Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Right Of Denial

I have been having some grave concerns about the American Conservative movement for quite some time.  They appear to have lost their focus and common sense and appear to be spinning off into a political La-La land with a very small and extremist base.   
One of the reasons I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook these days is because these conservative zealots tend to infest the site with their rantings and ravings about Benghazi, Birth Certificates, resignations and Impeachment.  
Bear in mind, I am not a liberal.  I am probably more conservative than most in my views and beliefs. But these whack jobs are making the rest of America look like idiots by default.  
I sometimes respond to their whining and conspiracy laden posts by trying to give constructive criticism about the way in which they are trying to steer public opinion.  Basically, it is the old, "What do you have to say that solves the problem, instead of just complaining about it?".  
This usually meets with vehement responses that I am sort sort of idiot.  A case in point.  Check out the comments to the graphic at the top of this page that were posted on Facebook this past week.  Names have been redacted to protect the innocent (and the ignorant). 
Bruce (Me): Instead of insulting over half of the voting populace, wouldn't it further the conservative cause to post something along the lines of, "If you voted for Obama twice, please give consideration to not wasting your vote a third time, by voting for (fill in potential candidates name here).
12 hours ago via mobile · Like · 2
Stacey: Ha!!!
12 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Gene: Bruce, no offense intended, but if such a request as yours is necessary (i.e. if, after two epic failures, a voter is *still* not willing to see the errors of his/her ways...), there is an excellent chance that the intended recipient will be too ignorant to give it any consideration in the first place.
11 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1
Joe: Gene, totally agree. Like the people who did anything that Obuma<sp> said to only to now find out that he has been lying to everyone for the last several years.
11 hours ago · Like · 1
Gypsy: Insulting half of the voters? Seriously Bruce Johnson ? SERIOUSLY....seems you ignored that a LARGE portion of that half were DEAD...wake the fuck up!
11 hours ago · Like
Gene: And then there's the portion that bragged about having voted 6, 7, 8 or more times... and the illegals who voted...
11 hours ago · Like · 2
Gene: But no, it's only "voter fraud" when Bush wins... only it wasn't.
11 hours ago · Like
Gene: My favorite were the voting precincts that had *over* 100% voter turn out, and 100% of the votes were for Obama... i.e. NOBODY, not one single person, voted for ANYONE but Obama. A miracle if ever there was one...
11 hours ago · Like · 1
Marc: Bruce, by your statement "insulting over half the voting public", you discount the fact that there was widespread voter fraud. There have been convictions for multiple voting; one poll worker was convicted for voting for Obama SIX times! There were doc...See More
11 hours ago · Like · 2
Dave: Joe- Enjoy your posts about NORMAL stuff. Your political rants are getting tiresome.... We know how disgruntled you are.
4 hours ago · Like
Glenda: people with this frame of mind are to stupid to argue with!
2 hours ago · Like
Based on the responses, even a dim-wit with a limited education could extract the following: 
a) The people replying to my comment can't read or comprehend.  None of them gave a name or possible political direction that could correct the perceived problem. 
b) Most of the respondents believe that the American populace are idiots that can't understand what they are doing, yet they believe that we are all having our rights taken away. 
c) That the president was elected fraudulently, which is a claim made in all presidential elections going back to Kennedy. 
d) It is more important in the respondents minds to constantly remind us of how bad things are instead of trying to find solutions (better candidates / platforms) to the problem(s).  It is like standing on the fantail of the Titanic screaming that the ship is sinking and complaining that the captain is incompetent! Stop stating the obvious and start building a raft!
The end result of all this is the most hilarious.  By simply stating the negative aspects of the situation, they are imprinting those negative thoughts on the electorate, which in turn views the conservative movement as the party of negative outlook and failure.  By not offering solutions / candidates that can correct the problem(s), they are assuring the continuation of the current party in power and are in effect nominating Hillary Clinton as the next president.  
But try as I a might to point this out, I meet a wall of denial.  It is truly amazing and sad.  As hard as I try to find some positive message from the Conservative Right on what could be a better and brighter tomorrow, all I can find is whining and finger pointing. 
....ow, and 'Don't Forget Benghazi'!!!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Allegory

First of all - This is a story about Government.  If everything worked like this, we would all be doomed.
I have found that trying to explain a problem about a process is a futile effort.  Unless you live it, you can't understand the depth of the issues.  It is like trying to describe a bad marriage, a bad job, or living next to the neighbor from hell. 

Hence, the allegory, the relate-able story, a way of generically sharing the misery thanks to Mr. Aesop.

While the specifics may vary, I have dealt with this exact same scenario in my past jobs, more than once.

Once Upon A Time.....

Brad was hired for a new job.  Brad was excited.  He was full of optimism and energy and wanted to do the best job possible to impress his new employer.  

On his first day Brad was led into a room with other employees to learn his first job duties.  The supervisor, Charlie, walked into the room and addressed the 10 employees.  He informed them that there project was to dig a 500 yard trench in order to lay pipe between two buildings.  Outside were a collection of shovels, picks and wheel barrows.  Everyone one take one and they would start digging along the spray painted line between the two buildings. 

Not the greatest job in the world Brad thought, but we all have to start somewhere.  

So the band of employees started digging away at the earth.  By the end of the first day, they had managed to dig a trench about 30 yards long.  

This continued for the next week with varying progress.  The work was back breaking and very tiring.  When Friday came they had completed about 1/3 of the ditch digging process.  Brad was having some second thoughts about the job.  

Upon arriving at the job site the following Monday, Brad parked next to the building that the trench was heading toward.  Much to his astonishment, he found a brand new Back-Hoe parked on the opposite side of the building.  Great! he thought.  We can have this trench dug in 48 hours with this thing. 

Brad walked up to Charlie at the start of the work day and told him about the Back Hoe.  Charlie looked puzzled.  "What is a Back Hoe" he asked.  

"A machine for digging trenches", Brad replied.  

Charlie then explained that they could not use the Back Hoe because; they were assigned to do the job with shovels, he did not know how the Back Hoe worked, and he did not know who the Back Hoe belonged to.  

Brad asked if Charlie could find out if the Back Hoe was available.  Charlie said he would ask, but in the meantime it was back to shovel and wheel barrow time. 

After several days with no response form Charlie, Brad asked around on his lunch break and found that the Back Hoe belonged to his employer, was available to use, but no one knew how to operate it.  Brad took the Back Hoe's manual home that evening, read it and then explained to Charlie the next day that the Back Hoe was available and he knew how to operate it.  

Charlie again looked puzzled and calmly stated that they would continue to use shovels and wheel barrows but would give consideration to using the Back Hoe for the 'next' digging assignment. 

Three weeks later, the trench was completed with manual labor.  

The next work day, Charlie entered the employee meeting room with large boxes of paper and several abacus, which he began to hand out to the workers.  "Today we will be doing financial analysis.", he told the crowd. 

What has Brad learned?

1) That supervisors seldom think outside the box, they go with what they know. 

2) It is more important to manage people than to produce results. 

3) Supervisors are seldom problem solvers.  They see themselves as a motivators, which is more important to their self image.

4) It is naive to believe that people in authority will use the tools at hand to the best of their ability. 

5) Beware of the Charlies. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Catch 22

So I am having this little problem.  One of the things that my job requires of me, is to complete a specific number of training hours each year.  After having worked at the same job(s) for over 20 years, this training gets to be a bit repetitive to say the least.  I have taken all the training courses that my employer offers at ‘least’ twice. 

My employer has a set of ‘Canons’ that state the expectations of employees and how they should conduct themselves.  This is a civil service job after all and appearances toward the public are most important. 

Which is why I was somewhat puzzled and short circuited when I came across the canon shown above during my most recent training.  It references ‘competency’ of employees and how they need to be able to be educated and trained to do their jobs. 

The only problem here is that it is direct conflict with another Canon in the code of conduct.  That Canon states that no employee shall bring disrespect or tarnish the reputation of the employer in the eyes of the public. 

So here is the problem that I have run across again and again in my 20 years of employment.  If I come across a co-worker or supervisor / manager that are ‘incompetent’, I can’t point that out to anyone.  Because… do so would cast a negative a light on the employer and tarnish the public’s impression of the agency (i.e. we hire and promote idiots). 

This has been hammered home on numerous occasions when I have spoken to superiors about a co-workers / supervisors inability to do their job correctly (and in some cases in violation of the law).  When I have done this I have been branded as not being a ‘Team Player”. 

So when I saw this training slide about competency, I just shook my head, smiled and continued onto the next slide.  It is all window dressing and double-speak. 

There really should be a new Canon added to all the rest that simply states, “Be glad you have a job, and shut up”.