Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1340506 times)

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Midnight Kitty

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4065 on: July 15, 2013, 04:38:27 PM »
]I used to work for the branch of the government that tests the ocean water to make sure it is safe for people to swim, etc.  The local newspaper has a column for reporting government waste.  Someone wrote in that they saw a vehicle identified with my branch "recreating at a local beach."  They didn't say what day or time and didn't identify the beach park or license plate number.  I thought the columnist could have at least contacted us to see if there might be a legitimate reason for a government vehicle to be at the beach instead of rehashing their standard line about "government vehicles are not supposed to be used for personal errands" and "please keep sending us your sightings."  ::)

Didn't that busybody realize, if you are going to test ocean water, you might be at the beach sometimes?  I think if I lived near a beach,  I would worry if I never saw government vehicles from the relevant branch down at the beach.

Maybe it's not PD on the individual level, but if the branch takes those complaints seriously and cuts back on the number of cars sent to the beach because of it, then some kind of branch-level darwinism is going to happen, I would think.
I don't think it occurred to the person complaining or the one who writes the column that the vehicle occupants might be performing a legitimate government function; They assumed "at the beach" equals "goofing off."

The branch was never contacted by either the complainant or the columnist.  I read the column and sent the columnist an email suggesting that the state workers might be working at the beach, but the columnist did not bother to reply or acknowledge my comment.

It seems like such a small issue, but since these vague allegations are not addressed, all of us government workers are suspected of being lazy, hanging out at the beach when we should be working in our office.
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Twik

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4066 on: July 15, 2013, 04:50:51 PM »
I think the meme of lazy/incompetent/wasteful government workers is so pervasive that people will simply not to ask, "Is there a good reason for this?"

I remember on the news a few years ago, one of the TV Ombudsmen did an episode about how the city was wasting water, showing a group of concerned citizens around a fire main that was gushing mightily. Neighbours were filmed complaining that someone from the City had come, opened the main, and left, for no obvious reason. The next day, the reporter was good enough to retract his complaint - apparently there had been a pressure build-up in the system, and if the City hadn't released the water at the main until they resolved the problem, there would have been major damage to the underground pipes.
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Midnight Kitty

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4067 on: July 15, 2013, 05:30:30 PM »
Neighbours were filmed complaining that someone from the City had come, opened the main, and left, for no obvious reason. The next day, the reporter was good enough to retract his complaint - apparently there had been a pressure build-up in the system, and if the City hadn't released the water at the main until they resolved the problem, there would have been major damage to the underground pipes.
I think this is the crux of my irritation - people assume that, since they cannot see an obvious reason, no reason exists.  And I don't just mean people who assume government workers are lazy, but people - in general - tend to make this assumption.  In my opinion, that is a "Special Snowflake" attitude: "If I can't see any reason for it, there is no legitimate reason for it."

[end threadjack]
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blue2000

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4068 on: July 15, 2013, 06:32:40 PM »
Anyone else curious about the latest at Amy's Baking Company? I haven't found much lately.
Updated 4 days ago - Management decided that the servers get to keep their tips while denying there was anything improper in management's previous practice of keeping the tips.  After all, tipping isn't done in other places of the world (to paraphrase their non-excuse). ???

<snort>

If tipping isn't done, that means the customers keep their tip money, not the restaurant!!! I think he's wandering so far out in left field with this one that he's hit the edge of the parking lot by now.
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4069 on: July 15, 2013, 06:40:27 PM »
Also, if tipping isn't done its because the employees are paid a decent living wage. I'm in a minimum wage job right now, at $16 an hour.

dawnfire

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4070 on: July 15, 2013, 06:51:01 PM »
Anyone else curious about the latest at Amy's Baking Company? I haven't found much lately.
Updated 4 days ago - Management decided that the servers get to keep their tips while denying there was anything improper in management's previous practice of keeping the tips.  After all, tipping isn't done in other places of the world (to paraphrase their non-excuse). ???

yeh tipping isn't done in other parts of the world but the pay rate is higher.

Library Dragon

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4071 on: July 15, 2013, 10:32:02 PM »
A general piece of advice....If (general) your contract hasn't been renewed by your previous employer and you're offered a new job it's a good idea to be nice.  If at the new place you're told that the focus is on customer service and that's done through a team approach it's best not to alienate the entire staff in the first week. 

1. Don't tell a department head, with 17 years experience, that you don't care how it's done here, you have an advanced degree and know how it's supposed to be done;
2. When another department head is taking the few free minutes he has to work on a tedious task that is still essential to good service, don't tell him he should be doing something else and (yup) you have an advanced degree and can tell him what to do (even though you're not a supervisor in any department);
3. Don't consistently give wrong information to customers.

Yeah.  First rule.  Don't be an arrogant butt on the new job.

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PastryGoddess

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4072 on: July 15, 2013, 11:41:45 PM »
A general piece of advice....If (general) your contract hasn't been renewed by your previous employer and you're offered a new job it's a good idea to be nice.  If at the new place you're told that the focus is on customer service and that's done through a team approach it's best not to alienate the entire staff in the first week. 

1. Don't tell a department head, with 17 years experience, that you don't care how it's done here, you have an advanced degree and know how it's supposed to be done;
2. When another department head is taking the few free minutes he has to work on a tedious task that is still essential to good service, don't tell him he should be doing something else and (yup) you have an advanced degree and can tell him what to do (even though you're not a supervisor in any department);
3. Don't consistently give wrong information to customers.

Yeah.  First rule.  Don't be an arrogant butt on the new job.

So how soon will this person be looking for a new job?

Library Dragon

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4073 on: July 16, 2013, 12:16:32 AM »
Now. 

The business manager asked if she could personally pay off the two weeks notice to get the person gone. 

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PastryGoddess

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4074 on: July 16, 2013, 02:48:08 AM »
Now. 

The business manager asked if she could personally pay off the two weeks notice to get the person gone. 

WOW!  That person certainly made an "impression" no?  :)

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4075 on: July 16, 2013, 06:44:07 AM »
I think the meme of lazy/incompetent/wasteful government workers is so pervasive that people will simply not to ask, "Is there a good reason for this?"

Ayup. Some years ago I held a government credit card as part of my job (so I could pay for minor purchases needed by my office, stuff like stationery or batteries). As part of the training I had to do to qualify to hold it, we were told that not only did we have to be honest, we had to appear honest; we had to think, hard, about what a purchase record might look like to someone who didn't have any background information. All the credit card accounts got sent to a particular office and audited randomly every year, so there was a good chance of someone jumping to conclusions if you weren't careful.

A minor example of 'making sure things look okay' that got suggested: when buying supplies for conferences, items like biscuits and snack food should be ordered at the same time and from the same supplier as the other conference supplies, so they'd appear on the same receipt and look less like we were financing our morning teas with government money. (I have to say, that one didn't work very well; when a guy from one of the areas we looked after got hold of a delivery invoice that had biscuits on it, he spent about twenty minutes interrogating me about why we'd bought them, whether or not it was legitimate, and whether or not he should report me for peculation and fraud. This was the same guy who kept trying to get me to buy things for his office without doing the proper paperwork and getting approval first, so it's not like he had the moral high ground or anything...  :P )

More serious examples of legitimate purchases that had gotten people into trouble:

Flowers, close to Mother's Day. What the auditors didn't take into account was that the credit card holders were military personnel, and they'd bought wreaths to lay at memorials on ANZAC Day (around two weeks before Mother's Day here).

Video copying charges, from a... ahem... purveyor of adult entertainment. Despite appearances, the cardholder in question hadn't been picking up a few copies of his favourite naughty nurse videos; he'd been at an air show, there'd been a crash, and he'd found someone in the crowd who'd been filming in the right direction at the right time. He needed several copies to send to the accident investigation team etc., and since it was late afternoon on a Sunday, the only place he could find open was in the red-light district. Perfectly legitimate, but MAN it looked bad! >:D
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siamesecat2965

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4076 on: July 16, 2013, 10:25:18 AM »
I worked for a government agency. I had a collection of student interns during the summers, who quite legitimately did lots of overnight travel. I learned right away that part of my orientation had to be to remind them how visible their government cars were, and to observe carefully where they were parking.

That was after two of them decided to have lunch at a restaurant in a small shopping center. They parked in the closest available space--right in front of an adult book store. A citizen who saw the car reported it.


Really? Someone would actually get upset that a govt car was parked in front of an adult book store, when there are other stores and business in the same center? Then again, nothing surprises me anymore. It would never occur to me to make a big deal out of that. Unless they were parked in the lot of an adult store, and that was the ONLY business there. Then I might wonder.

Jocelyn

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4077 on: July 16, 2013, 11:04:06 AM »

]I used to work for the branch of the government that tests the ocean water to make sure it is safe for people to swim, etc.  The local newspaper has a column for reporting government waste.  Someone wrote in that they saw a vehicle identified with my branch "recreating at a local beach."  They didn't say what day or time and didn't identify the beach park or license plate number.  I thought the columnist could have at least contacted us to see if there might be a legitimate reason for a government vehicle to be at the beach instead of rehashing their standard line about "government vehicles are not supposed to be used for personal errands" and "please keep sending us your sightings."  ::)

 There was a slam here about state workers using their cars to transport their children, because there were child seats in the back. Car belonged to the Department of Children's Services. You think maybe child protective services workers might have a work-related need to transport children somewhere?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 11:08:18 AM by Jocelyn »

Jocelyn

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4078 on: July 16, 2013, 11:12:48 AM »
I worked for a government agency. I had a collection of student interns during the summers, who quite legitimately did lots of overnight travel. I learned right away that part of my orientation had to be to remind them how visible their government cars were, and to observe carefully where they were parking.

That was after two of them decided to have lunch at a restaurant in a small shopping center. They parked in the closest available space--right in front of an adult book store. A citizen who saw the car reported it.





Really? Someone would actually get upset that a govt car was parked in front of an adult book store, when there are other stores and business in the same center? Then again, nothing surprises me anymore. It would never occur to me to make a big deal out of that. Unless they were parked in the lot of an adult store, and that was the ONLY business there. Then I might wonder.
There was a big deal locally when a church van was photographed parked in front of an adult video store.
That this particular church is well-known in accusing others of sin, sort of added to it. When I was regularly driving state cars, we got memos warning us to adhere to speed laws, and to avoid parking where it might look like we were up to no good.  ::) Unfortunately, there are legit reasons for some of those parking spaces, such as hosting a conference at a hotel during the daytime, needing to pick up items at a grocery store for the conference, and things like that.

deadbody

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #4079 on: July 16, 2013, 11:32:11 AM »
I worked for a government agency. I had a collection of student interns during the summers, who quite legitimately did lots of overnight travel. I learned right away that part of my orientation had to be to remind them how visible their government cars were, and to observe carefully where they were parking.

That was after two of them decided to have lunch at a restaurant in a small shopping center. They parked in the closest available space--right in front of an adult book store. A citizen who saw the car reported it.


Trust me those businesses get audited.  And sometimes we have to go and pick up records, or the business demands that we perform the audit on site and not leave with the records.  Did I mention I got a talking to about a state vehicle being parked in the lot of an adult store for a whole week.  Not my favorite thing since I had to explain to 3 levels up about what I was doing since my boss didn't feel the need to.

Really? Someone would actually get upset that a govt car was parked in front of an adult book store, when there are other stores and business in the same center? Then again, nothing surprises me anymore. It would never occur to me to make a big deal out of that. Unless they were parked in the lot of an adult store, and that was the ONLY business there. Then I might wonder.