Call Waiting

I had to phone the government this morning.

I tried several times to get through to the relevant number.

Each time, I got a recorded message telling me the holder of the number had not set up a voicemail account, the automatic forwarding service was not able to forward me to an operator, and could I please call again later.

This was followed by the dead click of an hang-up.

I mention this because civil servants in the department of social and family affairs are in the middle of an industrial action at the moment, and are refusing to answer their telephones.

The union claim the department hasn’t implemented a seven year old agreement on flexitime and lunchtime working.

The department says they can’t put the flexitime deal in place until a new clocking-in system is agreed.

The trouble is, I didn’t call social and family affairs, I was looking for someone in the department of justice.

It’s not the first time I’ve been unable to get a response to a phone call to a government department.

And don’t even ask about emailing them.

So my question is, how can I tell if they’re on strike or not?

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.