Maeve has  a grievance, but no procedure.

It’s time to talk about Maeve.

As well as being Dave’s long-suffering partner of many years (his “soul-mate” he calls her, because they met at an Aretha Franklin concert in the 80s), Maeve has a full professional life of her own. Dave has often tried to persuade her to come and work for FinalVinyl, but so far she has wisely resisted.

Maeve has just successfully landed a job with a local printing business, ThinkInk Ltd. It’s a profitable company, and has just expanded considerably. As a result the company needs a full-time HR officer: Maeve.

One morning she asks her manager where she can find a copy of the company’s Grievance Procedure. His blank look tells her the size of the problem before her, and she discovers soon that the state of the company’s documentation for staff is woeful. And she begins to wonder whether she has made the right decision…

She joins Dave in the Minstrel’s Rest after work, where she finds him chatting with Simon. Dave sees from her expression that it’s been a trying day, and immediately heads to the bar for something reviving. Maeve proceeds to tell Simon about the shortcomings of ThinkInk. “They haven’t got a clue”, she says

“Or an inkling”, says Simon. Maeve almost laughs, but stops herself.

“I’m going to have to start the whole thing from scratch.”

“Well that’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? Probably easier than trying to rewrite an existing  grievance procedure that’s out of date.”

Maeve is unimpressed. “You may have time to write procedures and policies, but I certainly don’t.”

“It doesn’t have to take more than about 10 minutes” Simon replies.

“What are you talking about?”

Dave butts in: “He’s talking about Simplify the Law.” He hands Maeve a vodka and orange which is certainly more vodka than orange, and which she downs gratefully.

Simon beams, as if Dave has just graduated from rookie to star pupil. “Indeed I am. I think you’ll find that they have just the thing you want – lots of information for employers, and a fully formed Grievance Procedure. All you’ll have to do is specify who would hear grievances and appeals, and it’s ready.”

“I remember the name now” says Maeve. “We used them before, didn’t we? Something to do with party walls when we had our work done.”

Dave nods. “But actually they have a whole load more guidance and documents for businesses. It takes so much effort out of getting things done. It could make your job so much easier.”

“Then I won’t need to be getting up too early tomorrow after all.”

And Maeve looks meaningfully towards the bar.


Featured image courtesy of franky242 at

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