Tag Archives: ISME

Gallows Humour

It’s mid-morning on Friday, and an office full of people who may only have one-an-a-half working days left is hushed, filled only with the sounds of typing as these people carry on doing their jobs with a professionalism that would make you well-up with pride, and with affection,  and with sadness.

I’d love  Mark Fielding and the ISME gobshites who called us all malingerers to come in here and see what the employees of this country, of all nationalities,  are really like.

Meanwhile, everyone is putting on as brave a face as possible, and gallows humour is creeping in. We’ve discussed a sit-in, a la Waterford Crystal. There is a group of eight of us who are acting as go-betweens between staff and management, forwarding suggestions & concerns to the bosses & vetting communications that they are sending back, and, although the eight have no actual role in the selection process and are as liable to be made redundant as anyone else in the company we are referred to as the Firing Squad. One area of the office, where everyone in it reckons they’re going, now call their section The Departure Lounge.

And this morning BlondieBird sent me this:

Actual Answers Given by “Family Fortunes” Contestants:

Name something a blind person might use… A sword

Name a song with moon in the title…Blue suede moon

Name a bird with a long neck… Naomi Campbell

Name an occupation where you need a torch…A burglar

Name a famous brother & sister…Bonnie & Clyde

Name a dangerous race…The Arabs

Name an item of clothing worn by the 3 musketeers…A horse

Name something that floats in the bath…Water

Name something you wear on the beach…A deckchair

Name something Red…My cardigan

Name a famous cowboy…Buck Rogers

Name a famous royal…Mail

A number you have to memorize…7

Something you do before going to bed…Sleep

Something you put on walls…Roofs

Something in the garden that’s green…Shed

Something that flies that doesn’t have an engine…A bicycle with wings

Something you might be allergic to…Skiing

Name a famous bridge…The bridge over troubled waters

Something a cat does…Goes to the bathroom

Something you do in the bathroom…Decorate

Name an animal you might see at the zoo…A dog

Something associated with the police…Pigs

A sign of the zodiac…April

Something slippery…A conman

A kind of ache…Fillet ‘O’ Fish

A food that can be brown or white…Potato

A jacket potato topping… Jam

A famous Scotsman…Jock

Another famous Scotsman…Vinnie Jones

Something with a hole in it… Window

A non living object with legs…Plant

A domestic animal…Leopard

A part of the body beginning with ‘N’…Knee

A way of cooking fish…Cod

Something you open other than a door…Your Bowels

It’s the first time I’ve really laughed in a week.

Sick? You Bet We Are

Did you know that 83 per cent of the time we employees are out sick is due to “feigned illness or malingering”?

That’s what the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises association says. ISME’s press releases in January alone have attacked Government inaction, demanded Public Sector pay cuts, and said that any talk of an increase in the minimum wage was “outlandish, provocative and unrealistic”, and that Unions had lost touch with reality.



Anyway, their survey of 750 companies said that employees miss an average of 6 days each per year, and that five of these are, as stated above, due to “feigned illness or malingering”. Chief Executive Mark Fielding then attacked the medical profession, saying that they had an “ATM mentality” when is came to issuing sick notes, and that these were often issued “like snuff at a wake, without any genuine intervention or advice”. (Do people still have wakes? Do they still hand out snuff at them? Should clichés not have a sell-by date?)

Poor ISME. The government is crap, the public sector is overpaid, we employees are lazy and our doctors are cheats. It’s a wonder these fine people can run businesses in Ireland at all.

And the five days out of six? Well, guess what. The survey says they are due to feigned illness or malingering in the companies’ opinion. No proof, no analysis, just a hunch.

Based on what? Based on some outdated Punch-cartoon stereotype that the Irish are drunken feckless wasters?

Typical staff member

Typical staff member

Work in our office over the last month (for a company which thankfully wouldn’t use an ISME membership card to wipe its corporate arse) has taken place to the cheery accompaniment of background music of coughing and sneezing, as people who are sick do what most workers do, which is to go to work regardless.

The employees of this country deserve better than to have shite spouted about them being malingerers based on no evidence whatsoever.

I’m sure there is a press release crying out to be written about injuries at work in Small and Medium enterprises, or about work-related stress caused by pressure on staff during the boom times, or about anxiety and depression caused by being suddenly let go now.

Just don’t expect ISME to be the ones to release it.