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Neotenic
912667.  Wed May 30, 2012 3:14 am Reply with quote

I also wasn't aware that the DWP had the power to control precisely when the postal service delivered letters.

 
bemahan
912674.  Wed May 30, 2012 3:35 am Reply with quote

Normally business post that is collected by the Royal Mail from bodies such as the DWP is guaranteed to be delivered the following day, as long as it is franked first class.
Here, however, bob says the letter was 'hand-delivered'. Not sure exactly what that means but it may be that the DWP realised it was late going out so sent it couriered or special delivery. Doesn't make it acceptable to give such short notice for securing an advocate, legal or otherwise, but would indicate they were trying and, therefore, not deserving the rather unthought-through vitriole in the letter.

 
Spud McLaren
912852.  Wed May 30, 2012 4:02 pm Reply with quote

bemahan wrote:
Normally business post that is collected by the Royal Mail from bodies such as the DWP is guaranteed to be delivered the following day, as long as it is franked first class.
I wonder how much credence can be given to that guarantee. OK, I work in a govt. dept that isn't the DWP, but I sent out several letters (all franked 1st class) on 16th May to arrange appointments on 23rd May - effectively 6 days' notice - and several people I visited had received theirs on the 22nd or 23rd.

 
Sparkyweasel
912853.  Wed May 30, 2012 4:17 pm Reply with quote

Grr, I got a letter today from DWP claiming they have not received a certain completed form, and demanding to receive it by June 6th. Not possible over Jubilee Weekend.
Also last time we spoke to them on the phone the person claimed to have that same completed form in front of them to refer to.

 
bemahan
912862.  Wed May 30, 2012 5:02 pm Reply with quote

Oh dear. Even when I try not to be cynical it turns out that
I should be.
I can say something positive about the DWP. The people in the section that deals with widowers' pensions were absolutely wonderful. You get straight through to a real person. They ring back when they say they will. Your case is dealt with by one person but the others know what's going on so can pass sensible messages. They are extremely kind and fall over themselves to make the process as pain- and stress-free as possible.

 
'yorz
912863.  Wed May 30, 2012 5:37 pm Reply with quote

So - all in all the OP may have a point (although that point only became clear lateron).

 
bobwilson
912878.  Wed May 30, 2012 9:13 pm Reply with quote

This is turning into a demonstrative case study of how things look from (respectively) inside and outside.

Let me first address CB’s thoughtful post 912513

Quote:
Back in 2001 I was appalled at the abuse workers in the public sector were expected to accept and brought it up at a board meeting for the organisation I was working with then, and I was happy they took it seriously. We implemented a zero tolerance view to abuse, be it physical, verbal or written, and all our receptions displayed posters advising our tenants of this. Our service improved, and so did our tenant approval rating.

People in the public sector are not PAID to be abused.


I find nothing to disagree with there, nor do I believe I said that public sector workers are paid (or should expect) to be abused.

As CB says – notification of a zero-tolerance policy of abuse (be it physical, verbal or written) led to an improvement in the relations between the service providers and those receiving the service. I would point out that the people most exposed to the notification of this zero tolerance policy were those employed by the service providers.

I’m a bit concerned by CB’s statement
Quote:
I was appalled at the abuse workers in the public sector were expected to accept
– expected by whom? That could potentially give rise to a civil claim for damages against a public sector employer even at this remove. CB will no doubt make himself available as a witness for such a case? I’d be very interested if CB would care to provide me with minimal contact details of any (ex?) public sector employee who might be interested in pursuing a case for damages against their employer, or would direct anyone with a grievance to contact me? It’s what I do, after all.

It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that the majority of my clients are public sector employees. That’s real people with real problems employed by the state.

Now to some more specifics

Neo has a belief that this a fabrication by myself and offers some convincing arguments in favour of this thesis. The original letter contains incomplete information and is ambiguous – certainly that’s one of my hallmarks. Wild leaps of logic – as he says, check. Personal attacks – definitely one of my traits.

On the other hand – similar charges could be laid against most reports by any “responsible” journalist on pretty much any report they file (I’d be interested to hear of any exceptions barring TV reviews).

A matter of trivial importance? Do you mean in contrast to something like whether Hugh Grant has been seen in the company of a prostitute which, of course, is something of immediate, world-shaking importance and is definitely something of which we should be informed at the first opportunity. My mistake – we should all be fitted immediately with a chip which could inform us of this event instantaneously.

But to respond to the more sensible queries

Bemahan says

Quote:
Normally business post that is collected by the Royal Mail from bodies such as the DWP is guaranteed to be delivered the following day, as long as it is franked first class.
Here, however, bob says the letter was 'hand-delivered'. Not sure exactly what that means but it may be that the DWP realised it was late going out so sent it couriered or special delivery. Doesn't make it acceptable to give such short notice for securing an advocate, legal or otherwise, but would indicate they were trying and, therefore, not deserving the rather unthought-through vitriole in the letter.


The recipient in question was due to report at 3:20 PM on Friday 4th May. As noted, the letter was written on 26th April and could have been posted on 26th, 27th (fill in the rest) with (as bemahan notes) guaranteed (or a high probability of) delivery the following day.

It was delivered (not by courier or special delivery) at 3:20 PM on Friday 4th May by the person conducting the scheduled interview. Although these facts might not be apparent to an external observer, they would certainly be apparent to an internal observer. A cynic might conclude that delivery had been deliberately delayed. A critic might consider this to constitute “abuse” which, as posters prominently displayed about the office mentioned by CB declare, will not be tolerated.

As ‘yorz says – the original letter had a point. (Trust me – if I’d have been involved in the case it would have been far more belligerent and would have included the names of specific people. I’d probably already be in court defending an action for libel).

There is no legitimate excuse (that I can see) for delaying delivery of the notification until the last possible moment. Thanks to the information provided by CB, we know that all staff are made aware that “physical, verbal and written abuse” is not tolerated by the DWP (unless, of course, they’re directed to not view the posters displayed for the benefit of their patrons – care to comment CB?).

And finally

Quote:
Grr, I got a letter today from DWP claiming they have not received a certain completed form, and demanding to receive it by June 6th. Not possible over Jubilee Weekend.
Also last time we spoke to them on the phone the person claimed to have that same completed form in front of them to refer to.


No problem sparky. It’s probably crossed in the post. If they claim otherwise tell them to go fuck themselves. They’ve already admitted they have the form – just tell them you’ve recorded the conversation. They haven’t got the budget, the inclination, or the balls to check that.

 
CB27
912882.  Wed May 30, 2012 10:56 pm Reply with quote

My point about public sector workers expected to accept abuse was not about the employers. I find it incredible that anyone would think there is a genuine expectation by any public organisation that their employees should be allowed to be abused, that they would further go on to say so publicly, and that a sector with strong unions wouldn't be up in arms about it.

My comment was about how people often treat public sector workers.

To immediately jump to a conclusion that this is a legal case against employers and offering representation shows the very ugly side of the law in that it's often abused so that it's not justice that is sought, it's reward.

My point about abuse not being tolerated was in reply to your comment "the major difference being that private individuals are not PAID to exhibit those qualities." People are not paid to show civility and respect, they're paid to do their work. No one should be expected to accept abuse, and the idea that it's OK for people to be abusive because they're not paid to be civil to others is IMHO a most disgustingly selfish sentiment, and one that is so detrimental to society.

I would like to point out that I never worked for DWP, so I cannot comment on their behalf, or one of their offices, so my name or comments should not be used as a definitive statement of what they do, I simply commented on my own experience and perspective of such communications (the letter in the OP). I made no comment at all about the lateness of delivery, or any other complaint made in the letter or from your explanation, except to say that the complaint element should be addressed by the appropriate person, my contribution to this discussion is to show that letters like the one in the OP are unlikely to get an immediate reply if the office they are sent to has similar rules as offices I've worked in, and that it could also work against the complainant if their genuine complaints are lost in actions over abuse and delays in dealing with genuine grievances.

 
bemahan
912894.  Thu May 31, 2012 2:20 am Reply with quote

Quote:
It was delivered (not by courier or special delivery) at 3:20 PM on Friday 4th May by the person conducting the scheduled interview.

In that case I would definitely have been extremely cross and would have made my dissatisfaction known in writing.
However, the letter of complaint would probably have received more valid attention if it had
a) clearly stated these facts (bearing in mind it was likely to be read by a senior manager who, like us, would not have immediately known the details of the delivery etc) and
b) stated what the complainant expected in terms of redress, eg apology, rearranging of the meeting date.
As it is, it just comes across as a rant.
If bob had written it, I have no doubt it would have been cutting in its style, but I like to think bob would have outlined his grievance and expectations more clearly.

 
'yorz
912907.  Thu May 31, 2012 3:39 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
The recipient in question was due to report at 3:20 PM on Friday 4th May.
[my bold]

No, in the OP it is stated that
Quote:
The said female employee conducted an interview on the 8th May of which I was notified on 4th May at 3:20 PM.
[my bold]

Probably just a slip of the key, but let's not make this more complicated than is necessary. ;-)

 
RLDavies
912960.  Thu May 31, 2012 7:28 am Reply with quote

I agree entirely with Bemahan.

The writer has a valid complaint about the late delivery of the interview letter. However, it's almost impossible to spot the factual points among the general wash of vitriol. It's completely impossible to determine -- from this letter alone -- why the lateness of the delivery was important, or what the complainer expects to be done about it.

Essentially, it's an object lesson in how not to write a letter of complaint.

 
'yorz
912965.  Thu May 31, 2012 7:44 am Reply with quote

Ah! I've learnt something new here. Till now I only knew about an abject lesson. Apparently, both abject and object are valid options.

Wiki says:
Quote:
An "object lesson" is a concrete example of an abstract idea. An "abject lesson" is an excessively harsh or vile punishment made to teach a lesson. For example "When the army recaptured the rebel village, they killed everyone as an abject lesson to others who might consider rebellion."

*happy*

 
bemahan
912994.  Thu May 31, 2012 9:18 am Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Wiki says:
Quote:
For example "When the army recaptured the rebel village, they killed everyone as an abject lesson to others who might consider rebellion."

*happy*


That makes you happy? ;)

 
'yorz
912995.  Thu May 31, 2012 9:22 am Reply with quote

Of course! As long as everything is named or phrased properly, I'm happy. ;-)

 
Neotenic
912999.  Thu May 31, 2012 9:48 am Reply with quote

Quote:
On the other hand – similar charges could be laid against most reports by any “responsible” journalist on pretty much any report they file


I'm sure there's a word to describe someone that rages against a particular trait, then exhibits it themselves. It escapes me at present, but I'm fairly sure it starts with an 'H'

Quote:
(I’d be interested to hear of any exceptions barring TV reviews).


Bob Woodward.

David Aaronovich.

John Pilger.

John Simpson.

 

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