Photo: Scream by YesterdayDreams from DeviantART

In these uncertain times you might find yourself wondering about whether it is worth the stress of applying for a new job, sitting tight where you are for a few more years or checking out that mini-cab firm advertising for drivers at the end of your street.  Use this simple questionnaire to find out if your organisation/department/workplace (or your position in it!) is doomed.

Answer the following questions and keep a tally of your score:

  1. Has your Department/Institution/Workplace changed its name in the last 5 years (score 10 points)? Are discussions currently taking place about changing  the name of your Department/Institution/Workplace (score 15 points)?  (If you answered yes to both these questions add another 10 points)
  2. Has you Department/Institution/Workplace merged with another  Department/Institution/ Workplace in the last five years (score 20 points)?  Did this merger coincide with a change of name (add 15 bonus points)?
  3. Are people moving office/desks with a frequency that makes it difficult to find where they  are or even IF they still work in your department/Institution/Workplace (score 10 points)?  Have you recently turned up to work to find someone else sitting at your desk and  people smiling nervously when you ask where your things are (score 15 points, add another 15 bonus points if this involved security being called, add 30 bonus points if the police were called)?
  4. Are people inventing or being given meaningless job titles (e.g. any combination of  deputy/assistant/director/co-ordinator/partner, anything with the word  ‘centre’ in it) that are used in letterheads, emails or on their doors  (score 10 points)?  Do you have/use a title like this (add 15 bonus points)?
  5. Have you ever said the word ‘REF-ABLE’ and meant it (score 15 points)
  6. Does your Department/Institution/Workplace have a ‘Mission Statement’ or a ‘Vision for The Future Strategy’ (score 15 points, score 30 if you have both)? Has your boss/line manager/Head of Department ever quoted any part of it (add 5 bonus points)
  7. Do you find yourself in meetings that you do not know the point of more than once a month (score  15 points for each meeting)? Do any of these meetings have the word  ‘advisory’ or ‘strategy’ in their title (add 15 bonus points for each)?
  8. In meetings are any of the following phrases used (score 5 points for each): ‘moving/going forward’,  ‘outside the box’, ‘stakeholder’, ‘globalisation’, ‘next steps’, ‘transition’ (as verb), ‘marketisation’, ‘learning outcomes’, ‘IMPACT’, ‘interdisciplinarity’,  ‘internationalisation’, ‘contact time’, ‘KIS’.
  9. At your last staff meeting  how many people did you fail to recognise (score 5 points for each  person)? At your last staff meeting did your boss/line manager/Head of Department fail to recognise you (add 20 bonus points) or call security (add 30 bonus points)? (If you no longer attend staff meetings then subtract 40 points from your overall score.)
  10. Has someone in authority recently suggested a way of reorganising your Department/Institution/ Workplace that is so bizarre that no one actually understands it and when asked to explain it they change the subject (score 15 points)? Was the suggestion put into practice (add 30 bonus points)?
  11. Have you ever counted your retweets as an impact? (add 15 points).
  12. Do you know how many cups of coffee are too many (score 15 points)?

Score Under 70: You have either retired from work, recently won the lottery or are so out of contact with reality that it does not matter anymore.  Sit back, pour another drink from that secret stash you keep in your desk and enjoy yourself.

Score 70-200: You should probably make sure your CV is up to date and maybe have a look at www. (or check out that mini-cab firm advertising for drivers at the end of your street).  You should also put any potentially offensive weapons out of your reach.  Maybe think about setting up a secret drink (or drug) stash in your desk.

Score over 200: Once you have finished reading this get up and leave the building.  Once outside start running and don’t look back, keep running…