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2010.06.29 – JRC: Could you become a Director some day?

You are surely wondering how to maximise your purchasing power in this time of crisis? R&D has found some food for thought by carefully watching the Joint Research Center’s new practices . Contrary to what certain troublemakers who want to humiliate the JRC might think, the JRC senior management allows “anything to happen” not from a lack of courage or sensitivity, but only because it is a matter of putting in place a revolutionary research programme for “syphoning” public money in all legality.

In order to help the JRC validate its first results, R&D is launching a major investigation among the staff of the Institution, allowing you to understand what are your chances of a good career, or simply to resign yourself to staying as a minor civil servant mindful of the ethics, the good financial management and the credibility of our European Civil Service.

1. You are appointed as Director and are invited to an official ceremony with the Queen:

a) But what a question! I buy myself a new suit! I have the means since I earn more than €10,000 per month, exclusive of travelling expenses.

b) I hire something that could pass as a suit at €75, and without blushing I try to get reimbursed by the Commission, ridiculing anyone who might think that my Director General will never notice this expenditure. Besides, it is clear that it’s only because fashion changes so often that I dropped my request to have it purchased for me!

c) I have what I need in my wardrobe. No pointless expenditure during a crisis. The Queen will understand.

2. You are appointed Director, and you must sometimes – even if very rarely – go to your new place of work, and you must, if even very rarely, deprive yourself of the pleasure of driving your soft-top sports car, so you look for a garage.

a) I rent a garage long-term. It would be a shame to spoil it! I have the means since I earn more than €10,000 per month, exclusive of travelling expenses.

b) I don’t share the building policies of the JRC and I think it’s time to empty one of the Commission’s warehouses so I can keep my car in it. The JRC’s equipment can get wet, whereas amphibious Porsches don’t yet exist;

c) Anti-corrosion treatments are guaranteed 10 years nowadays. I leave it outside.

3. You are appointed Director of an Institute and you are very enthusiastic about renewable energy. You find yourself allocated the Institute’s Renault Vel Satis 3.5 V6 petrol:

a) I don’t renew the lease contract and use public transport and taxis;

b) I take advantage of the occasion to reduce the Institute’s carbon footprint by choosing a hybrid car;

c) I go for an Audi A6 V6 essence Quattro which puts out more than 200g CO2/km and ridicule my colleagues who cycle.

4. You are appointed Director but alas you are moved to a new place of work. While waiting for your talents to allow you to become Director General and return to the fold:

a) I install myself at my new place of work like any other Civil Servant and devote myself fully to my new tasks.

b) I am naturally sensitive to others’ problems, and being conscious of the crisis in the HORECA sector, I decide to stay in a hotel, given that it isn’t proper to waste public money on renting an apartment for so few days per week, or even so few weeks per month, or even so few months per year, or even…

c) No unnecessary expenditure during a crisis, so I live in a tent next to the dunes

5. You are appointed Director in a foreign country, you are a fan of a big football club in your country, and you want to go to the home games:

a) Alas, my role as a migrant worker forces me to go to meetings close to home on Fridays or on Mondays. Despite my repeated requests the Commission persists in paying the plane fares. Without knowing whether I consent or not…so I kill two birds with one stone.

b) I travel with my supporter’s club by bus. It’s less costly for me.

c) I subscribe to satellite TV and watch the games at home

6. You are appointed Director and take part in an Open Day at your former site where everyone goes around on foot, including your Commissioner

a) You are delighted to join a pedestrian tour of your Centre

b) You are tired out by your frequent travelling and you stay at home

c) You have had enough of these populist initiatives! You drive around the Centre by car, since there is nothing more ecological than to travel by soft-top and you are worried about the other pedestrians who don’t always understand that walking in full sun is very bad for your health!

If you have answered 1B – 2B – 3C – 4B – 5A – 6C congratulations! You have all the qualities and the discernment required to be accepted to participate in the next stage of the “programme” and we invite you to contact us without delay.

If this is not the case, you are one of all the other reasonable colleagues which R&D is proud to defend and represent.

R&D is asking Mrs Geoghegan-Quinn the new Research Commissioner whether she is aware of such management tests which “contribute” to the reputation and credibility of the JRC and its staff. It seems to us that the behaviour of the senior management is jeopardising the image of the JRC and damaging the very important scientific results delivered by a large majority of hard working staff.