OPINIONS / Is there a 'climate of fear' in your workplace?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
MICHAEL WINNER, film producer: If my employees want to criticise me they can make constructive 'suggestions', carefully phrased. It doesn't hurt to engender some apprehension if they need goosing. I am charm itself 95 per cent of the time.

LUCY, newspaper features editor: You're telling me] We have an editor who is predatory, tyrannical and despotic. It's a tin- pot dictatorship. The only power we have is to make her feel guilty.

SARAH, secretary, well-known auctioneers: I think people here are particularly highly-strung and neurotic, but I wouldn't go so far as to say there was a climate of fear. I have a hobgoblin boss who erupts if I try to suggest even making him a cup of coffee: but then he's not very representative.

DOMINIC, curate: I do sometimes try to make my feelings felt in an unconfrontational way, but lowly curates don't carry that much weight.

MARY, book editor: The director of the company is not only younger than me but is a complete prat. So I find this particular company incredibly friendly and non-intimidating.

SASKIA, Victoria and Albert Museum employee: There isn't a climate of fear, it's more like awash with boredom. I could criticise my bosses for ever, but nothing would ever change. This place is just one huge talking- shop.

SPOKESMAN, Rolls-Royce: Absolutely not at all. We have a very open system of management here. Yes indeed, some redundancies were made last year, but I still MARTHA MIGOTTI, nanny: Fear? No not really. I certainly find it uncomfortable when the husband struts around the kitchen with nothing on arguing with his wife, but I feel embarrassment more than fear. I don't feel free to criticise the way they bring up their children. I never draw attention to the peanuts they pay me, but that's the problem of jobs like this.

TOM, underwriter, prominent insurance firm: Not so much fear, more like the Grim Reaper. But he's after the bosses too so they're as quivery-lipped as the rest of us. We only criticise them in private, we don't want to see them collapse in tears.

SUZANNE, teacher: Being called to the head's office is as scary for the teachers as for

the kids. We all mutter 'Achtung' when the Great White Leader passes in the corridor, but that's as far as any criticism goes.

TRACY, nurse, large London hospital: I'm pretty resigned, actually. If the whole thing goes down, well, it goes. Anyway, we've got no idea what's going on.

(Photograph omitted)

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