The most difficult and thankless job on the planet

20 years ago I took on a position in the social sector which at the time I thought would be pleasure and excitement with infinite rewards. The prospects looked good and though the holiday entitlement was zero and the hours just total crap it seemed like a good job and I tool up my post.

Sadly, it soon transpired that the product was not as perfect as I was lead to believe which made the task a whole lot more difficult. There were four that were manufactured, two of them didn’t turn out as planned, parts of their software malfunctioned requiring constant attention.

The two good units were required to bolster the abilities of the defective units which inevitably meant their programming got overloaded when they were asked to do more than their original remit.

Despite this the units performed admirably and I was rightly proud.

Sadly, just over a year ago, one of the defective units had degenerated so badly that it had to be sent away as the current working environment was no longer suited to it’s needs.

It was with deep regret that the management had to let this unit go. It was an emotional blow to nurture for so long and finally have to concede defeat allowing the first off the production line to be taken away.

What had not been taken into account when making this decision was how badly the remaining units would function without the missing component for by this time they had learnt to function as a single unit as was part of the original specification.

In the last quarter of 2006 and first of 2006 I have seen a steep decline in the output of the two unit which were originally functioning to optimum levels. The remaining defective unit seems to have shown a marked improvement.

As part of a damage limitation exercise I have had to let go one of the early units just recently and it breaks my heart, it really does.

Whilst it was always the intention to allow all units to be autonomous, the reality is very hard to accept. That one of them I have had to let go this year because he is seriously malfunctioning is very upsetting. I have tried to repair it but it is just bringing the quality of the other units down. In an effort to salvage something positive from my career I had to let it go.

Whilst 20 years is by most standards a short career it has been very hard work and continues to be so. As of this time I cannot say I have excelled in my post. At best I can only be described as ‘average, could do better’.

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