Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Government Can Be a Lousy Employer

One thing that is true from the story of the Fort Hood Killing and personal experience is that the government can be a nasty place to work. In the case of the Ft Hood incident the Killer was given a nasty performance appraisal and was under tight supervision. One would think that if management were so unhappy with this person and he wanted to resign they would say go for it, but it did not happen.

There is a perception that government workers are lazy. However, the truth is that they are often given impossible tasks and expected to be perfect according to inane numerical models that in many cases invent errors. An example being you did not check this box on a worksheet. The fact that the officer wrote the three items on the sheet that did the checked box was designed to record is just moot.


Justin said...


Working in the government I found that most workers wanted to truely do the best job possible for the people they serve. However, a few bad apples do ruin the whole barrel.

As I traveled to the various offices through out the country I found workers who were ham-strung by superiors who would allow absolutely no lee way in the interpertation of directives.

You have many hard working and innovative individuals working in most government offices who can see where changes could be made and would make many of the processes more workable however, they are held back by superiors who demand that they not rock the boat or muddy the waters.

beakerkin said...

That is an accurate description of what I see. I was blessed in Vermont to have a wonderful experience with
the kindly staff up there.

Alligator said...

Beak another thing I see more and more frequently is supervisors AFRAID to make a decision and take action because it might violate some policy or regulation buried somewhere in the code books. When the auditors and legal eagles come through the workplace, they don't give a flying fig about results - all they care about is PROCESSES. Were the rules followed to the letter? If the result of a process was confusion, waste of funds and breakdown of service to the public, that is okay as long as policy is followed. If you save money, deliver better service because you bent the rules or (gasp) even broke them to get the job done then your neck is on the chopping block. Government more often than not, discourages and punishes independent thought. I always heard it said that the Soviets didn't take a dump without a 5-year plan. Brother, the USA is getting right up there as well.