These are indeed dangerous times....
The media is awash with one shocking story today that is serving to remind us all of the perils of our modern lifestyles. The prevously unimaginable has happened and people are seeing and learning things they once would have deemed impossible.
COLLAPSING ROUND THEM
As a personnel and recruitment management consultant I regularly have to offer advice to manegers who may see that the organisation that they have worked for for years collapsing around them and whose staff simply cannot cope with the strain.
As the shocking figures pour in and the true scale of the crisis dawns across the country it's easy to think only of the familiar personalities acting out the drama on our TV screens and in the newspapers and forget the thousands of hard pressed workers, strategists and advisors behind the headlines who are suffering now and will suffer more as the situation worsens; bad enough that many will lose their jobs, but some have to suffer the anger and pent up rage of their superiors.
The talk of 'meltdown' and 'obliteration' is taking a heavy toll on those 'senior people' whose jobs are in the front line and the pressure is clearly beginning to tell.
Bullying in the workplace, even under the most intense pressure, can never be tolerated and if powerful senior members of the 'team' strike out against their younger, smaller colleagues ( especially when their only crime has been to speak the perhaps unpalatable truth) then someone has to take matters on before things get out of control.
'PRESSURE COOKER' ENVIRONMENT
Whenever any violent outburst happens in the workplace it is a warning signal to senior managers that personnel are on, or even already past, their breaking strain and that something needs to be done. The pressure cooker environment and the stress and worry of whether they will hang on to their job or not has become too much to bear. Perhaps the senior personnel involved needs an extra-long break but if that has already been tried then often a complete career change is the only answer.
Faced with signs of such behaviour the natural course of events would be a meeting amongst the managers of the staff member concerned and in all probability the outcome would be a redundancy package of some kind; a generous pension perhaps would soften the blow and usually some alternative post at a lower level might be suggested.
Of course in the case of some unlucky people events overtake them and the entire organisation they represent ceases to exist, sometimes overnight, in which case the best answer is usually a complete lifestyle change; starting a small business or doing charity work are both popular choices for many affected in his way.
Many people feel that the those involved in this latest crisis have enjoyed a long run of easy pickings - many years 'on the gravy train' in some cases making millions from doing not very much - often by simply promising anything to everyone in a largely successful effort to keep their backing, year in and year out.
Those days are now coming to an end, and for those on the wrong end of this seismic shift the fear of loss should not be under estimated, for many there is little else that they know other than earning their living from the 'business' -in some sad cases entire families have earned their living in this way for decades and adjusting to life 'on the outside' will be tough.
PS. ADRIANS OUTBURST AT CONFERENCE.
I will not be commenting further on reports of Adrian Sanders' apparent attack on a young researcher at the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth.