Friday, 5 December 2014

Guest Blog 12

Get Over Yourself

I'm currently on sick leave due to work-related issues. As I write this I'm on a brief visit to family, exchanging seasonal gifts & explaining my predicament. They have no idea about probation-related issues, they are generally Tory friendly because it suits their business-oriented lifestyle. The consensus is that I'm "too sensitive", "too involved" & "ought to get a life"; "get over yourself & get a proper job." They don't want to hear.

The family I'm visiting live in a busy city where they have to triple lock every door & window, have two alarm systems & their children cannot leave the house without a known adult accompanying them. They live in a middle class bubble, inside comfortable homes, their own air conditioned offices (directors of businesses) & large cars with tinted windows. Their food shop is ordered online & delivered. They eat out, but usually with friends at expensive restaurants where they can drive or go via taxi - or they go to friends' homes when caterers are often employed to cook, serve, clear up then clear off. Their children go to carefully selected academies, driven there & back or taken via bespoke arrangement.

They are not unusual. They are comfortable but not especially wealthy. I suspect they represent a significant swathe of 'Middle England' and they were very excited about the changes to stamp duty because within hours of the announcement they were already planning how much they would save if they buy a more expensive house (???).

Why am I bothering to write about my family like this? Not because I dislike them - they frustrate me but I love them dearly. It's because I think, as involved in probation as we are, we have to put ourselves, our professional roles and our work into some context others can make sense of. Our working week is spent immersed in crisis management, in emotional turmoil (our own as well as others'), in conflict & under stress. TR has only served to increase both the intensity & the number of stressors. Our view of the world is informed - some might argue 'infected' - by this immersive experience, and I find Jim's blog has helpfully exposed that in a number of ways.

We need to reflect on this, because whilst we are a passionate and committed collection of professionals who are regularly exposed to powerful experiences, we appear to others to be disproportionately incensed by issues which run off others' backs, e.g. Grayling & TR, McDowell, prisoners' rights, etc etc. It seems we are regarded by many as the tiny, irritating, squeaky voice of militant do-gooders, lefties, pinkos. No-one pays us much attention. Grayling has no idea what we do - he's made that clear many times over, not least before the Justice Committee this week - yet he's still Secretary of State & Lord Chancellor. How? Why?

I think that's another area where we're left wanting... we don't understand how someone whose behaviour mirrors that of some of our most difficult clients can get away with it so publicly. We're charged with challenging bullies, we're committed to stopping abuse; yet we're being bullied & abused, we're left incapacitated & frightened & raging, and we run the risk of (as suggested by Joanna's blog) normalising & incorporating this fear & anger into our daily routine... And then we get sick.

I'll be okay. I have a strong support network. I'm angry. I'm distressed, but I'll be okay. As I spend time placing myself, my situation & my profession into a wider context, I get stronger. It doesn't dilute the issues - it just makes it easier to spread the word in a meaningful way.


Anonymous PO

57 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. I feel the same. My family are similar to yours and certainly could understand but choose not to - it doesn't suit them to. They tell me not to get too bothered by all this because they want to protect me, I understand this. I've been particularly struggling the last few days because we are being instructed to do jobs to prepare CRCs for share sale. The cognitive dissonance this is creating is immense.

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  2. Thank you. Your words really resonate, especially the anger. I am off work today and have never felt so relieved, happy yes but not relief, to be on leave.

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    1. Enjoy your leave today. Think of ways to 'look after yourself' and be kind to yourself. We all need to take responsibility for our welfare - our employers are too concerned with other matters and really don"t want to know until you go off sick. Have experienced work-related stress on several occasions over the years and have learned from these experiences. Treasure the small and precious moments of life. Take time to appreciate the positives in your life.

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  3. My family and friends have been very supportive but still have no real understanding of the psychological stressors I am carrying. My caseload consists of very broken women who daily report crisis after crisis. I try and put aside my own anger and sadness at what is happening but I fear it is catching up with me as I had my first sick day for six years yesterday. This blog has so far enabled me to carry on thus far- and keep as sane as possible in these troubling times!

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  4. "The criminal justice system is designed to catch small fish". I am depressed, but going through the motions, to keep roof over head. The same intelligence, perception, sense of humanity and public service that brought most of us to this work is the reason for our outrage at the smirking, immorality of those abusing their power. There are two types of people, those who do want, and those who don't want, power over others. Maybe it will take only the great leveller to force them to take a moment to reflect. Or maybe not. Who knows.

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  5. Brave stuff, Anonymous PO. The limited information put out by MoJ recently indicated a raised level of sickness, and I guess a great deal of that is stress related. I isuspect the support given in mostases falls below even the minimum levels required by policies. In my own case, was lamentable

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  6. Some five years ago, in my capacity as a branch rep, I was contacted out of the blue by a woman who had been on sick leave for 90 days. She had been involved in a notorious SFO. An inexperienced case manager. It was later established by a court that there had been systemic failings. That was no consolation to her. She was left to twist in the wind. And, later, it got even worse as she was 'managed'.

    During those 90 days there had not been a single contact from the Trust management. That was staff care then - now.

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    1. 4 years ago, I worked for a year with a 66 year old man who had been grooming children, inviting them into his house, where he would have sex. This had been happening for years, even when his mother was alive and bedridden upstairs, and had warned him to stop. He would 'reward' them well, with gifts and money, even take them shopping for clothes,and after his mother died, he spent all his money - thousands - from the sale of the house, on this group of girls, most of them in care. Eventually, these damaged girls would assault him and bully him if he did not provide money, and although he had been dependant on them for company as well as sex, he came to fear them, as his money was all gone.

      For a long time, he would never admit underage sex, and the police, my manager and social services gave up on getting a conviction and downgraded him on MAPPA, as the girls had always denied any sexual behaviour. But I kept on talking to him, and persuading him to admit the extent of his behaviour, and had made him aware that I would need to tell the police.

      After a year, he finally told me all, I told the officer designated to the case, the girls concurred (as his money was gone- up till then they had always denied it) and he got 9 years.

      And what happened? - the caae became an SFO, I had one missed Oasys 9 months earlier, because of work pressure,, though 2 later ones were up to date and my contact logs were extremely detailed, and I got a demand from my ACO to have all my late OASYSes brought up to date (many of us in office were in same position, but only I got a warning!) within 4 weeks (I was on leave at the time, my manager put the letter in her drawer and forgot about it, and I ended up with one week to do my catch-ups, until I protested)

      The fact that I had achieved what no other professional had managed to do, went out of the window!

      and, as an aside, the girls would talk to him and tell him about how they were badly treated In the foster home and the home had 2 cupboards - one decent food for their own children and one with cheap stuff for her and her sibling (they would spend all day in his house rather than be in the foster home). I had brought this up at a protection meeting and Social Services and the mother firmly denied it. Yet afterwards, when I kept on about it, the SW checked the house and found the girls were telling the truth and an investigation was commenced. But I got no thanks, and never heard the conclusion as the SW moved on.

      Just a part of the job.

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    2. ML thats really sad how you were treated.No one recognises or appreciates good quality work.

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    3. thank you anarchist PO. It wasn't the happiest time in Probation. In your love of the job, you forget the times when systems and forms took on an over- inflated importance. Get the paperwork done, and never mind those damaged people, including the offender himself, who was a sad loner who actually provided, in a weird, unacceptable, distorted way, care that the foster parent didn't give. He would feed them, listen to them, and even bought a sewing machine for one girl who had been attending college to learn sewing skills and she would sew for hours in his house, designing her own clothes. And he bought her older brother a car for his birthday! But it was so complex, and I had to remind myself that this was a man who was also a sex offender with vulnerable, too streetwise, girls who had been made familiar to sex as a means to an end before he met them, It was like taking a jigsaw puzzle apart and putting it back together again to create a different picture!

      And the irony was that he was actually on Probation for dangerous driving and carrying offensive weapons in the car (a bat I think, to protect himself) because he was being threatened and chased by boys who suspected what he was doing and threatened to kill him. And I created the SFO myself by getting him to admit this offence which had been going on for years!!!

      And the thing that made me most angry was when I told the CP meeting about the disclosed foster carers abusive neglect, both the SSW and the carer burst out laughing. But - I was proved right, and the man's disclosure to me actually enabled 2 children to be moved into a better environment.

      I do wonder though, if he survived the 9 year sentence, which even the police thought was excessive. (I didn't do the report as I was on leave and it was passed to someone who was not familiar with such cases, and it showed) The case was passed to another (to give me a break, my manager said...). And as he had no family, I have wondered what happened to him and his possessions. He was passed from one PO to another and then I retired and no one knew his name when I asked.

      And I'd better stop there before I say too much! But what a wealth of amazing sad, frustrating, downright awful, but also satisfying, tales from our back catalogues, which we all carry around in our heads.

      Thanks again.

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  7. Nottingham crc saying contracts signed today

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    1. They are wrong and it shows the poor level of understanding of some who have gotten to important places in Probation management.

      Bring back the days when Probation staff were employed by and answerable to their local Court

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    2. We had info from our managers today that contracts will be signed later in December and full handover of CRCs to bidders will be in February. I can check the exacts next week.

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  8. I cannot describe my emotions reading this guest blog. I am on sick leave with work related stress, never having experienced anything similar in thirty years of working. I began to have really disturbed sleep and developed irritable bowel syndrome which had to be controlled by medication. Never having bothered my GP before, it was he who put everything together and asked me how are things at work?
    The TR changes and chaos came for me at a time when I had already had a really stressful series of events at work, starting with being attacked by a high risk offender in the office. I can't reveal other events here as that would identify me. I learnt the value of management soft skills by their absence when I had a change of manager. I was viewed as a hard working individual and because of this it was assumed I could cope with anything but everyone has a breaking point and I did not recognise when mine was approaching and neither did anyone else.
    Now we are under the NPS, no managers know the systems and occupational health have offered solutions which are simply not being actioned. That is the reality of NPS at this time, I want to be well enough to get back to work but the strategies identified by occupational health are simply being ignored by management. I should have been referred back to occ health 3 weeks ago but it still has not been actioned. My GP has seen my original occ health report and says it is the employer's responsibility to sort this and you are not going back to work until they do so as work has made me ill.
    I would love to be able to resign but truly cannot afford to so I may have to return to work unwell.
    One final note, it is really this blog that has kept me going - you might not believe me but I feel this is at least a testament to what is happening to decent hard-working staff who frankly, deserved better.
    a PO

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    1. There are similarities with this and my situation - now eleven years ago - I write from the practical point of view. My employer did not resolve the situation and there were a number of contradictory occupational medical assessments meaning time was dragging on - yet my contract only entitled me full sick pay for six months.

      I won't - but I would like to name the superb Napo negotiator who stood up to the employer on my behalf - I hope she still knows how much she was appreciated.

      The delay was entirely the fault of the employer - Napo negotiated that as it was 'work related stress' - that was my GPs diagnosis - I did not realise I was ill rather than just fed up with bad management & exhaustion - I continued to get full sick pay after the six months passed. In the end it took them ten and a half months to determine and rather than fight them, I accepted an offer of early retirement, as that gave me the highest immediate income.

      I do hope that Anon at 11.15 is a Union member and is getting good representation so that full pay is sustained.

      If not a Union member - please join or get legal advice/representation.


      For my part I wish all colleagues in a similar situation well - whilst one is on sick leave and through no fault of the employee it drags on for many months, it is very easy to be forgotten or ignored. We can become an embarrassment to managers & some colleagues & they would rather not confront the situation but leave it to Human Relations Departments (possibly now some are in disarray as mine still was in 2003 after the 2001 reorganisation)

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  9. Probation Officer5 December 2014 at 11:30

    REALLY??

    I'm a poor overworked probation officer too. But you know what?, I live near middle England, my kids goto good schools (carefully selected), and I do my Tescos shopping online too!

    I don't expect others to understand my role or our work, that's not why I come to work. I also try not to hate on others for making choices in their careers which mean they don't have to suffer government cuts, although I know some very successful people that really got hit hard by recession while we were fairly comfortable and secure.

    I've obviously missed the point of this guest blog, which seemed only to remind me of the whining, moaning staff we tend to have in probation, those that promote sick leave as a method for a paid holiday on the rest of us. I don't doubt we have many staff that are sick, stressed, depressed and need to have time off work, but if you're well enough to write about it then get back to work.

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    1. I wonder how stressed you might be, Probation Officer? I didn't read any 'hate' in the guest blog, nor any criticism of others' lifestyles. It seemed to me to be a means of offering a view as to why probation issues don't resonate with the wider population. I didn't read any whining or moaning in the blog. My child goes to a fee-paying school, but I didn't feel attacked by the blog. We have a healthy two wage income, but I didn't feel criticised by the blog. We drive a 50 mile round trip to do our food shop by choice, but I didn't feel offended. I have a number of colleagues &/or friends off sick, but I don't feel tempted to vilify them.

      Perhaps I've missed the point of your response?

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    2. To anon 11:30 I suggest you go to the Health and Safety Executive website and read about stress,because you clearly do not understand. It can be life threatening.

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    3. "but if you're well enough to write about it then get back to work."

      What an appalling thing to say.

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    4. If your level of human understanding is as demonstrated by your post at 5 December 2014 11:30 - Probation Officer, either you are in the wrong job or your probation service employer has completely lost its principles and understanding of how your job came to be created and awarded on behalf of taxpayers!

      I pity your clients, colleagues and the Courts for whom you work, and ultimately you, for you lack the capacity to do what is professionally required of you, namely understand the range of possible human motivating factors and not jump to conclusions on the basis of inadequate evidence.

      Of course I can correctly be accused of exactly the same as I am accusing our contributor, so I hope she or he is just having a 'bad day' and I am wrong!

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    5. When do you start with ATOS?

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  10. You obviously do not have a good understanding of depression and mental health issue like many mangers in probation. The whole point of raising public awareness at this time is to raise awareness to all of the inherent dangers of TR. Which is unsafe and underpinned by ideology and untested and fully assessed plans.
    if you have not been affected by the split that is good but so many of us have and this blog affiords us the opportunity to talk about it with others who share our concerns. If this is not you then perhaps this blog is not the best one for you

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    1. I shoujd sat in assessed plans . Blamey typing

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    2. Unassessed plans

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  11. Great victory over Grayling on books!!!!
    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2014/12/05/victory-court-overturns-prisoner-book-ban

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  12. Victory: Court overturns prisoner book ban

    Friday, 5 December 2014 10:53 AM

    The high court overturned the prisoner book ban today, in a humiliating ruling for justice secretary Chris Grayling.

    The ban, which was originally reported by Politics.co.uk, barred prisoners from being sent books in parcels as part of a tough Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme.

    The policy must now be amended so that it excludes prisoners receiving books from friends and family.

    In a damning judgement, Mr. Justice Collins said that as far as books are concerned, "to refer to them as a privilege is strange".

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  13. We shouldn't need reminding but we have lost two colleagues to suicide and I know of at least one who died after a heart attack in his fifties, all since 01 June.
    RIP

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    1. Yes, I am aware of a third colleague lost to suicide. RIP.

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  14. 'If you are well enough to write about it then get back to work', thus speaks Probation Officer at 11.30. Thankfully only a probation worker and not a work capability assessor. No, I think this type of personality is more at home prosecuting in show trials.

    This TUC evidence does not support the assertion that staff promote sick leave as a holiday. In fact, it shows that staff will invariably put the interests of their colleagues and employers above their health needs. But, alas, evidence alone will not stop discriminatory and prejudiced attitudes.

    In 2010 the TUC commissioned an independent report on sickness absence. It found: 41% of workers went to work in the previous 12 months when they felt 'too ill to do so', compared with 36% in the private sector; only 11% of public sector workers (13% in the private sector) said they had 'never been to work when too ill to do so' – in other words at some point 89% of public sector workers went to work when they felt too ill to go.

    http://eurofound.europa.eu/observatories/eurwork/articles/working-conditions/tuc-publishes-report-on-sickness-absence

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  15. Transcript of Grayling & Spurr at the Select Committee.

    http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/justice-committee/follow-up-session-on-crime-reduction-policies-and-transforming-rehabilitation/oral/16123.html

    Get dissecting.

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  16. stressed staff do not let anyone down, they are the ones let down because their health and well-being are destroyed
    thank God it is Friday...

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  17. Absolutely damned right my friend - I hope you an all my colleagues out there have a good weekend and a rest from the dire conditions we all work in. We are an eclectic bunch, with all our differences and views of the wold but we have to look after each other and care for each other as best we can. I too am on the sick and am dreading going back. What keeps me going is that we do have a chance of defeating Grayling - and no matter what happens I am proud that we have tried so hard to fight TR. There are many more fights to come I feel.

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  18. This blog moves so fast, I put this comment on the previous blog!

    Did you see on last night's news and on BBC on-line, that violence broke out again at HMP Northumberland last night - Sudexo again - and 6 cells were set on fire, with 6 inmates evacuated to another prison.

    Chris, you are doing a fine job! But I think Paul needs to have a word with his wife...

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  19. The guest blog and those which have following, sharing stories of reality are touching and shared by so many of us. I am shocked by the response of Probation Officer 11.30. I ask you to rethink, not judge and be reminded that TR is affecting so many of us. Okay the impact on you may not be the same - but you simply should not tell others how they should feel. At this time I go to work everyday with a heavy heart and wondering what trauma the day will bring - I see staff laughing and I still staff crying. What I do hear everyday by at least 95% of staff is - if only I could get my redundancy. Most staff cannot afford to leave but are trying hard to find alternative employment. They not unhappy with the job they do with service users, they are unhappy about the changes being imposed which they know will fail those service users, victims, public and ourselves. Chaos reigns day by day. For those who have posted their stories - I wish you well - take care of yourselves first and foremost. There are many of your colleagues and friends the across this country who share your pain.

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  20. Why is this not on the national news? Just like the pregnant PSO who was attacked and hit in the stomach by a female offender?

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    1. Because the Government in many respects control the news, especially the BBC. Kim Il Un gets some of his best ideas from Cameron.

      Barry Chuckle gets his from Osborne.

      I think Grayling just has thoughts beamed into his head by a giant fucking invisible rabbit. I would not piss on that man if he was fucking allergic to piss!!!

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  21. Montgomery burns

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    1. A person? A medical condition? Or an act of fire-setting?

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    2. A person! - the lookalike for one Chris Grayling

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  22. Montgomery Burns is the evil owner of the nuclear plant in the Simpsons - there was a great comic strip piece on an issue of NAPO News depicting and comparing Montgomery Burns with Grayling

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  23. What will happen if our CEO's don't turn up to sign on contract signing day?

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    1. It doesn't matter, they are not signatories to the contract. The contract is between Purple Futures (or whoever) and the SofS

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  24. Not turn up? I do no see it sadly. I see them flocking there with all expediency by the quickest route possible. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory with Gold Tickets comes to mind.

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  25. I imagine the contracts are between MoJ and Primes. CEO's to be bought and sold just like the rest of us. Which isnt a comfort, but it is Karma

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  26. The rubbish being spouted by managers
    'Ella Rabaiotti ‏@ellarabaiotti Dec 3
    @WalesCRC positive introductory meeting with @WorkingLinks today. Looking forward to feeding back to my team. #feelingoptimistic'

    She won't be optimistic when the new staff contracts come in.

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    1. That is what all CRC CEO's are saying, the bidders could take a massive dump on the conference table and shout swear words at the CEO's and they would say "positive meeting with bidders"

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  27. Our CEO told us today that he has to go to London to sign the contract. He invites questions. I'll ask him on Monday what will happen if he doesn't turn up. I'm dead good at letting down tires and putting leaves on the line.

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  28. According to the Wales CRC newsletter there is another meeting with Working Links on 13 Dec. Could this be signing it all awayday!

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    1. Surely judgement of JR will not come that quickly?

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  29. Having read the guest blog which I very much could relate. I was left feeling very choked and my heart went out to the author. Then I started reading the responses and emotions ran high and I wanted to give you all a hug and tell you to keep strong and my thoughts are with you. The situation has become worse for me since TR but nothing compared to yourselves. It pains me to hear what is happening in other offices and how staff are being treated. The officer with the SFO although I am sure would not want a medal. Deserved one for the commitment. Management may not have acknowledged but believe in the difference you made in those people's lives and be proud. Very proud. Blessings to you all. Strength and courage. Be kind to yourselves and continue to believe in what you do and the difference you make. Xx

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    1. if you meant me, the officer with the man who got 9 years, thank you. Someone else responded in a similar manner, and I sent my thanks to them too and gave more detail of the situ. - scroll way up to where it appeared this morn, it is a long reply!

      And thanks on behalf of everyone else too, Although I am now retired and away from the current horror story, it's good know that in the midst of adversity, there is always someone to hold your hand.

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  30. Probation Officer6 December 2014 at 00:00

    I note the responses to my comment posted at 11:30.

    For the guest blog author I do hope you're feeling better. For the others and the record I feel the need to state I am very good at my job and work very well with our clients. I do like my job and think job satisfaction is important, and so is earning a decent wage and paying the bills. While I'm lucky enough to still enjoy coming to work every day (well most days), at this stage in life my priority is paying the bills.

    IMO Probation was ruined long before CG sat at the helm of the MoJ, and we all knew a shake up of probation was on the cards. Probation has always been under attack from the MoJ, particularly a Tory MoJ, so why are we even surprised at the current position (the only truly probation-friendly party seems to be the Greens at the moment. We even allowed it to happen and it's been coming ever since the DipSW and probation were separated. Probation finance teams have been wasting money for years. Probation has long been riddled with too many staff prone to using sick leave as a method combat being managed. Probation has always had too many managers that were neither good officers or managers. .. And on... And on... And when the TR nuke hit our Chief Officers said "thank you" and our Unions (mainly Napo) hid under the desk.

    I'm still trying to get the point of the guest blog. To be honest, I'm no longer interested in worrying about TR as what will be will be. Of course friends and family don't want to know what's happening to probation. When my dentist cousin bleats on about dentist 'stuff' people tend to get tired, I'm sure it's the same when we start on about probation. There are so many suffering cuts, unemployment, financial crisis, etc, I'd be wrong to expect others to listen to my plight while I still have a job/career and a decent one too.

    Whatever happens with TR and JR there will be a sell off of some form and we'll all suffer to some extent. By the Autumn Statement we also know that even if we survive TR we've a gauntlet of nasty cuts and reforms around the corner. I joined probation long ago as it was the career I wanted. Many moons later it's now just a job and the stress, pressure and all the BS that we're navigating at the moment is just part of the deal that comes with any job. If more people took this on board, but while keeping up the good work, maybe it'd be easier for more to press on without being dragged down by those that created the mess we're swimming in. I'm not sure if this was the point of responding I was leading towards at the outset, but can I share that I come to work every day with the view that the glass remains half full.

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    1. I wrote the guest blog. My point? My experience over those few days made me realise how much say I'm struggling with the dissonance of it all despite having a good support network, and that its not a good time. I agree that it dates back way beyond Grayling. In fact I'd take it back to the 91 CJAct.

      I thought it might be useful to voice the opinion that we don't have to accept our situation, even if others don't understand, or if they dismiss what we tell them. Not everyone I know has a support system available, some are very isolated for a variety of reasons.

      Its been especially difficult for longer serving colleagues, some of whom have NEVER had a day off sick in their working lives until recently. I'd like to believe those who felt able to fleece the system - whilst accepting there will always be charlatans & opportunists - are long gone.

      Equally I'd like to believe that colleagues are supporting each other, not sniping or dividing or accusing. Too much of that has been generated by the sifting lottery.

      But, Probation Officer, half a glass isn't enough to keep me interested. Would you buy half a glass of something? As someone posted recently, "Good enough just aint good enough." I've been damn good at my job & clients have benefitted from the exceptional efforts of a thoroughly committed professional for over two decades, but I now have to accept I'm burnt out - psychologically & emotionally. Its the only responsible thing left to do before I move in whatever direction I decide.

      Thanks to Jim for allowing me the opportunity of a guest blog - its harder than it seems! And also thanks to those who have been angered, inspired, irritated or amused by the blog. Its been an interesting experience reading the comments. Probation remains a magical world of its own.

      Anonymous PO.

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  31. Why isn't TR in the news?

    See page 8. It is there in black and white.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/253117/ministers-transparency-apr-jun2013.pdf

    Grayling regularly meets the press for 'drinks, lunch or dinner'.

    Daily Mail, Sun, Telegraph, BBC they are all there.

    Anyone still think we live in a democracy?

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    1. Of course, politicians should never speak to the media in any way...

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  32. Thankyou guest blogger for your wise words. Knowing i am not alone in all this turmoil is reassuring. Your honesty is refreshing and mirrors my own thoughts on this whole situstion.

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    1. In a nutshell we are employed to work with individuals who offend against society whilst being torn apart by, and potentially employed by, individuals who would not hesitate to behave in underhand fraudulent ways for financial gain. Err... what's not to get?

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