Recently in Streatham High Road my appointment with the dental hygienist was cancelled because a digger fractured a pipe whilst creating a new hole. This meant there wasn’t any water to sluice the McGurk teeth, which like the road mentioned have no shortage of holes.
In one of his lesser known tomes Keynes must have advised London councils on a policy known as “Pavement Priming.” You pay people to dig up the pavement re-surface it and inevitably as soon as the pavement is pristine invite a contractor, to dig it up again. It helps if they are a “considerate contractor” but usually it’s a firm the likes of Holeagain Brothers: Motto “We’re Digging a Hole again: so Get Lost.”
Of course vital sewerage and gas lines need to be replaced, and some have been there since Victorian times, we are told. I may have misheard this as a consequence of the tinnitus caused by constant pneumatic drills. They must have said Victoria’s times, because I can swear I saw pipes replaced about 2005, when Posh was the new black.
This raises the issue of HR’s role. We spend a lot of time getting line mangers out of holes. Maybe we could advise on what happens when they have dug one. HR must be involved in selecting and training workers who are increasingly working on such projects at least at some level. Multi-level contracting makes it difficult to keep a hold of quality. We need a Hole-istic approach. There is technology which minimises disruption, which is now available. GPS mapping should mean that pipes shouldn’t be cut in two or traffic light cables severed. The people who dig holes could even help brief the public on what the holes are for and some of the folk in hardhats could try and explain why. There may be policies in place but like many in Britain at the moment they are not working. Mind you I am looking out my dumper driver licence just in case the economy goes into a double dip!
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