New Key Performance Indicators are to be introduced for service sector workers, following shocking reports into negligence and slack working practices.
One mail delivery worker, operating in the small Yorkshire village of Greendale, has an appalling record on efficiency and his yearly assessment revealed a "catalogue of near-disasters".
Said chiefs at the Royal Mail:
"It's appalling that this man has been working for us for over thirty years with such a dangerous record. He seems incapable of making a simple delivery without something going wrong. He always remedies his mistakes in the end but why does that always have to involve requisitioning a small child's tricycle or getting the vet to extract something from the stomach of a goat?
"Tricycle is hardly the quickest way of getting around and who wants to wear an engagement ring that's been in a goat's stomach? Besides, how often can a parcel fall out of the back of the postvan before serious questions start to be asked?"
The challenge now is for bosses to retrain these long-standing employees - who are often popular figures in their own communities - in order to bring them in line with modern working practices. The new KPIs are thought to include "one in every four deliveries to be made without incident" and "all parcels to be delivered in their original condition i.e. not damaged, wet or customised by local schoolchildren". It is acknowledged that these will be difficult to implement but disciplinary action will be taken against non-compliant employees.
It is not just the postal service that has been shamed by these findings. The building industry has suffered similar shocks after reports came in of a rogue builder operating in an area known as Bobland Bay.
"This builder is just crazy!" said a local resident "He only employs one other human being and has subcontracted most of the work to inanimate objects. The other day, he had a scarecrow digging holes for him. That can't be within Health and Safety guidelines."
The crew in question have a chequered record, that includes dropping a lighthouse bulb into the sea, before installing it into a lighthouse. The subsequent inquest found that evidence of "appalling practice" and commented that "surely common sense should have dictated that wet electrical components were unsafe for use". It is astonishing that this man continues to operate but it is hoped that these tough new regulations will force irresponsible contractors out of business.
What do you think? Have you been victim of a cowboy builder or clumsy postman? E-mail your feedback.