‘Trapped by a CAJE’

drawing, Yoda on checkoutAfter an unenthusiastic flurry of activity, job descriptions are submitted to a central panel for the purpose of matching them to particular pay bands.  Equal pay for equal value – a fine and admirable principle.  Well yes, just so long as your job description is not being analysed by a psychotic software package keen to wreak revenge for unspecified wrongs perpetrated on its mother – in my case a Commodore 64 upon which I once wrote a programme that scrolled bugger bugger bugger on a loop like a set of vindictive credits.

CAJE is a semantic analysis package which responds to key words and phrases, so that failure to include these in your job description leads to the now infamous report that ‘computer says no[1] and you end up with a grade equivalent to a Tesco’s checkout jockey. This is fine if that’s your expectation and it’s consistent with your actual job, but it’s not so good if you are supposed to be in charge and you find yourself on a lower grade than the students you’re supervising.

Well, as any sci fi aficionado will know, resistance is not futile, the Jedi do return and with a bit of judicious reconfiguring, revised documents deliver the goods. I’m not saying we manipulated them at all; we just made sure the key highly skilled words highly specialist could long periods of extreme discomfort not more degrees then you can shake a stick at be we’re bloody brilliant missed.



[1] From the BBC’s seminal Little Britain, should the provenance escape you.


From Not Being First Fish by P Spencer-Beck.  Available from Amazon (non-illustrated edition). Second edition (illustrated) due 2018

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