Comments: selections from a Guardian thread

Well, the PP was finally published last week, and we had a nice launch at Waterstone’s in Gower St.  The Scribe PR team (i.e. Sarah) have been doing a great promotion job.  At the weekend we had a piece published on the Guardian/Observer website.  It provoked some excellent comments – of course the abusive ones were removed, but there was a good mixture of thoughtful and critical responses, including a number of relevant personal experiences.  A sample below:

  • From FelonMarmer, on the Peter Principle:

“one of the major aspects to incompetence is the failure to recognise competence in others – so once someone who is incompetent is put into a position where they can promote others, then incompetence spreads like wildfire.”

  •  and from IS6377823, on the effects:

“Your second para applies to me. I was a brilliant Ass’t Director in the NHS for three years but was encouraged to apply for a Director level post (it didn’t take a lot of encouragement, btw).  I was shit at that level. Made myself ill and my employer was all the poorer for me being there. Had a breakdown, was made redundant in a reorganisation while off sick, and didn’t work for two years after that.  I blamed myself at the time but on reflection my Chief Exec can take some responsibility too. My anxiety/depression was obvious to all but she kept on piling on the work and threatened me with repercussions if I didn’t deliver.”

  • But also from Iola465, on choice, following a tough experience:

“A few years ago I was at junior management level.  A restructure saw several people made redundant and a few of us bumped down a grade. At the time I was devastated, but in retrospect it’s the best thing that could happen to me. I do a lot less (unpaid) overtime. I am back to enjoying my job and knowing I do it well. I have time and – more importantly – energy to do things outside work.
I was recently asked to apply for a promotion (5 years after original restructure, higher management have realised they need more people at the level I was at before) and I’ve said no… for now. I told them that I don’t want to take Masters modules or more work than can physically or mentally be done in the time allowed. It’s really NOT worth a few hundred quid more a month.
I can’t say that won’t change once my child leaves home and I’ve more free time, but right now I see a promotion to my old level as a retrograde step.”

And another one on choice,  from BigBennyBoy, with a wry conclusion;

“It isn’t a choice for women only.   I teach in higher education, and I’m at the top of the pay-scale for teachers in my institution. If I want to advance any further in my career, I’d have to apply for a position that would involve less teaching and more administrative work, with staff reporting to me. That isn’t what I want, so I guess I’ll stay in this job for the rest of my working life. It feels strange, at 45, to think that there’s no further career goals beyond doing my current job better and better.”

The thread has given me plenty of food for thought, including on how to pitch some of the arguments.  Memo to self: remember to include some positive proposals in anything for publication.

Next up is a session at the Aye Write festival in Glasgow tomorrow.  It will be great to revisit my old haunts.

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