February 3, 2014

Are You Kidding Me?!

Preface: I had a devil of time deciding what handwritten post to use today. Ever have the problem where you have something written, either completely or partially, stashed away in Blogger draft, and you come back to it weeks or months later and find that what you wrote is now pretty much irrelevant to your current state of mind?

Fortunately for everyone here, I found something that, although written months ago, is still relevant today. So sit back my friends and enjoy this tasty little rant about stupid people.

I have a co-worker, who in another life was a private sector worker bee dealing with state guv'ment, that like to utter that phrase whenever she comes across a particularly needy and/or stupid co-worker. Or, when she hears about a particularly brilliant co-worker who throw a hissy fit about something, only to turnaround later and say, "never mind".

You see, she's used to dealing with people, who for the most part act their chronological age. Not with people who, when they don't get their own way, act like a toddler prima donna and complain about the mean old payroll clerk who politely points out the fact that they are acting like a toddler prima donna to begin with and that they need to grow up.

Case in point.

The other day we came out with a memo that specifically and succinctly states a new policy change. Most people got it, read it. understood it and accepted it. However, there were a few others that just got it, read it, didn't understand it and didn't accept it.

So one of those people decided to ask moi about it, because apparently they didn't get it. So after asking me a question that was a blinding case of the obvious and receiving the answer noted in paragraph 3 (I have sub-zero tolerance for stupid, especially from people who I can, based on their chronological age, safely call them son or daughter), threw a major hissy fit and sent an e-mail to my supervisor complaining about my attitude.

Sadly, after reading the entire e-mail, decided not to have my back on this issue, even though it was clear that the employee who sent the e-mail chose not to read the memo that came out, and gave me a verbal warning for my supposed bad attitude.

Some things never change, no matter how much you think they will based on wholesale turnover of staff that always believed that you were wrong, no matter the circumstances.

People at my job, who don't work in my unit, wonder why my unit always seems to have a permanent chip on their collective shoulder. Well, to K.I.F.S., it's directly due to the fact that we have to deal with people, who on a daily basis show just how much of a spoiled rotten brat they are with all the complaining they do.

It really does boil down to respect, and when you're disrespected throughout the chain of command, it really is hard to remain positive about your job. It's a lot simpler to become seriously cynical and function with the philosophy of, "Are You Kidding Me?!"

Fortunately for me, I have developed the dual philosophy of not tolerating stupid and taking everything with a Gibraltar size grain of salt. I've doing my job for a number of years and I know how to take the road less traveled in order to get the needed end result.

Finally, I have developed a pessimistically true statement that everyone with at least three months of working for the state gets and sadly understands. Whenever I come across or hear about a newbie employee, and by newbie I means someone who has come from the private sector to the public sector, the first thing I say is, "Hey, it's someone who has not been tainted by the stain of working for the state."

Which is a modern version of Frank Burns's comment about the Swamp: "Anyone who comes in here is instantly corrupted!"

Something to think about should you ever get the opportunity to work for guv'ment, be it local, state or federal.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. How you would have "had your back" if you had been the supervisor receiving the complaint.

  2. A dear friend hold a top level job in a division of the government. She has an Assistant Director and Director above her. They both came into the government system when they were young and are near being put out to pasture. My friend came from the private and then the University system. When she compares the State University system to the government she throws up her hands and says,"I didn't cause it, Ican't control it and I can't fix it"! She said the University system still refuses to see itself as a business and the government people can't seem to understand why you want to work hard, do new things, change something, "Girl, just put in your hours and go home!"
    She often wonders if she can last six more years until retirement.
    I tell her to keep on doing her art it will help to keep her sane.

  3. G.A.: I take a realistic view of the world, which often gets me into trouble, so I probably would've responded in the vein of that my employee was trying to answer your question as quickly as possible and if they came off as blunt, it was more to being very busy then being rude.

    Also, I would've talked my employee first and find out their side of the story before deciding on what path to take.

    Point is, I would've support my staff member no matter what in this particular issue, then afterwards find a common strategy on how to handle problems of this nature again.

    Bea: It's a major culture shock for the majority of people who come from the private sector to work for the public sector. I say "majority" because there is a small segment who are in upper management to begin with in the private sector, so transferring to the public sector is no big thing for them as the perks usually stay the same.


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