toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

June 05, 2012

implement new systems!

At 48 Heather gained a coveted managerial position in a high profile public service department because of her flair for implementing new systems. She has a huge budget and she is spending it like it is going out of fashion and it doesn’t bother her at all that it’s taxpayer’s money.

"We owe the public the very best of everything, and that costs money," laughs Heather, “but, really, because I’ve implemented a new system where staff learn on the job, I’m actually saving taxpayer’s money.”

“I’ve done away with the old system which involved the very expensive cost of training new staff and being stuck with them whether they were good or lousy,” says Heather. “And, because I was given freedom to run the department as I see fit I can spend as much money as I like on updates and renewals.”

Heather’s main impact on the department, though, is her lettuce management style. More and more new recruits are coming across managers like her. She has a new is better mentality. Her department not only blatantly renews its staff on a regular basis but also renews its furniture, decor and services on a regular basis.

“I believe that if someone or something isn't new, crisp, fresh and young then it's not worth having around,” says Heather, “and I delight in the new, fresh and youthful image of my department – even though I’m 48 and look every day of it!”

"I’m far more interested in power these days than my looks," confides Heather. "There’s nothing more aphrodisiacal than power, believe me, and I’m really flattered that I invented ‘lettuce management’ when I took control of the department!”

So what’s lettuce management? Look around and ask staff members: Is there a high turnover of staff where you work? Is there an emphasis on crisp, fresh employees? Do workers wilt quickly and need to be replaced? Is just about everyone in their 20s? Are things regularly changed just for the hell of it? Are water coolers located all over the place? Does everyone carry around a water bottle or a watering can for the numerous plants? Is the decor green?

“Advertising, media and high-tech companies are often run on lettuce management type principles,” says Heather, “but I perfected the style and gave it a name. A dead give-away is a green decor. I just love the color!”

“In glamorous or cutting-edge industries long working hours are normal, but it was something quite revolutionary for a public service department when I took charge.”

"It’s really boring to work nine to five," says Heather, "and if people don’t like working at night like I do then they can move on."

“Lettuce management, you see,” laughs Heather, “involves such l-o-n-g hours that staff members either wilt very quickly and leave, or are pushed out on account of their ‘use-by-date’ falling due – generally when they turn 30.”

Read more by Heather:
manager promotes youth culture
Kissy-kissy dismissals

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