UCU Strike Poems 8 – Five Minutes Of Work 4.23.2009, by Margaret Alice


Five Minutes Of Work 4.23.2009

Attending the PMDS workshop today
a 46-page page performance document
to be discussed in detail, I opened it and
closed it immediately, more boring than
that can’t exist in any universe, I’ll go to the
meeting hoping to enjoy the conversation,
the facial expressions of my colleagues;
but not in order to be man-handled again
by Human Resources whose insanity is
rampant and getting worse every day,
we do five minutes of work for every
fifty-page document delineating how
the work should be done, we have a
new form on which clients must fill in
what they thought of our performance –
strangely enough not a single client made
use of it as yet; I wonder why, given how
joyously we compile forms, isn’t it?

Margaret Alice


The university that I work for is currently in conflict with the union that I belong to, the UCU, over Universities UK’s (UUK) proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

This has resulted in lecturers like me taking strike action.

You can read more about the reasons some of us have for taking this action here and here.

For the next few days of strike action I am going to be posting poems on my blog whose subject matter is the world of work and/or education.

On this tenth day of strike action we read Five Minutes Of Work 4.23.2009, by Margaret Alice.


You can follow the #USSStrike hashtag on Twitter here and the #UCUStrike hashtag here.

If you can take the time to retweet or share this poem via social media I would be so grateful.


The views posted in this blog are mine alone and do not represent those of my employer.

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