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Situation Vacant: Category Manager for Towel Rails

June 25, 2013

I think I’m going slightly mad.

Thia morning I had an unexpected but welcome two hours all to myself. I could have got on and done the P35 for the direct payments annual tax return but I couldn’t sum up the will. Instead, I set myself a mission. A completely pointless mission that has been bugging me since Saturday.

On my “Reform, Reform, Reform” post I mentioned that my local council have had a major management restructure. The very top people have gone but at the same time a whole new charabanc of managers have pulled up and they’ve been given the titles “Category Managers”. Nobody that I’ve asked has the first clue what a category manager does. Time to find out and I had two hours to save the world (or my sanity).

It seems that the basic idea for Category management started in America and began in large department stores. Products were grouped together on the basis of similarity and managers were appointed to oversee a specific product. Strangely, the example I saw was about a large bathroom superstore. So, I guess there was a Category manager for taps; a category manager for grouting and perhaps a category manager for loofahs. And that’s it – the derivation of a concept that has been adopted by a social care department as an innovative management structure.

And this is why I struggle to hold on to my sanity. Day Centres round my way are closing at a breathneck pace. I learned at the weekend of the fifth person from Steven’s year group at school to be permanently moved to a care home out of borough. The emphasis on hubs is throwing up the most unlikely of activity bedfellows (swimming and behaviour management at the same hub). But worst, it was announced on Panorama the other day that Hillingdon has no children’s homes that it uses that are rated above “adequate”.

I can see that none of that stuff penetrates the teflon coated world of an enormous tier of category managers.

In a decent world, someone would come along and shatter the bubble by appointing a Category Manager for Immoral Shite.


From → Social Care

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