December 14, 2014

I Wish To Register A Complaint...

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At my job, I generate a world of complaints from all sorts of people. Unlike in the private sector, where if you buy a defective product you wind up have conversations like this:

Which basically means that you argue until you're blue in the face and then maybe, just maybe, you'll get a small sliver of satisfaction.

In the public sector (aka, working for a municipality, state or federal guv'ment agency, or any other type of guv'mental agency for all of my non-U.S. readers), you can basically bitch, moan, groan and creatively stretch the truth to suit your own needs, and pretty much someone will pay attention to you just to get rid of your whiny ass, because after all, a whiny public sector worker is a lazy public sector worker.

Anywho, in the past 8 1/2 years that I've been encamped at my current place of employment, I have generated enough complaints in regards to my assigned duties that a variation of the following conversation between myself and my supervisor has become the longest running joke in my unit.

Supervisor: Can you come here for a minute?
Me: What did I do wrong this time?
Supervisor: What makes you think you did anything wrong?
Me: Whenever you call me to your office, nine times out of ten, I did something wrong.

And because I'm an equal opportunist, I have garnered complaints from the top floor of my building (where the commissioners & deputy commissioners reign supreme) down through floor #5 (our agency occupies floors 5-10) and even from a lazy ass security guard, who also severely stretched the truth to make herself feel important.

As for outside the building, I have garnered complaints from just about every single office that our agency has, as well as from all three facilities that we control. I've even had a complaint filed against me over the timeliness on me answering an e-mail.

And if you think that all of these complaints had something to do with me being a smart-ass/rude, you would be as sadly mistaken as the architect of ObamaCare is with the American voter. All of my complaints were generated because I uttered the one obscene word that all 4,000+ agency employees can't stand to hear (which solidifies the opinion of what the general public has about state workers):


That's right, all of my complaints have been generated by either that word or a longer definition of that word.

What it boils down to is that the culture of entitlement is so firmly entrenched (just like in the welfare states of California, New York, Illinois, Connecticut and the Pacific Northwest) not only within my agency, but within state guv'ment (it all starts at the top, and as they say, it runs extremely watery downhill), that you can have your career prospects semi-ruined because you can't get past a rating of "Fair" as it applies to dealing with co-workers/general public.

So here's a piece of advice for everyone: the next time you want to make a complaint against someone, make sure beyond a reasonable doubt that you are 100% blameless in regards to the incident in question. Because ruining someone's job/potential prospects over something that was ultimately your fault to begin with only shows everyone what a tiny little punk you must be.

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


  1. I won't argue the sense of entitlement or welfare state.
    Kids throw temper tantrums when they hear the word no. I guess for some, that carries over into adulthood.
    That you've managed to piss off four thousand state workers - well done, sir!

  2. My wife works for the state gubmint and gets this kind of crap every day. And the higher up you go, the less and less "no" makes sense to them.

    "Wait, what do you mean this isn't in your job description and you don't have permission to do this and it's not even physically possible to do such a thing? Then what do I pay you a barely livable wage for?"

  3. Alex: Thank you sir, you are too kind. I should revise my estimate to perhaps 20% of the total workforce, which is still not too shabby.

    I have seen some monumental temper tantrums over the years, thrown both by my own super charged children and others, and I would say in about 90% of them the parent had caved in.

    ABFtS: Basically, you nailed it kind sir. And just a remarkably, you quoted almost verbatim some of the retorts I have received in my 8 1/2 years. And yes, the hire up you go, the more toddler they become.

  4. Well, that's frustrating. And unfair. I'm just glad that I have a limited ability to say "No" in my job without serious negative consequences. I recognize that being able to set limits to my job description and obedience is what keeps me sane.

  5. S.R.: Very frustrating indeed, although it has improved, as it used to be completely unbearable under the previous HR regime. I would be thrown under the bus by them so many times that I wore semi-permanent tire marks to work.

  6. "No" is the loneliest word. How dare you! :) I used to comment on your other blog all the time but when people change to a new blog I often forget to update my feed and it slips out of my mind. That's what happened here.

  7. Charles: "No" is very much the loneliest word, but we like it just the same. :D

    As I'm wont to say from time to time, life sometimes takes precedence over the cyber world. As long as I can get at least a yearly visit from one of my favorite writers, I'm good to go.

  8. I've found, years ago, I work best alone. No coexist with fellow employees.

  9. David: Definitely no drawback to that.

  10. I do not like complainers! Sounds like you handle them, G.

  11. Having worked in state government for 19 years, there's one part of this that I didn't relate to: "potential prospects." There really weren't any prospects in my job as a state employee. I worked my butt off, took all kinds of abuse (I worked in I.T., so most of my abuse was from state employees), and when it came time for a review, I was given a 3--for "good." Not 4 or 5...a 3. I was told anything else required too much paperwork and everyone gets a 3. That's state government for you!

  12. Wow, seriously!! Having to work with several state agencies, I believe you. They seem to make up the rules as they go, and do what they want.

  13. Lynn: I usually can handle them with no problems, although sometimes I pay a heavy price for it.

    Stephanie: My major bug-a-boo has always been tuition reimbursement. I've been doing it for my agency for 6 out of the 8 1/2 years I've been there, and because it has generated the largest number of complaints, I've never received anything higher than "fair" under the category "dealing with people".

    M: Most definitely. And yes, seriously.

  14. Only 4000? It must still be early


These days, the written word is to die for, so please leave a comment that shows me and everyone else the real you. All kinds of verbiage will be cheerfully accepted in the spirit it was written.