Tuesday, 16 February 2010

I'm Delighted to tell you, `Welcome, you're crap`

Last week, for instance, a colleague of mine (let's call her Judy) was informed by her line-manager that she could only fail one more student otherwise the course would fall below benchmarks. Never mind that half of the students shouldn't be on the course anyway. Some halfwit enrolled them without checking their initial assessment results and poor Judy was told that she couldn't get rid of them - she would just have to 'support' them to achieve. They are so far below the required level, that 'support' in this case will have to mean 'passing them anyway'. So much for raising standards. The above `cut and paste` came from a post on a new blog I stumbled across the other day," The Forbidden Lectures of Lizzie Love" That extract struck a familiar chord with me, reminding me of a few trainee police officers aka `probationers`, that I was once responsible for as a patrol sergeant. I'm talking about the ones who, as hard as they and I tried, just weren't going to couper la moutarde. Yet towards the end of my career, people with very questionable ability were getting in and staying in, at best just bumping along the bottom and at worst were total liabilities, creating havoc and even occasionally and by some miracle or some other mysterious hold they had over the organisation, getting promoted. Mindful of the fact that we all come from various backgrounds and with varying standards of education, both academic and from the college of general life, it also touched ever so slightly on what I read on Behind Blue Eyes yesterday. We are all different. However, when we choose a particular career path there are usually certain things that one must achieve, certain minimum standards or bench marks, in order to become accepted and, heaven forbid, competent. Once in, we can then set about getting good at it and maybe even find a particular path within our chosen career that we would like to get really good at - is `specialisation` a non pc dirty word yet, I'm not sure? Yet I have seen people in mine and other jobs, quite recently, who seem to struggle to write a sentence one can understand, even when ignoring the grammer and speling. I won't go on, but will close with the thought that if my former job, and others by the sound of Ms Lizzie's piece, have been reduced to lowering the bar until an applicant can shuffle over it, then what does the future hold? I think its time to dust off a couple of old Mr Huxley's books and re-read them, because my current world doesn't look so brave or new at the moment.

14 comments:

Conan the Librarian™ said...

There are certainly some Deltas managing me...

Hogday said...

Conan: :-/

Blue Eyes said...

Ooh a link from the great Hogday. Flattery will get you a long way ;-)

I hope you did not infer that my post was in any way related to standards being allowed to slip because of some moral relativism, because that was not my intention at all.

We are all better and worse at different things, but you are totally correct: you shouldn't lower standards just so more people can get to them.

Good post.

powdergirl said...

Over here, and I'd bet it's the same over there, this lowering of the bar begins in elementary school.

"No one fails, everyones a winner!"

What I have to wonder about is the psych evaluations, do they get 'supported' till they're considered sane, too?

I mean, stupid is one thing, crazy is a whole new ball game.

CI-Roller Dude said...

We have a saying:
"You can't fix Stupid."

As for the cops who just don't get it? Well, over here they promote them and make them bosses...and later they become Police Chiefs.
Dang, I'm so glad I can retire soon.

Asclepius said...

Unfortunately this truth resonates through nursing as well. However part of the training we receive I maintain is intended to scare the hell out of us so most decent people when faced with their own inability to reach certain standards drop out of their own accord rather than be faced with the prospect of killing patients. Unfortunately there are others who while not even coming close to reaching the required standards(and probably still wouldnt even if they actually tried) Manage to get into the career because the government has a certain, ethnic, disability or gender quota to meet. As a male student nurse I often doubt myself, wondering if the praise and good marks I am receiving are a result of my blood, sweat and tears or if I am being favoured because the government have decided that nursing is too female focused.

I have known other qualified nurses who are so far beyond dangerous its not funny find promotion prospects by ignoring the chain of command and attaching themselves to the influential high management.

The problem is the point in all these exams, training and proficiency development is to set yourself apart from the crowd, its pointless just to say "you're all exceptional we'll hire you all" you need to cut the bottom percentages to ensure the best possible service is being delivered.

Hogday said...

Blue: I didn't think that at all. Worry ye not. I blame myself for mentioning Aldous Huxley when I suspect you're more of a Jean-Paul type (Satre that is, not Gaultier)

Powder: How valid your points are. Looking to the young adults I often see acting up on the streets, late at night, in our big town up the road, I truly believe that the local law enforcement officer is probably the first person in their lives who has actually told them "No you can't do that", to some anti-social activity - and it comes as such a shock.

CI-RD: Ditto. Shit, we can't all be right, but on this subject, we can't all be wrong either.

Asclepius: Thanks for looking in and for your comments. There were times when I doubted my own eyes and the conclusions I was drawing from what I was taking in - not so. My respects to you and your life-saving colleagues at the SGH and elsewhere;)

Asclepius said...

That threw me a bit then, Southampton General is indeed my nearest hospital but not the one I am training at. Its clearly too early for me because it took me some time to figure out how you managed to deduce which hospital I most likely worked at.

Hogday said...

Asclepius: If you want anon I can remove that, but I merely saw your profile.Say the word.

Asclepius said...

Its absolutely fine, It just confused me. It was before I had my morning coffee and after a twilight shift at work. Do you know SGH well?

Hogday said...

Asc`: As an occasional visitor....

allcoppedout said...

I'm not teaching this year, but the general rule now is to find yourself in front of 130 Chinese and a couple of dozen other foreign nationals wondering if any of them speak English. Many already ripped off by course fees can't afford the textbook that has the set case study in it. You are generally expected to teach the answers, knowing these are total garbage and hope a dozen or so come up with satisfactory regurgitation of these to present a 'range' to your external and hide the rest.

Blue Eyes said...

None of this is new, though. My dad used to tell the tale of a mate of his who sat a professional exam back in the late 1960s. He had to analyse a particular problem set out in the paper. The chap apparently wrote a correct analysis, easily checkable because the scenario was based on a real one. He failed because he had not written the analysis that the examiners were expecting - the candidate knew more about it!

Hogday said...

ACO: Thats exactly why I walked away from an FE job after spending a few days in class with a former trainer buddy of mine. Bums on seats writ large.

Blue: Police Ops can sometimes be a little like that. I always tried to be ever so slightly unconventional in my approach, based on the theory that, if we always do it this way, then the people we are trying to arrest, if they're half as good as the intel says they are, will have that covered. Its annoying when your so called `betters` look at you as if you need sedating.