September 17th (Friday) - Committees

There’s no denying that the bit of my job I like the best is being very involved with the training.

I’ve currently got six trainee biomedical scientists under my wing. Help, advice and guidance from my sage experience on a daily basis, and an occasional firm kick up the bum when needed. I have to admit that work does support me in this respect; I’m given time to spend with trainees (not as much as I’d like, but then there are other things to do…), and I’m given time to go to other hospitals to assess their trainees and time to go to the university for all sorts of reasons. Over the last few years I’ve got to grips with the pre-registration portfolio and am seen as something of a leading light on it, and I’m happy to be so.
I’m also worrying about four qualified biomedical scientists who are studying for their specialist portfolio and a lab assistant who is studying for the biomedical science foundation degree. I’d like to do more with them, but I’m not quite sure exactly what I should be doing.

And it’s no secret that I’m dead keen on continuing professional development (hence this blog). As well as spending much of my every working day pointing out CPD opportunities to all and sundry, I (try to) run a formal series of seminars on Wednesday lunchtimes.

There is always a flip side to anything good. Being seen as an educationalist is one thing. Being formally recognised as such is another. And having been formally recognised, I’m a member of the work’s Education and Training committee… I’m not going to run down this committee, or my work’s management. That is neither reflective nor constructive.

The problem lies with me. I need to accept that management have decided that they will operate by committee. In my time I’ve been on so many committees, both at work and in various voluntary personal capacities. I really should realise and accept that some people really do like the “committee way” of doing things. They really can spend hours considering the intricate ramifications of obscure legislations. Some people really do enjoy the confrontational challenge of civilised debate, and can spend hours politely discussing obscure points of semantics. Others go along to have a “who’s the busiest, you or me” argument and really cannot see that if they actually were as busy as they claimed to be, they’d not have time to be at the committee meeting.

My problem is that I am not a committee animal. I don’t understand the need for it and I don’t speak the language. At a very fundamental level I don’t think I agree with the concept of democracy as exemplified in committees. I’d far rather be given orders and spend the precious time I would have spent in committee getting on with those orders. Today was a classic case in point. I spent two hours  sitting in a committee meeting occasionally offering opinions of dubious merit whist fretting about the work that I felt I should be doing.

The failing is on my part, I’m sure…

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