Let's review history as I recall it, shall we?
The 80's were great! Empires were built. More workers created the need for more managers. Managers hired more workers to build their empires and so the cycle goes.
Through the 90's there was a push for fiscal belt tightening in the Public Sector.
Many front line workers in the public sector were phased out through attrition and early retirement.
With the labour force cut to the bone an imbalance was tilted towards the bloated middle management. There were too many Chiefs and not enough Indians.
The Rae Government recognized that the herd of front line workers were thinned to the point that they couldn't take any more culling.
Taking time off without pay was a hardship, but at least there weren't any layoffs.
As a side effect, middle management was pushed into a position of having to get their hands dirty by picking up the slack and possibly justifying their own existence.
It was a temporary solution.
Along came the Harris Regime and Amalgamation.
Labour is politicized by nature. It was surprising to see Management become politicized.
My manager dialed the Premier's Office and handed me his personal cell phone so that I could protest the amalgamation of the city. We couldn't use the company phone for fear that the call could be traced back to a Civil Service and not a private citizen.
I had my own personal fears of what the amalgamation would do to the city but I didn't realize at the time that the manager was fighting to save his own job.
Whatever else the Harris Regime did to the city and social services, amalgamation was supposed to skim the fat off the top of government agencies.
To thin out the middle and upper management while leaving the front line more or less intact.
The reality didn't pan out the way it was supposed to and very few managers were cut.
Several managers that were on the verge of retirement were retained in a consultants capacity in order to advise the ones that were being permanently retained.
The redundant managers were being nursed through the first couple of transition years until they could retire with full pensions. In the meantime they were allegedly supporting their counterparts to bring them up to speed on how to run unfamiliar territories.
Once the dust of amalgamation settled, the redundant managers were retained. They stayed beyond the time that they could retire with full pension and were able to top up their pensions. The redundant managers argued that the amalgamated city was too large for the designated managers to handle and the manager work load had to be broken down and shared with the redundant managers.
Ten years after amalgamation, many of the redundant managers have finally retired: Only to be replaced with new hires!
Several supervisory positions have been undermined by middle management. For example, I used to do the departmental scheduling and fill in the time sheets for payroll. This is now done by the admin assistant. The manager spends most of his time in his ivory tower while the redundant junior manager does the leg-work.
Don't bother wearing a starched shirt to work: With the micro-management breathing down your neck, the fabric will be puckered and wrinkled within minutes.
Now we're in Ford Nation. The Ford Brothers' Circus has come to town and there's smoke and mirrors and a lot of uncertainty.
Change is scary.
There is no Gravy Train as far as the front line workers are concerned, but there's still plenty of fat that can be trimmed from management.
So when the smoke clears and the mirrors have been carted away, my hope is that the grand finale will be the disappearance of the micro-managers. Unfortunately they won't go quietly and they'll take as many workers with them as they can...