Farewell to the workplace slacker

I've worked with some serious slackers over the years. People who just could not, or would not, concentrate on the job they were being paid to do.

My favourite was an incredibly likeable guy who, as we euphemistically say, liked a drink. So much so that he did the old trick of bringing two suit jackets into the office, one which he left permanently draped over the back of his chair, the other used on his frequent forays to the pub across the road.To the boss, he always seemed somewhere close by, maybe the loo or coffee machine, because his jacket was in evidence. But we discovered the truth one lunchtime when we went across the road for a pint, and there was our senior reporter serving, and drinking, behind the bar.

When asked what he was doing, he replied that he worked there. So he worked at our newspaper and at the pub, simultaneously. God knows what line he fed the landlord when he disappeared for hours on end.

Needless to say, he was quickly given a career choice and decided he'd better ditch the bar job.

He was a supreme slacker and the workplace needs them just as much as the jobsworths, the bullies, the sexist middle managers and the people who actually do the work. They make work interesting.

Employer's charter

So the Government's newly-announced employers' charter, which will allow companies to sack workers during the first two years of their employment without the threat of being taken to a tribunal for unfair dismissal will undermine the future of the workplace slacker.

And for those workers vexatious enough not to take their sacking for underperformance on the chin, there will be a fee when lodging an employment tribunal claim.

The aim is to put some sense into employment law, make it easier for employers to keep a workforce at optimum performance level and stimulate the economy through higher production. This looks great on paper but the reality is a homogenisation of the workplace.

We'll miss the fools, the incompetents, the time-wasters and the bosses' nephews and nieces. At least I will.
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