I’ve taken a fair amount of stick from colleagues in the office for my use of the word ‘Schadenfreude’ in our recent newsletter; “pretentious” being one of the kinder expressions. So why did I use this strange and almost unheard-of word?
Two main reasons:
One: it sums up the reality of what Backstop is all about. Backstop was set up by me because, on the whole, I was surrounded in my last Youth Offending Team by agency staff who were not up to it (with some honourable exceptions, of course). My main pleasure at Backstop is making placements where the candidate is well matched to the role. The misfortune belongs to the Local Authority who ends up needing a temporary locum. The crux of the matter is: should there really be a space for agency workers at all? And the answer is probably not, if personnel and recruitment were managed more effectively.
So here is the irony that exists at the heart of Backstop. In an ideal world we shouldn’t exist…but we do, so we’ll do the best we can to fill the gaps in the most effective way we can. Where we’ll be deriving pleasure from is a job well done.
This issue is particularly relevant in the current situation because the outcome is so predictable (link to previous blog). You cannot keep on cutting frontline posts without there being a long term impact on the effectiveness and health of the remaining team members. I will derive a brittle pleasure from my predictions becoming reality.
Secondly, and on a lighter note, I am working on my Professional Doctorate. I could never get away with using such a word in my academic work so I’m afraid you good people will have to bear the brunt of my literary excesses instead!