Tuesday, 7 May 2013


There is a wartime documentary film made way back in 1941 called "Target for Tonight". Which I last saw on television many years ago. It was billed as being filmed and acted by Royal Air Force crew while under fire. The film is about Wellington bomber "F for Freddie" and its exploits. On a bombing raid over Germany,  Freddie cannot climb after being hit by anti-aircraft flak. They are in a bad situation and tension builds until finally "F for Freddie" lands safely  No aircraft are lost and the mission is a complete success.

That documentary was the last recorded time that "Targets being set" was ever known to be successful. We have all seen the ongoing debacle within the "Target Led" National Health Service. Everyone in Britain apart from the Home Office is aware that the Police Service is failing because of the stupidity of form filling for recording targets. Just so that someone in a back office can tot up the numbers. There are many others  I could add to the list.

CaRT is also target driven. On our Easter cruise I had one of my customary chats with a member of the bankside staff. He had spotted a bit of preventative maintenance work that he could easily do.  A three foot piece of wood of the correct dimensions which he had to hand would soon fix the problem. I could see that he was made of sturdy stuff and had been around for years. Essentially he was one of the old school. He was a craftsman and took a deep pride in what he did.

He started to explain the process. "First he would have to fill in a form and put it into the system. Someone else would come and check the job. There would be a health and safety audit of the job and eventually he would get the go ahead to do the job." He went on "It takes longer to fill out the forms than it would take to do the job." He continued "The person who will come out and look at the job might have the paper qualifications but would be lacking in on the job experience." So I remarked, "Would it not be easier to just do the job after all and forget the red tape. Even I could see that it was so easy that I could do it."  "What! and lose one of my targets." He then started to chuckle and shake his head. I could see that he felt much better for getting it off his chest. His last comment summed it all up "The job is completely screwed." 

To be honest he did not say "screwed" but being as I am in polite company I swapped the word. He actually used a much shorter and more succinct word. I could not have put it better myself. Everything was summed up, carefully analysed and then described to perfection in a single word. I also understood exactly how he felt, I understood the level of his frustration. I also understood how he had come to terms with what he saw going on around him. All described in a single short word! A good explanation of which you will find here. Click Here


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