GOTCHA!

A kindly art teacher used to take us solemnly to the only mirror in the corridor outside the art-room when we were getting to the ‘this has gone wrong’ stage.

He used to say ‘time for another pair of eyes’.

Approaching your (floundering) drawing via its reflection suddenly helped you ‘see’ what was going on. Or going wrong.

These blogs have often looked, albeit clumsily, for help in seeing what is happening in our businesses and places of work by thinking about current events and trends that might act as reflections.

Windrush.

(Will the word become like Watergate?)

The implications and layers of meaning continue to unfold and draw us all down into a horrible quicksand of shame and nastiness.

There is surely worse to come.

Because we haven’t reached the full psychological effects and implications yet: where the parallels with corporate life lie.

The innocent victims, living for decades with a carefully built and earned sense of self and worth, have had their very identities retrospectively airbrushed.

They have only just begun to deal with the Kafka-esque effects which will surely follow.

The dart in the heart is this.

They have in effect been treated as if throughout that time they have been guilty, every minute of every day, of evading capture. Since nothing they have done or can show or can say is considered valid or relevant, they are impotent as well as guilty.

On a different level – a really different level – the current vogue for managers and directors to use ‘performance management’ or appraisals with a standard competencies list to frighten – sorry, ‘motivate’ – certain employees achieves the same psychological dismantling. The appraisee is being treated as if they are obviously substandard -they always have been – and are at last being found out.  Since the bureaucracy will only recognise certain aspects of ‘performance’, the conversation can never move onto the appraisee’s territory. He or she doesn’t stand a chance.

Managers, like the mysterious Home Office Officials being blamed by the Home Secretary are effectively crying ‘Gotcha!’.

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