considering you for option #3 based on your medical history would be grounds for a whopping great Human Rights lawsuit. complete and utter bullshit.

    the sad truth is that mental illness in all it's myriad of forms is still such a hushed over subject and people simply don't understand....they operate on misconception and misinformation. i took over a job from a woman who suffers from bipolar disorder/anxiety/depression for what was meant only to be a 10 week leave [which is what the government allows for financial support]....she's since realized she's unable to continue in her previous role as 10 weeks simply wasn't enough time to "fix" things and so is now fighting to get some financial aid as her income has dropped dramatically. i've learned from her that it IS an ongoing, day-by-day, sometimes moment-by-moment struggle that's being waged. there needs to be more compassion....oy vey. now i'm rambling...

    anyway -- do take wonderful care of yourself and don't let the bastards get you down. xo

  9. Hi John, who do they think they are!
    They have no idea what they are talking about. You deserve to be there just as the next person does .It makes my blood boil when management think they know best , so unfair and upsetting to think that they are saying you have a 'condition' . They should not even bring that up...I went through it all when I had my big health problem (as you know 14 yrs ago) they tried everything to get rid of me and didn't succeed. I eventually left on my terms and conditions 1 yr later.
    Hang in there John we all know that you have every right to be there and are a hard worker , you put everything you have in all you do !
    Take care
    Bron **

  10. Perhaps you should have told your interrogator that it was HIS job that you're after.

    What do you make at The Fun Factory?

  11. Sorry to hear about you unfair treatment. They don't give a **** about your health or anyone else's, just the good of the company.
    Look after yourself, 'cos no one else will !

  12. Was anyone else present when this was said? Are you part of a Union? I am very sorry you had to go through that. Like Mark above says, you hang in there. And document everything. Date. time, who was present, tone of voice. They cant ask if you are thinking of having a family either.

  13. I can't believe that they had the audacity to even bring that up with you! I don't know the law in your neck of the woods, but here in the States, it is illegal. And you could have just looked at them incredulously and said, "Excuse me, but are you asking me if my "condition" with hurt my work? Because, if you are, shucks, boy howdy, I guess I have to sue you now....."

  14. I do not really have words John, but if I do I think they would border on the "blaspheming" comment below. I would say that such a think could not happen in the States, but I would also say that there would be another way to get to the same end without going the route the company went or even mentioning a "condition". At least where I am now, it is known amongst the group I work with that we all have issues with such things from time to time; we do our best to manage events for each other when such things happen. Might I be so bold as to suggest that they are looking for a convenient "separation"?

    Sorry sir. This can hardly make going to work at all pleasant in the meantime.

    Lhiats, TB


Feel free to comment but no blaspheming now...