Keeping up or things fall apart

By on September 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

Today a man who is paid £168,000 a year offered to get me a cup of coffee off the buffet table at the NHS Foundation Trust Annual Public Meeting. I already had one so we had a short chat. Then I read parts of the Annual Report and Accounts 2009/10. Six senior managers of this Trust earn an average of  £136,000 each. We have all heard that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, it’s the market price for quality managers, it’s all based on equivalences in the private sector, if you want continuity you have to pay highly to keep people in post and so on. But really, if, as the Report tells us, we may not be able to afford to refurbish an operating theatre this year, we have to ask if, say,£68,000 isn’t quite a nice wage, allowing a very nice lifestyle indeed. And anyway, as the departing CEO (!) remarked, the Trust is not a business, its an organisation with the aim of making ill people better. But then halving their salaries won’t pay for a theatre refurbishment, will it. That’s not the real point though. Those amounts are just obscene in themselves. Now that “reducing the National Deficit” seems to be the overriding goal of our coalition government, perhaps such salary levels will come to resemble something more human and acceptable. And a pig will be seen flying over Leighton hospital.

The drive home included an unusual incident, partially caused I hope by my preoccupation with the above thoughts. I locked myself out of the car at the petrol pump in our local garage by accidentally flipping the latch on the driver’s door with my coat sleeve on the way out of the car and carrying on in the same movement to shut the door on the way to the pump. Instantly I recalled the 2 clicks when there should only have been one and there was the car securely locked with keys in the ignition, thanks to the ‘driver’s door only’ security set up I rarely use. Half an hour’s walk home for the spare key and a ten minute bike ride later all was well and I was able to buy 365 miles for £58 – 6.29 miles for £1. Said car and my driving style make for good economical performance too! Anyway, never again will I step out of the car without the keys in my hand, except to use the wheelchair hoist with the engine running and the door and tailgate both open and my partner in the passenger seat.

The reason to fill up from having only 18 miles worth of fuel left today is the trip to the Lowry Art Gallery at Salford Quays tomorrow to meet up with two cousins, Ann from Salford  and John from Rickmansworth. We are all in our 60s and this is the second mini reunion in a year after many years of not seeing each other. Christmas and birthday cards before, you know the sort of thing. Looking forward to a good lunch and much nattering in the Quays.

Heard on arriving home of two friends, who do not work in the same organisation or know each other, being suspended from their jobs while enquiries are made into workplace incidents that are purported to show that they may be incompetent, fraudsters or thieves, none of which can possibly be true and the amounts of money involved are so trivial. Coincidence or manifestations of the management style we have become so used to in the last few decades?

How much a week is £168,000 a year? Oh stop being so working class. (£3230 – before tax, of course)

 3 Responses to “Keeping up or things fall apart”

  1. Ed says:

    Yes indeed, take the keys out when you fill up… What garage was it? Driving to Guildford today for a wedding.

  2. Beth Granter says:

    Yes, I always think £60,000 should be the maximum anyone needs to earn x

  3. Barbara says:

    As usual I totally agree with Jim…usually do over things political. That’s why I married the old buffer. Having been married to him for 42 years it is somewhat refreshing to be referred to as his partner. I think I’ll try it next time I introduce him to someone. ‘This is Jim, my partner’. Mmmm. No laughing, kids.

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