I’m telling yer, those dwarves are utter bastards.
It’s bad enough that they was goin’ to lay a load of us off like, told us it would make the mines and workshops more flexible and efficient having fewer people around an’ that, but that’s like saying that a human would be better at swimming if you cut off one of his arms.
So then Lodir Grimhammer drops by the workshop, saunters in with a big gurn of a grin on his face, all cheerful like. “Right lads, I’ve got some good news for you all” he says, as we all down tools and wait to hear what he’s going to say. “Due to the major restructure of all departments taking place there’s going to be some new development opportunities!”
Cue stunned silence for a minute, until Ruzogt Foulgas opened his bloody gob, smarming up as per usual.
“How many managmement positions will there be? Can anybody apply?”
“All in good time” Lodir says, with a smug look on his face. Easy for him to look smug, on account of most of his teeth are missing and he can put his lower lip over his nose. “What I mean is, there’ll be overtime available!”
We all looked at each other, then back at Lodir.
“Paid like?” I asks.
“Well, maybe, we’ll need to see how the budget goes, but you’ll definitely get TOIL.”
There was a collective groan at this.
“‘Scuse me” asks Zeg Sikfkkr, before anybody could stop him, “I know we’ll get plenty of work, but what’ll we get out of it like?”
“TOIL” replies Lodir, “Didn’t you listen?”
“Yes, I know we’ll get toil, we toil in the mines and workshops plenty already like, but will we get any money or extra holidays or anyfin?”
“TOIL; it means Time Off in Lieu” says Lodir, rolling his eyes and letting out a big sigh.
“Time off in loo? But we get toilet breaks already…”
“No! That’s not it, I mean you’ll get annual leave in place of the extra hours you work.”
“What, once per year like?”
Lodir goes bright red, sucks his lips into the shape of a cat’s arsehole. “No! Yes! I mean, listen. You can take your leave any time you like, but you’ll have to use it up within the year.”
“Oh. So I just ask for it then?”
“Whenever I want it like?”
“Well, if there aren’t too many other people taking leave at the same time or we’re not in a busy period…”
Nugads Darkfilth pipes up next. “So what if I can’t take the leave ‘cos there’s too many others off when I want it and there’s all these busy periods coming up like?”
“Well, you can carry up to five days over to the next year, but that’s all, so you’d have to think about that before you took on the overtime…”
After our shift finished that day, we all got together in the tavern for a chat like. After a few jars, we all came to the consensus that if they wanted us to work extra hours, then they could bloody well pay us and stick their TOIL up their back passages.
So this went on for a few months like; the dwarves would tell us about all the orders coming in and about the need to reduce backlogs, tell us that there was plenty of overtime if we wanted it. We’d smile and nod and forget all about it.
That was when they introduce weekly targets, which turn into daily targets. They had grids and charts and everything. Told us that if we failed to reach our targets on a regular basis that we’d get warnings, then final warnings, then we’d be fired.
Then they increase our workload, and made the targets harder to reach.
Funny thing about management is they get so focussed on targets that they forget about things like health and safety, and of course us goblins were all too busy trying to meet our targets weren’t we?
So it came as no surprise when there was a cave-in during a mine inspection. Tragic.
Still, live an’ learn eh?