Thursday, 6 September 2012


Today's Liturgy of Thanksgiving for People with Too much Administration will be run by Hnaef.

I've just got too much stuff on my desk. The Traffic Cone returns are in, the Guild of Druids are asking for my quarterly attendance updates (with 45 pages of notes on what is deemed as "attendance" on any given day), and I've got to fill in the fortnightly Height Survey.

The Health and Safety review has also got more rigorous. I can't remember how many times in the last twelve months somebody has "felt a bit peaky" or "complained of feeling slightly fatigued". So I'll have to make something up there.

I'm completely stumped on the Vehicle Survey, though. I hadn't realised I had to record all the registration plates of visitors in the last quarter, together with laden weight, tax disc expiry and tyre pressures (including spare). 

And the Official Guidance has arrived on the traditional Beaker burial technique of exposing the dearly departed to the birds of the air on an elevated platform.

Although, to be fair, the Guidance just says "No".


  1. Feel sorry for the poor admin, who has to carry out (or collect the data showing someone else carried out) everyone's latest bright idea, plus do the same for all the other bright ideas that haven't been officially discarded. And that's not mentioning dealing with all the people from external authorities who say things like "It's not enough to claim that you're disposing of the late Beaker Folk in a properly respectful manner; you have to prove it. On paper, and in triplicate. (For a special meaning of the word 'prove'.)

    On the brighter side, most admins are perfectly happy if some fairly plausible answer is in each of the blank spaces on the form. You don't actually have to know how many traffic cones, plus or minus 1, were really in use for the last six months. Who knows more about the meaningfulness (or not) of all this information they gather than the admin? It's not the admin who takes it all really seriously.

  2. Cheryl, I fear that "they" are on the case of admins who are perfectly happy with people leaving some blank spaces on the form. All these forms will shortly be replaced by online forms in which every field is a mandatory field.

  3. The good thing about Admin is that if feeds the army of workers in various departments of government and keeps them in employment.

    I was thinking that we could solve the employment problem at a stroke. If we made all of the unemployed administrators for something, giving them total responsibility for it, including the research and production of useful(less) stats for somebody who monitors stats, for submission to someone else who collates stats, to someone else who releases stats. Bingo job done.

    I bags the job for monitoring Artificial Eyes!!

  4. No, Erica, the admin doesn't leave blank spaces, she stares at the form, realizes that she doesn't know how many traffic cones there are, can't imagine that it matters much anyway, and boldly puts '10' in the space. Or '5'. '500' might look a bit obviously invented.

    I suspect even management has resorted to such methods.


Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl