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rusty sparrow
22nd Aug 2016, 15:07
My first career was in electronic engineering. Poorly or eccentrically dressed people with bad haircuts and dandruff were the norm (my torn jeans were held together with electrical wire).

But we got things done. I worked with people who created and developed products with value, from electronic cash registers and calculators up to medical imaging systems. We were scruffy and few women were around (a loss to engineering in my view).

<RANT>Now, in a new career in process and operations consulting, I often find myself in organisations with well groomed, well dressed men and women who talk well and know how to smoothly move through the internal politics. But they don't achieve anything! They provide decoration but that's about all.</RANT>

The Flying Pram
22nd Aug 2016, 15:46
Sad but true. What's worse are organisations which seem to think customers are impressed by these "well groomed, well dressed men and women". If I have to take my car in for some work to be done (a rare occurrence, as I try and do most myself), I would far rather speak to one of the people actually wielding spanners, than a reception desk "service advisor" who doesn't know an oil filter from a CV joint.

yellowtriumph
22nd Aug 2016, 16:41
My first career was in electronic engineering. Poorly or eccentrically dressed people with bad haircuts and dandruff were the norm (my torn jeans were held together with electrical wire).

But we got things done. I worked with people who created and developed products with value, from electronic cash registers and calculators up to medical imaging systems. We were scruffy and few women were around (a loss to engineering in my view).

<RANT>Now, in a new career in process and operations consulting, I often find myself in organisations with well groomed, well dressed men and women who talk well and know how to smoothly move through the internal politics. But they don't achieve anything! They provide decoration but that's about all.</RANT>


I started off my career as an electronics engineer, but I always always wore dark trousers and a white shirt and tie. That's where I ended my career some 35+ years later. Where did I go wrong?


Edited to add, I always had a smart haircut, never wore open toed sandals and I don't think I ever suffered from dandruff or Mrs yt would have told me I'm sure.

LordGrumpy
22nd Aug 2016, 16:51
I never had Toad sandals: but have worn foot wear of the type (not a trade name) known as frogs.

rusty sparrow
22nd Aug 2016, 16:55
Yellowtriumph - would I be right in guessing that you were graduate intake into GEC/Marconi or MoD supplier?

yellowtriumph
22nd Aug 2016, 17:02
Yellowtriumph - would I be right in guessing that you were graduate intake into GEC/Marconi or MoD supplier?

No, Pirelli.

G-CPTN
22nd Aug 2016, 17:04
I never had Toad sandals: but have worn foot wear of the type (not a trade name) known as frogs.
http://www.sillyjokes.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/image_7451.jpg

Nice.

Krystal n chips
22nd Aug 2016, 18:09
" The sad fact is though that these types tend to be kicked upwards and end up running things and making the decisions whilst those with the expertise are kept where they are needed

Does this lament mean you've been overlooked for promotion then ?

sitigeltfel
22nd Aug 2016, 18:12
The thread title applies to 99% of contestants on, "The Apprentice"!

Effluent Man
22nd Aug 2016, 18:30
I must have missed the one where the 1% appeared.

racedo
22nd Aug 2016, 19:53
So true................ down pub at weekend and mate going on about his current role, he is a contract accountant with 25 plus years experience and does Interim roles.

Pretty much know the business he at now as he said so much about it over last 9 months.

Current role................ Business took over a main supplier as they going bust, no books and records available from Day 1 and nothing could be relied upon.
They shocked when end of first full week he told them at a minimum they losing £100k a week....................... they believed just a change of ownership (name on gate) meant they would make money. :ugh::ugh::ugh::ugh:

He introduced controls on spending but new MD overruled him as want to ensure ownership by staff................... same staff who drove other business over a cliff. :ugh:

Tried to introduce a stock system for Raw Mats and Packaging in advance of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.
Apparently 5 people who knew nothing about the business talked about this last year and decided its difficult so lets wait until we have an ERP system in 2 years time.

He supposed to be managing cash flow and they gave people a pay increase (er they bit about losing £100k a week didn't register with them ) but neglected to tell him, recruited lots of new staff way over pay rates again no info.

Asked him to tell them what each product is making in Profit (loss). Pointed out complex and needs to assess usage of Labour on production line, told ok we can spend a person for 2 hrs to do that...................120 products across 6 production lines.
After he refused to bodge his reputation on a crap piece of work they hired a contractor who pretty much told them exactly as he had done, they then used this to accuse mate of lying as wasn't that difficult. Then refused to show him consultants report.

Contract ends in 4 weeks, he supposed to give then 4 weeks notice BUT as contract at an end he letting it wind down and will just hand the laptop back.

He said his biggest issue is that management think they are doing a great job and he just negative while business still loses £100k a week. :ugh:

llondel
22nd Aug 2016, 20:23
I though the "profit is optional" approach went out with the dotcom bust?

I much prefer being an engineer, sat here wearing slightly grubby jeans that are beginning to fray. I'm even in an old aircraft hangar, although it hasn't had an aircraft in it for many years.

VP959
22nd Aug 2016, 21:58
Sadly, this trend has been growing for years.

I first encountered it with an interim who'd been brought in at Director level, on around £900day plus expenses, in the very early 2000's. He was full of BS, but to give him credit, he was damned convincing.

I got suspicious when I was selecting candidates for some project manager posts, he asked to see the CV's I'd shortlisted and then proceeded to weed out all those with surnames that sounded Catholic..........

I then did some background checks (not 100% kosher) and found that he'd been hired in from an agency he owned (so was getting commission on top of his pay). This then allowed me to find the directors of the firm and do background checks.

It turned out the guy was an ex-corporal in the RMP, who'd been discharged under dubious circumstances (associated with running a used car business just outside the gates to Gutersloh). A bit more digging showed he'd falsified all his qualifications and had essentially just bullshitted his way into a relatively well paid job.

Before I retired I saw more of these bullshitters in play; it seems that the message that bullshit baffles brains is becoming more widespread, and more people are using the tactic for short term gain.

It doesn't work for a career with a single employer, but if you're prepared to lie and cheat, and move around a lot from job to job, re-inventing yourself every year or two, then you can make a handsome living.

radeng
22nd Aug 2016, 22:46
Back in about 1981 or 2, I went on a Plessey Management Development course. That led me to conclude that the last thing I wanted to be was a manager. Three years later, I was called into a meeting with a customer and was introduced as the 'applications manager of this product'. My actual job title was 'Principle Applications Engineer' so I said 'I'm not a manager - I do useful work'. Boss man was NOT impressed!

Years later, an annual assessment said 'radeng does not suffer fools gladly, especially when they are in management'. Too right!

In electronics at least, it seems to me after 50 years in the business, that the area with least job security is junior to middle management. Upper management use the lower levels as 'cannon fodder' when redundancies come around, although the lower levels use engineers. Typical was mrs radeng's treatment - whole group told they were redundant but two days later "Would they stay on to finish the programme?". She didn't but those that did raped the employer......

I was told that the same happened at a well known firm in Chelmsford - fired the engineers and then found that they didn't have the staff to meet the penalty contract dates........

Sadly, they never fire the managers responsible for such mistakes, or if they do, the bast*rds go elsewhere for more money and then cock things up again......

Maybe I'm cynical - 19 managers in 32 years, the good ones all got laid off and the one who got a conviction for gross indecency with two other men in a public lavatory in Wootton Bassett, followed 18 months later with a drunk in charge of a company car, lasted for years. The cynical said he must have had something on senior management and public lavatories...He was ever after referred to informally as the 'WBW' - 'Wootton Bassett Wan*er'.

funfly
22nd Aug 2016, 22:53
Not to mention the members of the funny handshake brigade who seem to get on regardless of ability.

rusty sparrow
22nd Aug 2016, 22:59
Racedo: 'wait until we have an ERP system in 2 years time.' Yeah - a very common approach. 'Our business processes are carp so lets automate and all the problems will go away' That's how big consultancies make a lot of money!

VP959: I've met clowns like that at Crapita. Consultancy is a good home for well dressed confidence tricksters - most managers are too stupid to realise how stupid they are (Dunning-Kruger effect) and don't want to expose any doubts about their competence by asking 'stupid' questions. If they seller looks right then that's good enough.

Windy Militant
23rd Aug 2016, 00:12
An old boy I worked with years ago swore blind that the best science done in this country was done by people in Nissen huts in duffel coats and fingerless mittens.
He also swore that when the suits arrived it all went bosoms up and oblate spheroid shaped.:}

Sue Vêtements
23rd Aug 2016, 00:44
I had to train these two young girls once ... how to code. Neither particularly wanted to code, but one gave it a valiant effort and we became and stayed friends. The other however just used to roll her eyes every time I made an innocent comment like "What do they teach you people in college?"

It turned out that the second had joined the IT department because that's where the money was and wanted to become a manager because that's where the respect was. She did eventually manage (to become a manager) and I pity the poor bastards who have to work under her.

That's one of the (many) problems with corporate America, at least in the IT world. There really isn't a career path for technical people so if you want to get on, you pretty much HAVE to go into management. There goes your self respect, your productivity and also the momentum of the company.

And don't get me started on that [email protected] speak "Leadership" as in the Leadership has decided to blah blah blah. Listen: if you're leaders, what does that make US? It's very insulting.

And most of them couldn't lead an electric charge to ground. Every meeting I feel like pointing out that real leaders are people like Churchill, Boedecia and Spartacus. You won't find many people in the companies I've worked at saying "No. I am the CEO"




That last reference (in case there are any managers reading this) is of course to the story of Spartacus

tartare
23rd Aug 2016, 01:12
A phenomenon not confined to the UK.
The west island - at a time in the not too distant past.
A certain listed entity run by much lauded senior business leaders contemplates an acquisition.
Price - half a billion dollars.
Time taken to do due diligence - just five weeks.
That's five short weeks gentlemen, to examine whether $500 million of shareholders funds should be spent.
"Yes, it checks out," say the men from the WASP Wall Street bank. Sure, you industrial scale real estate salesmen.
"The legals and accounts look good," say the pin-striped muppets lacking in any ethics.
The leadership team didn't have the wick to know any better - so we pays up.
The deal dinner is held - bloody nice it was too - as we overlooked the harbour and the bridge.
A year later - it emerges we have paid $150m too much.
Company is dragged through mire by financial press - acquisition is a dog that drags down group performance.
It did for the CEO - and the Chair walked away unscathed.
You were all so convincing - you knew better.
I still have the tombstone at home - the little perspex monument thingy that investment banks give you when you spend a motza with them.
Welcome to big business.

cattletruck
23rd Aug 2016, 12:02
I usually start by setting the record straight by saying "It's not your fault, the real fault actually lies with all these modern schools of management only producing corporate flunkies".

Also not a fan of senior executives who move on after 2 years and don't get to see the fruits of their labour. Their bonuses (and other remittance) should have a delayed component that begins vesting 3 to 5 years after commencing the job.

yellowtriumph
23rd Aug 2016, 12:16
Years later, an annual assessment said 'radeng does not suffer fools gladly, especially when they are in management'. Too right! ...


My best annual assessment was 'yellowtriumph has carried out his work entirely to his own satisfaction'.


When I eventually left my first employer we had an amicable chat. He said he thought I had a problem with discipline and he was absolutely right. But he was 180 degrees out of phase - I thought there wasn't enough discipline whereas he wrongly believed I thought there was too much.

G-CPTN
23rd Aug 2016, 12:48
Back in the mid 1980s I joined a manufacturing company as a sales engineer (account manager).
I successfully garnered new business.
There was a newly created vacancy for sales manager, and the company hired someone from a well-respected (and successful) British engineering company - who turned up driving a Porsche with personalised number plates.

It was soon apparent to me that he knew nothing about the products that we manufactured, and he spent hours questioning me about them.

After a few months I was told that I was no longer needed as the new recruit would take over my role alongside his managerial duties.

Shortly afterwards the company folded . . .

I forgot to add that this new manager persuaded the MD to supply him with a C-class Mercedes instead of a lesser make, arguing that the resale value would compensate for the initial cost.

He rear-ended another vehicle on a motorway.
The company only had third party insurance.

M.Mouse
23rd Aug 2016, 13:03
It doesn't work for a career with a single employer, but if you're prepared to lie and cheat, and move around a lot from job to job, re-inventing yourself every year or two, then you can make a handsome living.

Private Eye (UK satirical publication) has been cataloguing the movement of appalling, grossly overpaid CEOs of local authorities. They earn mind blowing slaries from taxpayer's money, get paid off when they are discovered to be useless and then pop up in a similar well paid position to start all over again elsewhere.

Overpaid idiots are slightly more acceptable when they are not being paid from public funds.

Don't get me started on consultants!

Gertrude the Wombat
23rd Aug 2016, 14:06
<RANT>Now, in a new career in process and operations consulting, I often find myself in organisations with well groomed, well dressed men and women who talk well and know how to smoothly move through the internal politics. But they don't achieve anything! They provide decoration but that's about all.</RANT>
All the actual work is offshored these days, innit.

rusty sparrow
23rd Aug 2016, 15:50
'All the actual work is offshored these days, innit.'

Most things of social value and made overseas, as well as call centres and other virtual services. But we do have UK Gov subsidised BAe which sells weapons perhaps not on the basis of their market value but via various 'enablers' which is where well groomed, well spoken and well connected people such as Prince Andrew come into it Andrew's trip to Yemen was followed by arms deal | UK Politics | News | The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/andrews-trip-to-yemen-was-followed-by-arms-deal-2237614.html)

G-CPTN
23rd Aug 2016, 18:03
Andrew's trip to Yemen was followed by arms deal | UK Politics | News | The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/andrews-trip-to-yemen-was-followed-by-arms-deal-2237614.html)
UK in denial over Saudi arms sales being used in Yemen, claims Oxfam (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/23/uk-in-denial-over-saudi-arms-sales-being-used-in-yemen-claims-oxfam).

Haraka
23rd Aug 2016, 19:15
The CEO of a blue chip defence company I once worked for was, to an Air Force audience, "The youngest RN Captain ( of a Corvette) on D-Day."
To a Naval Audience he was "The youngest RAF Captain on the Berlin Airlift" . He looked the part , tall, silver grey hair and very authoritative in his utterances .
He also included Fellow Membership of the IEEE among his post nominals which, it later transpired, was news to them.
Following a disasterous series of investment foul-ups and acquisitions, during which he was elevated to "Group MD" floating around in the stratosphere of the City , it all went increasingly tango uniform and consequently the company no longer exists as such.

andytug
23rd Aug 2016, 19:33
Below a certain level you have to prove your worth with measurable results. Above that level targets no longer exist, it's visions and strategies and other made up tosh, which oddly enough are much harder to measure. Thus those above that level can never fail. Until that changes nothing else will.

tartare
24th Aug 2016, 00:11
I have to agree Andy.
As a species we are dreadfully swayed by appearances.
If someone is of above average height, speaks loudly and authoritatively, is overconfident, interrupts frequently or talks over others and dresses the part, they can actually get quite a long way up in many large and some small organisations before they are found out.
Am taking great delight at the moment in watching our current Head of IT implode in a slow motion train wreck.
Years of talking the talk, bluster without measurable results matching.
Needle on CEO's bullshit detector is rapidly rising to VNE.
Atmosphere of fear and loathing on the executive team, whispering in corners and looking over shoulders.
Hopefully there will be some justice.

CaptOveur
24th Aug 2016, 02:04
Couldn't resist:

NcoDV0dhWPA

Martin the Martian
24th Aug 2016, 13:26
CaptOveur, evil but oh so accurate.

sitigeltfel
24th Aug 2016, 13:36
MBA.

Master Bullshit Artist.

pax britanica
24th Aug 2016, 13:59
It is much the same in most companies that the idea of a 'professional manager' has caught on to the extent whereby no one above a certain level has ever got their hands dirty in that industry or knows much about it.

Having just retired i go back to an era where there was alot of internal training on top of a degree or HNC , odds we your boss helped you along the way imparting his knowledge and experience, one of the things bosses were expected to do when they were called supervisors/foremen, superintendents, Assistant managers and not Global Vice president or Assiatant Chief of technology.

Management education and exposure to other companies was encouraged but it was seen as adding a skillset on top of your professional and interpersonal skills which you developed in house.
Nowadays peopel get qualified as managers via MBA or Finance /Business management courses but lack the detailed expertise about the job they actually do. They certainly do not help their juniors as they think that would be a risk.

One questiosn whether they actually look the part too as in recent years its been pretty clear that the people in suits are :-
Untrustworthy
The bad guys (or girls)
Self centred

Possibly that view coming from a witticism after the financial crash that people wearing trackies and trainers steal your phone but people in suits steal your pension/savings. And as has been pointed out one fo the biggest problems is the inability to reward and use the right skills in people - an expert software engineer may well deserve and for retention purposes need more salary but find a way to pay him/her more for the job, don't promote him to be a possibly useless manager and replace him by a possibly useless engineer. Use people where they can contribute most and pay them properly for the contribution they make not their title

rusty sparrow
24th Aug 2016, 15:14
Matthew 8:9 : For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

There are those who do, and those who rule. As the UK is a nation of snobs, getting your hands dirty is for those who do while those, who from the tradition of their social class rule, wear suits and tell others what to do.

And to quote Bertrand Russell: 'Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first kind is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid. The second kind is capable of indefinite extension: there are not only those who give orders, but those who give advice as to what orders should be given.'

Tawhiri
24th Aug 2016, 17:16
An article that a friend recently drew my attention to, that appears to be of some relevance to the topic ...

The Management Myth - The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/06/the-management-myth/304883/)

simon brown
24th Aug 2016, 21:57
Agree about the current lack of education of recent graduates. They are firmly from the "Yesterday I couldnt spell engineer, today I are one "brigade

There is a saying that the shit floats to the top

My experience of managers are those who are employed at vast expense, to prevent those who know better from doing their jobs effectively, then allow people to do their job effectively at the lastminute, then take credit for sorting things out

aerobelly
24th Aug 2016, 22:52
My best annual assessment was 'yellowtriumph has carried out his work entirely to his own satisfaction'.

Somewhere (TM) I have a plaque to "Aerobelly for Dedication and Persistence" dated late 1980s. I was dedicated to and persisted in opposing some scheme that was in no way going to work. Cannot remember what, it was in in our CAD-CAM development business. My boss then, with whom I'm still in contact, I now suspect agreed with me but couldn't say so at the time.


When I eventually left my first employer we had an amicable chat. He said he thought I had a problem with discipline and he was absolutely right. But he was 180 degrees out of phase - I thought there wasn't enough discipline whereas he wrongly believed I thought there was too much.

Reminds me of a friend and ex-cow-orker who objected to having "software engineer" on his company-supplied business cards on the grounds that engineering was a calling (?) with discipline and software was not in any way. At the same time I had "consultant software engineer" on my cards, but few came to consult me. Perhaps they already had an idea of the answer?

'a

tartare
25th Aug 2016, 05:15
My sense is it's not so much the MBA - but what you do with it.
My class ranged from highly experienced, gritty line managers to master bullshit artists who didn't fool anyone.
There was even a female ex RNZAF Macchi pilot - plenty of grit there!
As many of you will know the phrase often disparagingly used to describe the philosophy supposedly underpinning the degree is "...if you can measure it, you can manage it."
In reality, any senior manager who doesn't listen very closely to those on the line is like a junior officer who doesn't listen to an old experienced SWO. "A bloody fool... sir!"
Best part of the degree, financial management and the politics of org psychology.
Worst part, bleedin statistics...!

handsfree
25th Aug 2016, 07:13
This explains how it all works -

In the beginning was the plan.
And then came the assumptions.
And the assumptions were without form.
And the plan was without substance.


And darkness was upon the face of the workers.
And they spoke among themselves saying,
"It is a crock of shit and it stinketh."


And the workers went unto their supervisors and said,
"It is a pale of dung and none may abide the odor thereof."


And the supervisor went unto their managers and said,
"It is a container of excrement and it is very strong, such that none may abide by it."


And the managers went unto their directors, saying,
"It is a vessel of fertilizer, and none may abide its strength."


And the directors spoke among themselves, saying to one another,
"It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong."


And the directors went unto the vice presidents, saying unto them,
"It promotes growth and is very powerful."


And the vice presidents went unto the president, saying unto him,
"The new plan will promote the growth and vigor of the company, with powerful effects."


And the president looked upon the plan and saw that it was good.
And the plan became policy.

This is how shit happens.

Ancient Observer
25th Aug 2016, 17:28
As one of the early MBAs - I took a proper 2 year full time, and quite demanding MBA many years ago, I do not take any offence about what is said on here.
Nowadays, in the UK, any second rate Poly can call itself a UNi and set up a Business School. They are desperate for mugs to pay them £10,000 to do their short courses that entitle the mug to call themselves an MBA.
Talk about a devalued qualification.

And, having worked for some large global corporates, I have seen the MBAs in action. One Corporate I worked for was taken over by a German firm, whose board seemed to be all Bain types. Underneath the Board, however, were a bunch of time servers who would make the British Civil Service seem dynamic. The only requirement for promotion was to breath and speak german. Some "Global" appointments were made to morons who had never been outside their home town.
They brought in McKinsey who charged them a fortune to tell them what we, the taken over firm, had already said.
I left as soon as I could..............

rusty sparrow
31st Aug 2016, 15:21
And here's a current example: Katrina Percy, Chief Executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has been celebrated as one of the most inspirational women in healthcare at Katrina Percy, HSJ Most Inspirational Women in Healthcare (http://www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/news/archive/2014/hsjwomen/)
see how that contrasts with the reality Southern Health NHS Trust boss Katrina Percy resigns but immediately given a new role | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3765109/Embattled-NHS-trust-boss-quits-role-salary-benefits-new-job.html)

Nice hair though.

Andy_S
31st Aug 2016, 16:09
This is what always bugs me about this sort of Quango fodder; they’re pretty much untouchable. No matter how badly they perform they’re simply shuffled sideways with their salary and benefits protected.

DirtyProp
31st Aug 2016, 17:57
Holy crap!
From the link above:
An NHS boss who failed to investigate more than 1,000 deaths triggered outrage last night after she resigned but kept her £240,000 pay package.
Gives a whole new meaning to "public servant". :ugh:

Krystal n chips
31st Aug 2016, 18:21
"This is what always bugs me about this sort of Quango fodder; they’re pretty much untouchable. No matter how badly they perform they’re simply shuffled sideways with their salary and benefits protected "

Actually, it sounds more like the military who have well developed, and practiced, ability to do precisely that.

Allied to that other "essential" for "management "...dress smartly, make a lot of verbal noise, create the impression of "competence", bully people, and abuse any form of authority over others. Not forgetting getting a string of letters to add to the illusion. The odd spot of name dropping / social locations dropping also helps add to the façade of competence.

Mechta
31st Aug 2016, 22:02
[QUOTE][An NHS boss who failed to investigate more than 1,000 deaths triggered outrage last night after she resigned but kept her £240,000 pay package.
Gives a whole new meaning to "public servant"./QUOTE]

The British Army's SA80 rifle was allegedly known as the Civil Servant when first introduced, as it didn't work and couldn't be fired.

rusty sparrow
31st Aug 2016, 22:51
The NHS is always complaining about lack of money but it's easy to see how it's wasted. And with doctors planning to go on strike again, a privately funded health system paid for by insurance seems more and more attractive.

Mechta
31st Aug 2016, 23:14
The NHS is always complaining about lack of money but it's easy to see how it's wasted. And with doctors planning to go on strike again, a privately funded health system paid for by insurance seems more and more attractive.

Until your insurance company pulls the plug, refuses to insure you, or demands a premium greater than your earnings, as you are costing them too much money...

The NHS is its own worst enemy as its so good at keeping people alive that those for whom it is intended to provide, plus all the others who seem to think it is the 'International Health Service', reach the point that their bodies are in need of constant maintenance.

Having delivered an elderly friend to hospital at 7am yesterday for a pre-arranged operation, only to then have to go back and collect them a few hours later, as the operation couldn't be done due to the different problem they were in for last week, I do agree that some better communications between departments wouldn't go amiss.

rusty sparrow
7th Sep 2016, 07:18
Just reported on the BBC: Katrina Percy had a job created for her to move into on her resignation
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37288843)

Above a certain level, managers look after each other.

G-CPTN
7th Sep 2016, 13:20
Just reported on the BBC: Katrina Percy had a job created for her to move into on her resignation
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37288843)
An offer that she couldn't refuse.

VP959
7th Sep 2016, 16:23
Often this happens because it's the cheapest way out. My guess is that the NHS had tied themselves into a tight employment contract, something that is fairly commonplace for senior posts, in either the public or private sector. Arguably they should have taken the financial hit of sacking her, but my guess is that they thought the adverse PR from giving an incompetent a massive payoff would be worse than that of giving her another job at the same pay.

When my last, near-fixed term post came to an end, my employer had no real choice but to try and create a post for me, on the same pay etc, as the post wasn't a formal fixed term contract (arguably it should have been, but they were uncertain as to when the task would be complete). That left them with the problem of being unable to just sack me, and because of their internal rules and my seniority they couldn't just make me redundant.

I actually wanted to retire (I was 58 at the time) and so I went off and worked out what it would cost them to let me retire on a full pension (i.e. assuming I'd carried on working until pension age and built up more years worth of contributions).

I put together a statement showing that they would take a single-year hit of around 2 1/2 times my salary by letting me retire early, spread almost equally over two financial years (because it was half way through the FY), but would recover that hit over the FY after that from payroll savings. I put the offer to my chief exec, we chatted about it for around 5 minutes, and the deal was agreed. I had four weeks leave owing, so I actually cleared my desk and left the following day. It was a bit of a shock to my other half, who hadn't a clue I was just suddenly going to retire.

yellowtriumph
7th Sep 2016, 16:33
Often this happens because it's the cheapest way out. My guess is that the NHS had tied themselves into a tight employment contract, something that is fairly commonplace for senior posts, in either the public or private sector. Arguably they should have taken the financial hit of sacking her, but my guess is that they thought the adverse PR from giving an incompetent a massive payoff would be worse than that of giving her another job at the same pay.

When my last, near-fixed term post came to an end, my employer had no real choice but to try and create a post for me, on the same pay etc, as the post wasn't a formal fixed term contract (arguably it should have been, but they were uncertain as to when the task would be complete). That left them with the problem of being unable to just sack me, and because of their internal rules and my seniority they couldn't just make me redundant.

I actually wanted to retire (I was 58 at the time) and so I went off and worked out what it would cost them to let me retire on a full pension (i.e. assuming I'd carried on working until pension age and built up more years worth of contributions).

I put together a statement showing that they would take a single-year hit of around 2 1/2 times my salary by letting me retire early, spread almost equally over two financial years (because it was half way through the FY), but would recover that hit over the FY after that from payroll savings. I put the offer to my chief exec, we chatted about it for around 5 minutes, and the deal was agreed. I had four weeks leave owing, so I actually cleared my desk and left the following day. It was a bit of a shock to my other half, who hadn't a clue I was just suddenly going to retire.
I'm surprised by your pension scheme comments.

It's not normally in the gift of the Chief Exec to allow you to be given extra benefits in a final salary scheme without consulting the scheme Trustee and actuary first - unless he had already done this?

Such additional benefits would have to be funded by the company and not the other scheme members. This is not usually a straightforward figure - hence the involvement of the scheme actuary.

VP959
7th Sep 2016, 16:40
I'm surprised by your pension scheme comments.

It's not normally in the gift of the Chief Exec to allow you to be given extra benefits in a final salary scheme without consulting the scheme Trustee and actuary first - unless he had already done this?

Such additional benefits would have to be funded by the company and not the other scheme members. This is not usually a straightforward figure - hence the involvement of the scheme actuary.
There was consultation. What happened was I emailed the CE my proposal first thing on a Thursday morning. The CE got HR to do the consultation and check what the costs would be (something I'd already done via the back door, to get the numbers I put forward). I met with the CE early that afternoon, after the pension people had replied (which they did very quickly as I'd primed them the day before with my enquiry!).

All the CE did was make a decision on whether to spend the additional money that FY and the following FY. The odd thing was that I'd underestimated my pension, and I ended up with two years worth of pension rights extra. Apparently there was something about enhancement that applied under certain conditions, which I'd not managed to uncover in the scheme details.

yellowtriumph
7th Sep 2016, 16:47
There was consultation. What happened was I emailed the CE my proposal first thing on a Thursday morning. The CE got HR to do the consultation and check what the costs would be (something I'd already done via the back door, to get the numbers I put forward). I met with the CE early that afternoon, after the pension people had replied (which they did very quickly as I'd primed them the day before with my enquiry!).

All the CE did was make a decision on whether to spend the additional money that FY and the following FY. The odd thing was that I'd underestimated my pension, and I ended up with two years worth of pension rights extra. Apparently there was something about enhancement that applied under certain conditions, which I'd not managed to uncover in the scheme details.
I see, that makes sense. Although I would still have expected the Trustee to have been the final decision maker but I obviously do not know anything about your scheme. I guess you, HR and the CE were confident enough of the figures to give you the nod on the basis the Trustee and the scheme rules would allow it. Well done.

VP959
7th Sep 2016, 17:38
I see, that makes sense. Although I would still have expected the Trustee to have been the final decision maker but I obviously do not know anything about your scheme. I guess you, HR and the CE were confident enough of the figures to give you the nod on the basis the Trustee and the scheme rules would allow it. Well done.
To be fair, the environment at the time has to be taken into account, too. I was a director, so knew the financial challenges we had (this was 2010) and that also enabled me to, to some extent, take advantage of my position in order to get the info needed from the pension scheme and get the costs that the CE would have to sign off firmed up before I wrote my proposal. I was impressed by the speed with which HR and the pensions people came back with the costs, but then there had been a fair few cost-cutting initiatives around the same time, so my guess is that they were already geared up to doing this.

yellowtriumph
7th Sep 2016, 21:59
Seems to me you were 'simply' buying additional benefits from the scheme, this can be calculated by the scheme actuary quite easily. It was then a simple question of whether the employer was prepared to put that additional amount into the scheme to pay for your increased benefits. The scheme most certainly wouldn't pay for it!

In very, very general terms, most schemes won't allow an employee to buy additional benefits but they will allow the employer to do so for selected employees (for selected read 'favoured!').

VP959
7th Sep 2016, 22:13
Yes, that's pretty much how I understood it. I stood to gain early retirement and an enhanced (index linked, final salary based) pension, plus lump sum, and my employer had to pay a payment (over the course of a year, which was spread over two FY's) into the pension scheme to cover it.

The benefit to me was that, apart from getting early retirement, my income didn't drop by a massive amount, due to the big reduction in income tax plus me no longer having to pay NI or pension contributions any more. In addition, my pension is index linked, whereas I knew that we were in for three or four years of frozen salaries, or even salary cuts, if I'd continued working.

The benefit to my employer was that they cut their wage bill by a fair hunk, and didn't have to do as the NHS have done in the topic of this thread and make up a new job for me. My CE thought the costs worked in their favour over three years, and that aligned with a three year business planning cycle, so everything lined up near perfectly for both of us.

yellowtriumph
7th Sep 2016, 23:49
Yes, that's pretty much how I understood it. I stood to gain early retirement and an enhanced (index linked, final salary based) pension, plus lump sum, and my employer had to pay a payment (over the course of a year, which was spread over two FY's) into the pension scheme to cover it.

The benefit to me was that, apart from getting early retirement, my income didn't drop by a massive amount, due to the big reduction in income tax plus me no longer having to pay NI or pension contributions any more. In addition, my pension is index linked, whereas I knew that we were in for three or four years of frozen salaries, or even salary cuts, if I'd continued working.

The benefit to my employer was that they cut their wage bill by a fair hunk, and didn't have to do as the NHS have done in the topic of this thread and make up a new job for me. My CE thought the costs worked in their favour over three years, and that aligned with a three year business planning cycle, so everything lined up near perfectly for both of us.
Not to drag this on, but I am surprised the Trustee would agree to giving you enhanced benefits without getting (all) the money to pay for those enhanced benefits at the point of agreement. But, as I say I obviously don't know the rules of your scheme.

In my scheme, I can assure you the Trustee would want that money upfront from the employer and not spread over x years, particularly as you imply that in your own scheme the principal employer was perhaps not in the best of financial health at the time?

But, good on you for retiring early and with a pension you're happy with.

Mr Optimistic
8th Sep 2016, 21:26
There's index linked and index linked with an x% cap. World of difference as we may well find out in a few years.

Cazalet33
8th Sep 2016, 22:02
https://s13.postimg.org/vtl8fs0vr/pantsafire.jpg

Attractive: to some, perhaps.

Well dressed: always. She even has a pilot and bag carrier in the front cockpit.

Useless: you decide.

VP959
9th Sep 2016, 08:51
Not to drag this on, but I am surprised the Trustee would agree to giving you enhanced benefits without getting (all) the money to pay for those enhanced benefits at the point of agreement. But, as I say I obviously don't know the rules of your scheme.

In my scheme, I can assure you the Trustee would want that money upfront from the employer and not spread over x years, particularly as you imply that in your own scheme the principal employer was perhaps not in the best of financial health at the time?

But, good on you for retiring early and with a pension you're happy with.
I think the arrangement was that my employer paid out everything I received in the first 12 months post-retirement, plus a sum to the pension, and I retired half way through an FY. Therefore, the pension continued to receive much larger payments every month from my employer for the first 12 months, to cover the whole additional cost.

There were cash-flow issues at the time, plus a great deal of pressure to reduce costs over a three year period, and I was just lucky that, over three years, this package ended up less costly to my employer than finding me a new post on the same pay and benefits.

UniFoxOs
9th Sep 2016, 10:03
Until your insurance company pulls the plug, refuses to insure you, or demands a premium greater than your earnings, as you are costing them too much money..

Or your wonderful NHS decides that you won't be treated as you are a smoker/drinker/too fat/treatment would cost too much....

yellowtriumph
9th Sep 2016, 12:23
I think the arrangement was that my employer paid out everything I received in the first 12 months post-retirement, plus a sum to the pension, and I retired half way through an FY. Therefore, the pension continued to receive much larger payments every month from my employer for the first 12 months, to cover the whole additional cost.

There were cash-flow issues at the time, plus a great deal of pressure to reduce costs over a three year period, and I was just lucky that, over three years, this package ended up less costly to my employer than finding me a new post on the same pay and benefits.
I understand what you say (or at least I think I do!). It still seems to me that you retired on enhanced terms that were not fully funded at the point of you starting to draw benefits. In pension speak that would be an unfunded liability.

Even though your employer was prepared to pay for those benefits over a reasonably short period of time, as a trustee I would not have agreed. But as I said before, I do not know the rules of your scheme and of course each scheme is different.

Look at it like this (just for interest sake), at the point of your retirement you were 'given' enhanced retirement terms and it has to be paid for until the point of your death and any dependents. Your company agreed to put additional funds into the scheme to fully fund those extra benefits, but - and this is the important point, if your employer had gone bust before fully funding those extra benefits then the scheme would have a potential shortfall in funds to cover your additional benefits. Either your benefits would have had to have been reduced or the scheme would have to fund it using the scheme's assets - those assets belong to the scheme members and they would not be happy for 'their' assets to be used to funds 'your' increased benefits. My scheme would have said 'no', but your scheme said 'yes'.

But let us not get bogged down in details! You are happily retired and the scheme has it's money.