Fish Bowl working – the cracks begin!

Have you ever wondered what happens when cracks start to appear in the fish bowl you are working in.  Normally you may want to get out as quickly as you can and jump into a new bigger pond.  Well lying on your side gasping for air is not ideal working conditions.  So when the tidal wave of complaints finally reaches the dizzy heights of our senior managers and directors a decision is made to employ an outside company to investigate what has gone wrong.  For many working in the office the answer is easy! There is not enough space to start, let alone every one having the facilities to make it work.


So Monday the new project is kicked off by the director explaining the process in a calm manner.  Using all of his Social Work skills expressing Empathy and Sympathy and understanding at the working conditions we are all currently experiencing.  A future carer in politics is a definite direction to take after this speech.


To test this there was even a haggle from a student Social Worker.  When the floor was asked “Can you hear me?” the answer “No!” fell on a puzzled face as the humour was lost on the director, and the rest of the floor.  After a difficult silence the rest of the message was delivered.  


The message is clear however, we know its not good.  But if you want changes it will cost money and jobs and or services!  Sitting back in my chair I wondered if everyone really heard the subtle threat in the message.


I always feel proud to be a Social Worker and the involvement and influence that you can have in the job we do through staff working groups.  Feeling a little bit passionate about my working environment I sign up for this one.  So I was disappointed to hear that not everyone else had felt the same.  And I was almost lost for words when a colleague had spent five minutes voicing her concerns was offered an opportunity to take part, only to turn around and say ” I am busy!”


So in the week that Community Care and Unison start their own research into working conditions for Social Workers.  Our little fish bowl also does its own, with my own input Championing the working conditions for our team.  


I wait to find out what the recommendations will be and whether changes will be made.  But remain thoughtful as to what the impact this might have on my job and the young people that I work with.

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One response

  1. I've a similar experience. After an inspection it was realised that some things were going tits up in another team which was having a knock on effect on the other teams. The message from senior management – do what we ask of you, (work late, work weekends, work work work) to clear up the mess or ship out! Not much of an option really! Don't ya just love social work!!!

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