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Belinda Williamson
11-04-2010, 3:49 PM
So, there I am, standing in a local government office . . . waiting . . . waiting, the line growing and growing. As in most offices of this type (at least in my experience) the staff appears to be completely oblivious to the fact that they are actually at work and that there are people waiting for them to do their job. I couldn't help but overhear several conversations, one of which I found to be comical and truly sad at the same time.

Supervisor: "This is your third reprimand."
Employee: "You ain't got no right to reprimand me, and you cain't fire me, I does my job."

I truly wanted to ask the question, "What exactly is it that you does?"

Rod Sheridan
11-04-2010, 3:57 PM
So, there I am, standing in a local government office . . . waiting . . . waiting, the line growing and growing. As in most offices of this type (at least in my experience) the staff appears to be completely oblivious to the fact that they are actually at work and that there are people waiting for them to do their job. I couldn't help but overhear several conversations, one of which I found to be comical and truly sad at the same time.

Supervisor: "This is your third reprimand."
Employee: "You ain't got no right to reprimand me, and you cain't fire me, I does my job."

I truly wanted to ask the question, "What exactly is it that you does?"

Probably teaches English:D..............Rod.

Jason Roehl
11-04-2010, 4:08 PM
You should have seen the polling place where I voted.

It was a roughly 25'x25' room with ONE door. The door was near one corner. Along the wall to the left were tables for the poll workers to check us in. There were 3 people doing the initial check-in, which simply meant that they scanned a barcode on our election/precinct reminder postcard, had us sign it, then they stamped it. That's the first trip into the room.

Then, I had to exit the room to get in the next line, the front of which was the fourth person working at the far end of these same tables. The point of that line was to then get the electronic voting card which activates the touchscreen voting machine with the correct ballot for my precinct (we have "voting centers", which means we can vote at any polling place in the county). Once I got that card, I had to again exit the room to get in line to vote at one of about 6 or 7 machines arranged in a quarter circle along the back and far right walls from the door.

To summarize: one door, three lines, genius. My solution would have been to hold up the first line until the successive stations were ready to process the next voter.

Callan Campbell
11-04-2010, 4:17 PM
You should have seen the polling place where I voted.


I just read an article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday that talked about how many private homes used be the polling places in Chicago years ago if a ward didn't have a large building to use like a school or church. The most memorable was apparently the polling place where you voted in someone's bathroom next to the toilet. Insert your own joke about candidates and politics here...:p
Anyway, it's down to just 4 homes being used now, and used to be somewhere around 1600/1700 at the height of the home usage! Imagine, you could ask your neighbor to fry up some eggs while you checked out the ballot.:D

scott spencer
11-04-2010, 4:21 PM
So you don't think the solution is to dumb down any requirements so that the dumber than a box of rocks crowd can occupy positions of importance? :rolleyes: :D

Doug W Swanson
11-04-2010, 4:41 PM
Sounds typical for a government job....

Here in St Paul last spring there were some road crews that got caught lazing around on the job. Supposedly there were problems that went all the way up to the head of the department. Instead of the dept head being fired or reprimanded, he just moved back into his previous job in the dept. and nothing happened to him.

Seems like no one is responsible for their actions or their employee's actions anymore.....

JMO

Belinda Williamson
11-04-2010, 4:56 PM
So you don't think the solution is to dumb down any requirements so that the dumber than a box of rocks crowd can occupy positions of importance? :rolleyes: :D

Is it possible to dumb down any further? Some things are so dumb downed I can't figure them out! I can follow written directions to the letter but give me a book with a bunch of photos and I can't figure out how to turn on the camera. :D By the way, I spoke with my pet rock and he is highly offended as he feels his level of intelligence is far superior to that of the others in the box from which I rescued him.

glenn bradley
11-04-2010, 5:10 PM
Supervisor: "This is your third reprimand."
Employee: "You ain't got no right to reprimand me, and you cain't fire me, I does my job."

I'm sorry, I'm from California. Could someone please translate? And please, none of that silly "dude" stuff that you all see on T.V. :D

Belinda Williamson
11-04-2010, 6:10 PM
I'm sorry, I'm from California. Could someone please translate? And please, none of that silly "dude" stuff that you all see on T.V. :D

Boiled down . . . You have no right to reprimand me, and you cannot fire me, because I do my job. (but she didn't)

I'm sorry you're from California, too. :D

Charlie Reals
11-04-2010, 6:18 PM
I'm sorry, I'm from California. Could someone please translate? And please, none of that silly "dude" stuff that you all see on T.V. :D
Oh why not Glenn, that dude stuff started down south where you are and us northern folks have had to live with it :mad:. That is one of my biggest pet peeves, dude means something different to us old farts. It was hard to make a lot of folks back east understand that ca. is not all beaches and surfers.:D:D
Being from Oakland I understood Belinda's clerk just fine.

Jim Carson
11-04-2010, 6:46 PM
I'm sorry, I'm from California. Could someone please translate? And please, none of that silly "dude" stuff that you all see on T.V. :D

Usted no tiene derecho a mi reprimenda, y no se puede despedirme, porque hago mi trabajo:D

Mike Cutler
11-04-2010, 6:55 PM
I'm sorry you're from California, too. :D

Hey now, easy there girl. I'm a native Cali type dude. I can even say "wow" backwards, Like "wow" :D
I'm anglin' for a trip to Savannah for St. Patricks day.:cool: Any tips.

It sounds like you had a day at the DMV.;)

Dan Friedrichs
11-04-2010, 7:14 PM
Usted no tiene derecho a mi reprimenda, y no se puede despedirme, porque hago mi trabajo:D

Hahaha! Wow - that has to be the funniest thing I have ever read on SMC! :D:D:D

Norberto Coutinho
11-04-2010, 7:44 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_(film) :confused:

Mike Henderson
11-04-2010, 9:13 PM
When I went to vote, everything was very well organized, the people at the poll knew their business and things moved along quickly. I've voted at that same place for the last 16 years and it always works well.

I've also gone to government offices here, particularly the DMV, and that works pretty good, also. You can get an appointment and they adhere to the times pretty well. And if you don't have an appointment, they have a pretty good process for letting you know how long you're going to wait.

Same experience at the Social Security office. Well organized, got an appointment - they kept the appointment time, and they were polite and knowledgeable. Things were handled quickly and accurately.

There's a reason for job protection for government workers. In the older days, every time there was a change of administration, everyone was fired and they were replaced with people who had supported the new administration. Problem was that those new people didn't know anything - it was just political payback. Still happens but only at the higher levels. The worker bees get to keep their jobs across administrations.

You may argue that there's too much protection and I won't argue against you. The problem is to find the right balance of protection and the ability to get rid of unproductive workers.

Mike

Chuck Wintle
11-04-2010, 9:36 PM
Supervisor: "This is your third reprimand."
Employee: "You ain't got no right to reprimand me, and you cain't fire me, I does my job."

I truly wanted to ask the question, "What exactly is it that you does?"
Belinda,
May God help the United States!

I hope I am allowed to say God in this day and age...one never knows.

glenn bradley
11-04-2010, 10:18 PM
I'm sorry, I'm from California. Could someone please translate? And please, none of that silly "dude" stuff that you all see on T.V. :D


Usted no tiene derecho a mi reprimenda, y no se puede despedirme, porque hago mi trabajo:D

Muchas gracias senor, ahora que entiendo. :D That and ordering food just about taps out my Spanish.

Joel Goodman
11-04-2010, 10:51 PM
When I went to vote, everything was very well organized, the people at the poll knew their business and things moved along quickly. I've voted at that same place for the last 16 years and it always works well.

I've also gone to government offices here, particularly the DMV, and that works pretty good, also. You can get an appointment and they adhere to the times pretty well. And if you don't have an appointment, they have a pretty good process for letting you know how long you're going to wait.

Same experience at the Social Security office. Well organized, got an appointment - they kept the appointment time, and they were polite and knowledgeable. Things were handled quickly and accurately.

There's a reason for job protection for government workers. In the older days, every time there was a change of administration, everyone was fired and they were replaced with people who had supported the new administration. Problem was that those new people didn't know anything - it was just political payback. Still happens but only at the higher levels. The worker bees get to keep their jobs across administrations.

You may argue that there's too much protection and I won't argue against you. The problem is to find the right balance of protection and the ability to get rid of unproductive workers.

Mike

+1 on that. The most annoying experience of the last while was trying to pick up some stuff at OSH hardware (a chain) that set aside for me. 30 minutes to find the stuff.

Leigh Costello
11-05-2010, 12:03 AM
Belinda, our fine DMV office is rural, in a strip mall, um, the only strip mall in our immediate area. Sometimes there is a line. Last time I was there the girl said "next." Got my stuff and went to her window. Two minutes later her superviser says she can go on break. Lunch break. At 4:00 p.m. cst, and they close at 5:00 p.m.

She shoved, yes shoved, my papers and forms back towards me and attempted to leave. I was not having a good day. So I said something to the effect of "oh no you don't" and she just left her window. Right behind her was a sign "how are we doing?" and a local number.

I called and the phone rang. Guess what? She answered it in another room. After confirming her as the clerk who had just left her window, I asked her to please finish my transaction so we could both end the day on a good note.

She came out of the room, turned off her computer and went back to the other room. Her co-worker had me come to her window and she began and finished the transaction. In roughly 2.5 minutes.

Now I am reasonable, she may have been starving to death after a long day of dull paperwork, but really?!?! All I know is I would have been fired had I done that at any of the places I have worked.

Dusty Fuller
11-05-2010, 12:09 AM
Government isn't the only place where lazy slackers get (and keep) jobs. I've seen plenty working at restaurants, hardware stores, gas stations. I've also gotten bad service from public and private sector computer support. "Lazy and unconcerned" is just "lazy and unconcerned", but I always feel like folks dump all government employees together. There are stars and black holes in every galaxy. Thus says the park ranger that worked 63 hours this week. Overtime pay? Yeah right. Please remember that not all of us strive to keep you waiting while using terrible grammar!

Government agencies do get rid of people... my agency has "gotten rid" of about 160 in the past year and a half. Some of them deserved it, but some of them had 20+ years of faithful service. Just shows that nothing is certain these days, even if you have "exceeds" on your performance reviews.

Jim Finn
11-05-2010, 12:25 AM
[QUOTE=Dusty Fuller;1551307]Government isn't the only place where lazy slackers get (and keep) jobs. I've seen plenty working at restaurants, hardware stores, gas stations. I've also gotten bad service from public and private sector computer support. "Lazy and unconcerned" is just "lazy and unconcerned", but I always feel like folks dump all government employees together........ //////// But the thing is, government employees receive, on average, about DOUBLE the pay and benifits that the private sector folks get.

Josh Rudolph
11-05-2010, 6:31 AM
But the thing is, government employees receive, on average, about DOUBLE the pay and benifits that the private sector folks get.

WOW! I want that govt. job then! It is exactly opposite that in DC.

Glenn Clabo
11-05-2010, 7:15 AM
After dealing with working for the government for almost 40 years and now that I'm outside the government...and know what people make...I just have to laugh at comments like "But the thing is, government employees receive, on average, about DOUBLE the pay and benifits that the private sector folks get."

Belinda Williamson
11-05-2010, 7:16 AM
Okay folks, calm down just a bit. First, it was not my intention to group all government employees together, or to find fault with all government employees. I just find it ridiculous that the employee I mentioned got the job in the first place. I understand the protections in place and I realize that most government employees, just like most private sector employees, do their job and do it well. The only thing I take issue with is that the small number within the government system who don't do their job get to keep said job.

Second, I was joking about California. I think it is a lovely state. I would submit though that the culture in the deep south breeds a completely different type of government employee than you are accustomed to in Calfornia.


Hey now, easy there girl. I'm a native Cali type dude. I can even say "wow" backwards, Like "wow" :D
I'm anglin' for a trip to Savannah for St. Patricks day.:cool: Any tips.


Are you serious about coming for St. Pat's? If so, I have a book of tips. Trust me, you need the native guide. Shoot me an e-mail if you want the brief version of surviving St. Pat's.

Charlie Reals
11-05-2010, 7:29 AM
Okay folks, calm down just a bit. First, it was not my intention to group all government employees together, or to find fault with all government employees. I just find it ridiculous that the employee I mentioned got the job in the first place. I understand the protections in place and I realize that most government employees, just like most private sector employees, do their job and do it well. The only thing I take issue with is that the small number within the government system who don't do their job get to keep said job.

Second, I was joking about California. I think it is a lovely state.
I would submit though that the culture in the deep south breeds a completely different type of government employee than you are accustomed to in Calfornia.



Are you serious about coming for St. Pat's? If so, I have a book of tips. Trust me, you need the native guide. Shoot me an e-mail if you want the brief version of surviving St. Pat's.

Belinda, I wouldn't place any bets on that statement and in fact I would take some of that action iffin y'all wanta compare notes :D:D In reality only northern ca. is lovely;), southern is a wasteland. We have the water and the trees

Mike Henderson
11-05-2010, 5:17 PM
Okay folks, calm down just a bit. First, it was not my intention to group all government employees together, or to find fault with all government employees. I just find it ridiculous that the employee I mentioned got the job in the first place. I understand the protections in place and I realize that most government employees, just like most private sector employees, do their job and do it well. The only thing I take issue with is that the small number within the government system who don't do their job get to keep said job.

Second, I was joking about California. I think it is a lovely state. I would submit though that the culture in the deep south breeds a completely different type of government employee than you are accustomed to in Calfornia.



Are you serious about coming for St. Pat's? If so, I have a book of tips. Trust me, you need the native guide. Shoot me an e-mail if you want the brief version of surviving St. Pat's.
I have to admit that I react somewhat negatively to a title such as "This explains the decline of the U.S.", especially when it's based on one bad episode with an agency. I react the same way when people complain that our young people are going to the dogs because they encounter one or a few "slackers". There are lots of good stories to tell about our country - about agencies who are working hard under difficult budget conditions to provide good service to their clients (taxpayers). And about young people who are achieving amazing things considering their age and experience.

It all depends on how you see the glass. I always see it as half full. I see us as a country that provides freedom, tolerance of opinion, religion, and many other things. I'm very proud to be an American and believe we're making progress as a country, even if we zigzag on the way to that progress.

Mike

Karl Card
11-06-2010, 5:28 AM
I have to admit that I react somewhat negatively to a title such as "This explains the decline of the U.S.", especially when it's based on one bad episode with an agency. I react the same way when people complain that our young people are going to the dogs because they encounter one or a few "slackers". There are lots of good stories to tell about our country - about agencies who are working hard under difficult budget conditions to provide good service to their clients (taxpayers). And about young people who are achieving amazing things considering their age and experience.

It all depends on how you see the glass. I always see it as half full. I see us as a country that provides freedom, tolerance of opinion, religion, and many other things. I'm very proud to be an American and believe we're making progress as a country, even if we zigzag on the way to that progress.

Mike


I can agree with some of what you say but tolerance of opinion....lol... when did this start to happen? Oh my when is the day coming that I cant say Oh my God.... lord have mercy will be next.... no tolerance is getting shorter and shorter.... and another thing as far as government jobs that tax payers have to pay for whether it be state or government, well, gee I am so glad I can afford to buy somenoe else about 40 days out of a year off, when I get absolutely nothing working for a non government job. Yes government workers seem to get most every holiday off, most normal non government jobs do not..... Still I do not hate America for this country is based on some of the best thoughts but still we are spiraling downhill due to alot of things that shouldnt be mentioned here. No not all government workers are bad but when I get treated like crap, and that is more times than not, it is hard to not say something about it.

Mike Cutler
11-06-2010, 7:06 AM
Are you serious about coming for St. Pat's? If so, I have a book of tips. Trust me, you need the native guide. Shoot me an e-mail if you want the brief version of surviving St. Pat's.

Yep, I really want to go.
Funny thing is that about 10 years ago my wife and I were in Savannah the day after St. Pat's, heading for Florida. I saw that scene in downtown of the morning after and knew I'd have to do this one day.
I've sent some friends there, and now they make it an annual pilgrimage to escape winter here.
It's my turn now.:D

Belinda Williamson
11-06-2010, 8:46 AM
I have to admit that I react somewhat negatively to a title such as "This explains the decline of the U.S.", especially when it's based on one bad episode with an agency. I react the same way when people complain that our young people are going to the dogs because they encounter one or a few "slackers". There are lots of good stories to tell about our country - about agencies who are working hard under difficult budget conditions to provide good service to their clients (taxpayers). And about young people who are achieving amazing things considering their age and experience.

It all depends on how you see the glass. I always see it as half full. I see us as a country that provides freedom, tolerance of opinion, religion, and many other things. I'm very proud to be an American and believe we're making progress as a country, even if we zigzag on the way to that progress.

Mike

Mike,

It looks like this thread is about to derail. The thread title was a play on a thread started by another poster. I love this country but I do believe we are currrently in a state of decline and have been for some years. I'm not blaming this on goverment employees, but on the apathy of the American people (many, not all). In our area slackers are the norm, not the exception . . . from the clerk at the corner store, to the bank teller, to the receptionist at the doctor's office. When I do encounter that rare grocery store cashier who actually does a good job I always commend them, both in person and to their immediate supervisor.

As to tolerance of opinion, I feel, Sir, that this is fast disappearing.

At the end of the day (or the beginning or anytime throughout) this is still the best country in the world and one would have to drag me kicking, screaming, and shooting to force me to live anywhere else.

Thank you for posting!

Greg Peterson
11-06-2010, 11:37 AM
Mike - Well said. I see it as the glass is half full. One bad experience unleashes a flood of negative thoughts and opinions that usually require about ten near perfect experiences to undo. Ten atta boys covers one 'ah shot'.

We tend to only notice the slights, mistakes and errors because they are the exception to the overwhelming number of experiences that go according to plan.

I have no complaints with my experiences with the city and county agencies I worked with when upgrading my electrical service and water service. YMMV.

Dan Karachio
11-06-2010, 11:50 AM
While watching the molasses like work ethic at my local post office I often say (out loud), "Well, at least we can be thankful they didn't choose a career in emergency medicine or the fire department." It is truly shocking how so many work environments, not just government, lack the slightest bit of accountability. What makes this even worse these days is you just know there are ten people out there that would kill for that job and do it so much better.

Mike Henderson
11-06-2010, 2:52 PM
Just a comment - those who think vitriol in politics is a new thing should look back to US presidential campaigns in the 1800's. Scurrilous attacks were common, not only about the candidate but also about the family of the candidate (it was not uncommon for the wife to be attacked as a "loose woman" or worse. Note that all candidates were men back then). These attacks were published in newspapers as well as spread by anonymous pamphlets. The only thing that's changed today is the method of publishing the attacks. Instead of printed on paper attacks, we have radio, TV, Internet, Twitter, etc., but the effect is the same - a dirty, win at all costs, campaign.

This should not surprise anyone. People are the same today as they were 100 to 200 years ago. It's only our rose colored glasses that cause us to believe that things are worse today than they were in the past.

Just as we survived the dirty politics of the past, we'll survive the dirty politics of today.

Mike

Stephen Tashiro
11-06-2010, 9:05 PM
One interesting thing about applications for government jobs is that veterans are spotted a few points on all the exams and ratings.

An interesting phenomena in NM is the existence of private Division Of Motor Vehicles offices that issue state registrations, drivers licenses etc. They charge an additional fee and you get faster service.

What amazes me about lines at post offices, banks and groceries stores is not how the employees tangle things up, but how customers manage to turn routine matters into lengthy negotiation sessions. Even if there is no negotiation, you always seem to end up behind the person who has to take the checkbook out of the purse, ask the amount again, ask if they can make it for $10 more, write the check etc.

Dave Lehnert
11-06-2010, 9:24 PM
A few years ago I went to the Post Office to get stamps. I was the only customer in there. I bypassed the maze of ropes and went to the clerk at the counter. She looked at me and said. "Sir, you will have to go and wait in line" :confused: I go and stand at the spot where the next customer would wait (Remember I am the only one there) And she yells "NEXT" I walked up and got my stamps.
To this day I look on TV to see if it was on a hidden camera show or the like.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-06-2010, 11:08 PM
Sometimes what you think you see and what is actually happening is two different things.

I was installing a CT scanner in a hospital. I had done numerous installations solo around the country and was quite proficient. This had an odd problem. The high voltage power supply had an intermittent difficult problem. Intermittently, when you turned the 120,000 vdc power supply for the x-ray tube off at the end of a patient exam, the high voltage would discharge back the the AC input lines. The voltage would run into the computer room and smoke a lot of the computer equipment and power supplies. This predated FedEx so airline counter-to-counter parts shipments was the best you could do but still. One discharge and you could be 3-5 days digging out, only to have it happen again.

Finally the isolated the cause to a broken copper corona shield in the high-voltage power supply and got it fixed.

In those days it took a full 24 hours to calibrate the machine and there were no "software" locks to lock out any unused protocols. By then BRH regulations, you had to calibrate every protocol before you turned it over to the customer for use on patients.

I had been up for 3 days with no sleep when I fixed it. I started calibrating. It would run a 45 minute scan with no operator intervention. Then I'd select another protocol push the button..45 minutes later....you get the drift. About 11:00 p.m. I fell asleep with my head laying on the keyboard. I didn't wake up until 02:30. I lost several hours of scanning and there fore delayed doing patients. So to prevent this, I would push the button to start the 45 minute scan and then pace in the hallway in the x-ray department outside the scan room to stay awake.

About 04:00 a car accident happened and victims were brought it into the hospital and into the x-ray department.

Around 07:00 one of the radiologists came up to me and asked how things were going. I told him I hoped to turn the machine over for their first patients around 12:00 because my wife and I had an airline flight to Reno at 01:30 p.m. I explained I had hoped to have it calibrated earlier but fell asleep and after waking up I walked the hall there just to make sure I didn't fall asleep again and waste time. He laughed and told me a neurosurgeon had called him about 0430 and said he needed to call company headquarters and get someone else out there because I spent too much time walking the halls and not enough time working on the machine.

I got my revenge.

I had my wife bring me some clothes and I was able to shave and shower in the hospital during one of the calibration scans. She packed our suitcases and was waiting in the car in the hospital parking lot.

The last calibration scan happened and they placed their first patient on the exam table. We did the scan and the images were great. Everybody departed for lunch and I started for the door and my waiting wife. At the door to the x-ray department, the neurosurgeon bust in...grabbed me and said..."they scanned my patient...is there anybody who can show me the images?" I sayed " No doc...they went to lunch..on the other hand I can show them to you"...as we walked down the hallway I put my arm around his shoulder and told him " After 3 days with no sleep, I sometimes walk the halls outside the scan room just to stay awake"....you could watch the red crawl up his neck and face.

Sometimes, what you think is happening might be a misunderstanding on your part.

Art Mulder
11-07-2010, 8:55 AM
So, there I am, standing in a local government office . . .
.....
Supervisor: "This is your third reprimand."
Employee: "You ain't got no right to reprimand me, and you cain't fire me, I does my job."

I truly wanted to ask the question, "What exactly is it that you does?"


There've been a number of comments about employees on this thread, and I think there is some truth to a lot of them.

But I always try to remember that there are two sides (at least) to every story. And I would like to point out that based on what Belinda has written, regardless of whether or not the employee was in the wrong, the supervisor certainly was. I think it is highly unprofessional, and unacceptable, for a supervisor to reprimand an employee in public.

In many ways it makes Belinda's observations even more poignant, since the problem, the way I see it, involves both of those gov't employees.

Charlie Reals
11-07-2010, 9:06 AM
There've been a number of comments about employees on this thread, and I think there is some truth to a lot of them.

But I always try to remember that there are two sides (at least) to every story. And I would like to point out that based on what Belinda has written, regardless of whether or not the employee was in the wrong, the supervisor certainly was. I think it is highly unprofessional, and unacceptable, for a supervisor to reprimand an employee in public.

In many ways it makes Belinda's observations even more poignant, since the problem, the way I see it, involves both of those gov't employees.

Ya know Art, it sure took awhile for someone to spot that. As a 40 year union steward I spotted that right off butt kept quiet since any mention of a union tends to really start a fight:rolleyes:. First rule of supervisor training is take the reprimand to a private place. I am glad to see there is intelligence out there:D, it isn't always about the employee, the boss has responsibilities also.

Dusty Fuller
11-07-2010, 6:07 PM
"But the thing is, government employees receive, on average, about DOUBLE the pay and benifits that the private sector folks get."

If the comparison is being made to a clerk at McDonalds, I'll agree with you. I'll not even bring up what my staff is paid. I'll just call it "shameful".

Belinda Williamson
11-07-2010, 6:29 PM
There've been a number of comments about employees on this thread, and I think there is some truth to a lot of them.

But I always try to remember that there are two sides (at least) to every story. And I would like to point out that based on what Belinda has written, regardless of whether or not the employee was in the wrong, the supervisor certainly was. I think it is highly unprofessional, and unacceptable, for a supervisor to reprimand an employee in public.

In many ways it makes Belinda's observations even more poignant, since the problem, the way I see it, involves both of those gov't employees.

Your point is certainly valid, Art. The two parties involved were actually standing around a corner out of view of the public. So while the supervisor should have realized that the reprimand was public, it is possible that she didn't realize the conversation could be heard. I agree that the setting should have been private and that is was not is the fault of the supervisor.

Dennis Peacock
11-08-2010, 9:33 AM
Art,

Your point is spot on and very clear. But a question comes to my mind as it does where I work: What makes you think the parties involved come to work to be "professional"? Way too many people wear their feelings on their shoulders when they come to work every day and there's way too many folks in the work place that just look for those "chips" on our shoulders to knock them off and start a confrontation. There's way too many people that want a "paycheck" and have little to no desire at all for a "working career".

If we remove the "personal" and the "emotion" out of the work place, then we have a more "professional" environment. We need to focus more on how we can help our companies keep money coming in so we can all stay employed and less on our personal "thoughts" in the work place.

Way too many people love to complain about the problems at work and never help bring a proposed "solution" to that very problem. IMHO, if you are going to bring me a "problem"? Then you'd better bring a proposed "solution" to that problem with you. ;)

Ken Fitzgerald
11-08-2010, 9:45 AM
Dennis,

While I agree 100% with what you say, I also agree with Art.

Even in the military they taught us to not reprimand in public if at all possible. It is done that way out of respect and common courtesy for the party being reprimanded. Occasionally if the reprimander is wrong in the beginning, it can save them from being embarrassed when their errors are pointed out.

Even in the corporate world I have dealt with for 34 years, I will never argue or disagree strongly with a co-worker or manager in front of a customer. It is part of professionalism. I may go outside and get into a physical confrontation with them (not really.:o) but in front of the customer we will present a united front.

Phil Thien
11-08-2010, 9:58 AM
Reprimands are dumb.

(1) If someone has performed their job incorrectly, train them to do it correctly.

(2) If they just don't give a damn, then it is time for them to go.

#2 is complicated by unions, I guess.

Just MHO, but I think unions would be smart to give employers a limited # of "no questions asked" pink slips to use during the term of each contract. No appeals, no nuttin', if the man wants you gone, you're gone.

Nobody (including union "brothers") want to work in a place poisoned by a guy with a bad attitude.

Charlie Reals
11-08-2010, 10:01 AM
By the same token, as a union steward My personal requirement was " if you aren't willing to go to the boss with me then I have no reason to go to him/her for you. It does work both ways. My old man always taught me the fact my job was to do whatever the man signing my paycheck told me to do. Hasn't been that way for a long time, even in the union jobs;)

Charlie Reals
11-08-2010, 10:11 AM
Reprimands are dumb.

(1) If someone has performed their job incorrectly, train them to do it correctly.

(2) If they just don't give a damn, then it is time for them to go.

#2 is complicated by unions, I guess.


Just MHO, but I think unions would be smart to give employers a limited # of "no questions asked" pink slips to use during the term of each contract. No appeals, no nuttin', if the man wants you gone, you're gone.

Nobody (including union "brothers") want to work in a place poisoned by a guy with a bad attitude.
+10 {Ballot stuffing} to all the above. We did allow people to be dealt with, It was called not pushing issues and well you get the picture.
I can only speak for the old days butt back then and to a lesser degree now we did not want a slacker near us as it could get you hurt, they couldn't be trusted.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-08-2010, 10:29 AM
Folks,


Keep it civil and keep in mind...inflammatory statements will be removed.


Phil,

There is a little more lattitude than train'em or get them out the door.

No offense guy...few things in this life are simply black and white.

Belinda Williamson
11-08-2010, 10:45 AM
Those of you who remember "the good old days" (don't start bashing me on this please), can you remember walking into a business where the verbal skills - or lack thereof - of the above mentioned employee would have ever made it past the interview process? Again, it wasn't so much a matter to me as to whether the reprimand was appropriate, or that I had to wait in line during the conversation, but that we have become so accepting of mediocre at best, poor typically, customer service in both the government and the private sectors. If a prospective employee doesn't have competent verbal and writing skills then don't hire that person. I don't care what the job or position, basic communication skills are a must. While I am fully capable of understanding "I ain't go no . . . ", when I hear that phrase I immediately doubt the ability of the speaker to assist me with my request or issue.

Darius Ferlas
11-08-2010, 10:51 AM
In good economic times government employees don't make as much as they could if they worked for the private sector. In bad times (like right now) government employees get all the outrage from the public.

I do work for a local government. The job is great but I don't have more time to slack off than when I worked for private industry. Actually, there is no room to slack off. In fact I do also work from home and I am 24/7 on call, and that counts as extra time, but due to regulations/limits I'm out of my allowed (as in paid) overtime around May. All the extra hours till the end of December are free. Not a lot but probably a pay check worth of them. Not complaining since the benefits are great. You know, that socialist idea of free health care.

I am thankful to have a job, although it pays in the lower range of wages I had been paid in my 15 years in IT.

Charlie Reals
11-08-2010, 11:25 AM
Those of you who remember "the good old days" (don't start bashing me on this please), can you remember walking into a business where the verbal skills - or lack thereof - of the above mentioned employee would have ever made it past the interview process? Again, it wasn't so much a matter to me as to whether the reprimand was appropriate, or that I had to wait in line during the conversation, but that we have become so accepting of mediocre at best, poor typically, customer service in both the government and the private sectors. If a prospective employee doesn't have competent verbal and writing skills then don't hire that person. I don't care what the job or position, basic communication skills are a must. While I am fully capable of understanding "I ain't go no . . . ", when I hear that phrase I immediately doubt the ability of the speaker to assist me with my request or issue.
Pre 1964 the answer would be no.After 1972 or so it has gradually gotten worse as to what the acceptable norm is on anything.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-08-2010, 12:21 PM
and nothing else has changed in our lifetimes........?....or in the history of this country?

It's a societal change..........

Clearly good, concise communication skills are important. If people want to know how to get ahead in business or any other profession, that is one of the major prerequisites.

Charlie Reals
11-08-2010, 12:48 PM
and nothing else has changed in our lifetimes........?....or in the history of this country?

It's a societal change..........

Clearly good, concise communication skills are important. If people want to know how to get ahead in business or any other profession, that is one of the major prerequisites.

A lot has changed in our lifetimes ken and yes, the mediocrity that is routinely acceptable is a sociatal change. imo this one started (at least in Ca.) in the mid sixty's.
Also Ken, I think you were in the Zumwalt Navy;) I routinly, along with everone else got our butts reemed with no thought to who heard or who cared.:D Master chief ran the ship

Ken Fitzgerald
11-08-2010, 12:56 PM
Actually Charlie.....I was in the pre-Zumwalt Navy too. And as soon as "Z" said I could, I grew beard....locked horns with my MIL over it.....and then shaved it off.:D...When I was ready to shave it off..that is.

Phil Thien
11-08-2010, 12:59 PM
Phil,

There is a little more lattitude than train'em or get them out the door.

No offense guy...few things in this life are simply black and white.

Not sure I get you, can you describe a scenario where you would be willing to employ someone that was unwilling to learn to perform their job function, but that you'd keep on the payroll nonetheless?

Ken Fitzgerald
11-08-2010, 1:09 PM
Phil,

Your original statement was "Reprimands are stupid".

I say "Hogwash".

To expect everyone to perform perfectly every time is an unreasonable expectation and you may have to "reprimand" someone. And if you do, the accepted method is do it in private.

You want an example?

Okay....You as a member here post something that violates the TOSs. In the future I won't edit it, or delete it, I won't "reprimand" you privately with a PM....I'll just eliminate your membership and block you IP address and prevent you from posting here in the future.

That's black and white too....but it wouldn't be right or fair...IMHO.

If however, somebody is continually not getting the job done and not endangering themselves or others, let them go. If they are endangering people, it's time to let them go regardless.

We are talking about dealing with human beings and I haven't met a perfect one yet.

Including myself.....

Charlie Reals
11-08-2010, 1:11 PM
Not sure I get you, can you describe a scenario where you would be willing to employ someone that was unwilling to learn to perform their job function, but that you'd keep on the payroll nonetheless?
I will await Kens answer butt I could give at least two scenarios where that would occur in today's working world.

Phil Thien
11-08-2010, 2:28 PM
Phil,

Your original statement was "Reprimands are stupid".

I say "Hogwash".

To expect everyone to perform perfectly every time is an unreasonable expectation and you may have to "reprimand" someone. And if you do, the accepted method is do it in private.

You want an example?

Okay....You as a member here post something that violates the TOSs. In the future I won't edit it, or delete it, I won't "reprimand" you privately with a PM....I'll just eliminate your membership and block you IP address and prevent you from posting here in the future.

That's black and white too....but it wouldn't be right or fair...IMHO.

If however, somebody is continually not getting the job done and not endangering themselves or others, let them go. If they are endangering people, it's time to let them go regardless.

We are talking about dealing with human beings and I haven't met a perfect one yet.

Including myself.....

I guess that is where we're different, because I wouldn't reprimand you if the roles were reversed and had you posted something quite negative about ABC company, I'd see it as an opportunity to educate you.

I'd send you a nice chatty PM telling you I deleted/edited your post.

I'd explain that the TOS are there to protect both SMC and the users. That even if the assertions were true, it really isn't fair to post them here because ABC company isn't a member and won't be able to respond. That, more and more companies are going after people that speak negatively of their company or products on the Internet, and sometimes such negative posts even get back to whatever company you work for. I'd probably include some canned links to articles about people that endured legal action because of their statements elsewhere [not SMC, thank God]. I'd sign off with something like, "I'll do my best to watch out for you, please try to watch out for us, too."

I suppose you could just PM someone and say "you are being reprimanded for making unsubstantiated claims about ABC company." But (IMHO) that is much more likely to plant the seeds of discontent and doesn't necessarily change their behavior elsewhere.

I'm not saying your method is invalid, mind you. I just think I can get more out of my employees if I'm less confrontational and more educational.

Brian Elfert
11-08-2010, 7:23 PM
Government employees may not be paid as much in hourly wages, but their total compensation with benefits tends to be quite high. Government pensions in particular are a huge liability for all levels of government.

State of MN employees pay close to 5% of their salary for their pension (less than Social Security taxes), but their pension benefits generally exceed Social Security. There is a rule of of 90 that allows full benefits when a person's age plus length of employment hits 90. I know several state employees who retired around age 55 because they worked for the state their entire lives.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-08-2010, 7:50 PM
Phil,

In your original post you say 1. educate and 2. let them go.

People deserve to be warned that further failure to meet the minimum performance standards could result in the termination of their employment IMHO.

I suppose you could call the confrontational.

My example that I gave?....you agreed to the TOSs when you joined so I assumed you had already educated yourself. Therefore by your original statement just removing you as member would all I need to do...no warning or reprimand required.

BTW..I have used very similar PMs as you describe many times. Most of the time, the people who flagrantly violate the TOSs those type of PMs don't work. Then we resort to your second option and let them go.

Phil,

This really is a matter of semantics....you call it education...I call it reprimand but...in the end you are trying to get the person to perform as required to do the job well. To do so, you have to point out their shortcomings and provide guidance for them to achieve the desired results. In the end, education or reprimand, if you will, is a personal event and should never be done in public.

An employer doesn't have the right to public embarrass or insult an employee.

Phil Thien
11-08-2010, 10:11 PM
This really is a matter of semantics....you call it education...I call it reprimand but...in the end you are trying to get the person to perform as required to do the job well.

That is exactly right. I've found I get more output from an employee I continue to train than from an employee I reprimand.

John Coloccia
11-08-2010, 10:37 PM
This thread has been an interesting read. Clearly the "decline" of the U.S., if it's truly a decline, is a complex matter and the issues raised here are but a handful of potential causes.

The decline of Europe, however, is slightly more obvious...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9rJLtz64Hg

:D

John Coloccia
11-08-2010, 10:58 PM
People deserve to be warned that further failure to meet the minimum performance standards could result in the termination of their employment IMHO.

Often, not always but often, a problem employee can be traced right back to a bad manager. Often, they don't even know they're doing anything wrong, and then whammo, they're fired.

Mike Henderson
11-09-2010, 1:19 AM
That is exactly right. I've found I get more output from an employee I continue to train than from an employee I reprimand.
There are problems that are not related to training. For example, I had an employee who was always late to work. I had to warn her several times and finally have her punch a clock (because I couldn't check up on her every day).

She did finally start arriving on time.

Mike

Pat Germain
11-09-2010, 2:42 AM
There are problems that are not related to training. For example, I had an employee who was always late to work. I had to warn her several times and finally have her punch a clock (because I couldn't check up on her every day).

She did finally start arriving on time.

Mike

That's a lot of time and investment on your part. I would have just fired her and replaced her with someone who could show up on time on her own without me needing to babysit.

But that's just my take.

John Coloccia
11-09-2010, 7:15 AM
Part of being a good manager is gaining the confidence of your employees. If all your good for as a manager is firing people, they may fear you and they may even listen to you, but they will find every way they can to subvert because they will despise you. The way you gain confidence and lead is you never hang an employee out to dry. It's your job to mentor them help them perform, and yes, that means having to work hard at it sometimes.

Charlie Reals
11-09-2010, 7:31 AM
Ya know, this has been good for some real chuckling;) butt lets go to a different world for a second. I know Ken is aware of what I speak.
Your way doesn't work in the trades. Especially on a drill tower or 6000 ft underground. Oh, it is done in a different way and to a different end. You get 2 shots at grunt work. You dont get it your gone. they never got a chance to advance. I knew one man who mucked the ditch on the 5000 for 9 years. Thats all he was good for.
I do believe all this touchy feely feel good pschyo babble stuff is part of the digression:D:D:D
Good morning all.

John Coloccia
11-09-2010, 7:41 AM
Funny. I would think it's even more important to get the respect of your men when you're doing work like that which can kill people if you botch it up. Men are men. I haven't seen that anyone behaves any differently because of their profession. They follow and respect good leaders, and they fear and work against bad ones. Being tough and being a bonehead are two entirely different things.

I'm very interested to hear what Ken has to say as well.

Charlie Reals
11-09-2010, 7:55 AM
Funny. I would think it's even more important to get the respect of your men when you're doing work like that which can kill people if you botch it up. Men are men. I haven't seen that anyone behaves any differently because of their profession. They follow and respect good leaders, and they fear and work against bad ones. Being tough and being a bonehead are two entirely different things.

I'm very interested to hear what Ken has to say as well.


I think you missed my point John. We had far more respect for each other than most do today. We yelled at each other all the time, it was the only way you could hear.
I think the point I am trying to make is there was no finesse used. A working foreman would bust your butt if it got that far. Butt he would do it with respect.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-09-2010, 9:06 AM
John,

Straight up.

My father was a Chief Bosun in the Navy before he was a driller on oil rigs. The style of leadership I practiced in the Navy I changed when I got out for obvious reasons. I learned my early style of leadership from my Dad but realized it wouldn't work when I got out and got into the medical field.

Dad's leadership style? You asked someone to do something the first time, you told them to do something the 2nd time, the 3rd time the guy picked himself up off the ground and did it.

Charlie would understand.....he's been there. In those days and those times....... there are certain people regardless of leadership qualities of the leader will challenge or ignore authority. Few of them will ignore get their butts busted, however.

While I was in the Navy, Chiefs and officers I worked for knew this and used it to their advantage. As a 1st class Petty Officer, I was often a duty section leader within a division. If they had a problem child, he was often placed in my duty section and I was told "Do what you have to do. We have you covered." My wife was ecstatic the day I got out of the Navy because she was afraid eventually I would end up getting court martialed.

There are certain people who won't willingly follow leaders and I don't care what type of leadership or who the leaders are. These people do understand physical violence. In the 50s & 60s, it wasn't uncommon to see these folks roughnecking on oil rigs....at least where I was working for my Dad then, it wasn't uncommon. It wasn't uncommon for them to show up drunk and get fired as result. I was age 14 the first time my father came into my bedroom. A hand had showed up drunk and Dad needed to "make a trip" to put on a new bit. He woke me up about 0130 and said "Do you want to make some money?". At age 15 I was working for him full time. It was and is a different way of life. Tough people...they don't respond like everyone else in some cases....ask Charlie.

During the height of Vietnam being in the Navy, we stood a chance at getting the everyday good kid as a result of the ongoing draft. Once the draft ended, too many of the kids we got were there because a judge gave them a choice. As a young E-6 working air traffic control, that coupled with the financial gains of working in private industry and having 3 young kids I wanted to go to college, it made my decision easier to get out. I will admit the Chiefs and WO I was working for on the ship when my enlistment expired said I'd regret getting out and on some days they are right.

I knew, however, when I got out of the Navy in '76 and went to work for a small company on a new medical device called "CT or CAT scanners" working around educated professionals I couldn't use the same tactics and haven't had to....it's a different crowd.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-09-2010, 9:13 AM
Wow....this thread has covered a broad spectrum of topics! From government workers to oil rigs and mines.

Charlie Reals
11-09-2010, 9:18 AM
Ken and I understand where we come from :D Man did I have a rude awakening when I settled down and went to work for a public utility.
Those were truly different times and different people. Most of the labor laws we follow today came out of the change to what we have now.
I bow to your memory Ken at least I know I am not alone in this world.:cool:

Belinda Williamson
11-09-2010, 9:52 AM
A little off thread, but since we've wandered around a bit - what the heck.

Ken, until 1999 I worked in a very structured environment in the medical field. I was expected to show up early for work, ready to work at 8:00, and I went home when we finished for the day. I was expected to work while I was on the job and be respectful to patients, supervisors, and physicians. Always wear a smile and the patient is always right. All employees were allowed three written reprimands before being fired.

Fast forward to today and I'm a business owner. We currently have only male employees. Stone work isn't a glamour job and most of the guys we get are pretty rough. A few years ago I missed the oppotunity to fire one guy, and felt quite cheated, after he threw a cup of coffee at me and stormed out of the door. His father called me about an hour later to ask if his son could come back to work. I told him as far as I was concerned his son quit when he walked off the job.

Charlie Reals
11-09-2010, 9:55 AM
The better half read Kens post and passes on a hand clap or
2.
The one thing I could never let go of and it did get me a little grief at times was the terminology. Every time a manager or supervisor would tell me they were my boss I would tell them to fire me. They couldn't.
A boss to me is a person who can hire or fire me on the spot.
I remained a union steward because it kept management out of my face. I also remained on the night shift my entire career as it was the only place and time decisions were made and responded to by men on the ground, not some middle management robot called out of lunch. On several "evaluations" over the years I had supervisors tell me they didn't like me but they respected me and I was welcome to work for them any where they went in the system. That meant more to me than them liking me would.
I say that lovingly as we all have our place but I would say people are very different depending on your trade.
Back then the people I worked with were also who I drank, hunted and fished with. We were neighbors.

Phil Thien
11-09-2010, 10:00 AM
There are problems that are not related to training. For example, I had an employee who was always late to work. I had to warn her several times and finally have her punch a clock (because I couldn't check up on her every day).

She did finally start arriving on time.

Mike

That falls into my "I just don't care category."

While I will work with employees on techniques for (and the importance of)being on time, if they make no effort I just let them go.

I sometimes feel like I'm a new employee's mommy, teaching them things they should have learned at home. I have high standards and don't mind spending time getting people up to speed.

But I let them know that I'm not a broken record. If the same behaviors reoccur, then I have to assume they don't care any more and it is time for them to find a job elsewhere.

I sure wouldn't add a time clock to accommodate an employee that couldn't show up on time, I'd simply replace that employee.

Charlie Reals
11-09-2010, 10:01 AM
A little off thread, but since we've wandered around a bit - what the heck.

Ken, until 1999 I worked in a very structured environment in the medical field. I was expected to show up early for work, ready to work at 8:00, and I went home when we finished for the day. I was expected to work while I was on the job and be respectful to patients, supervisors, and physicians. Always wear a smile and the patient is always right. All employees were allowed three written reprimands before being fired.

Fast forward to today and I'm a business owner. We currently have only male employees. Stone work isn't a glamour job and most of the guys we get are pretty rough. A few years ago I missed the oppotunity to fire one guy, and felt quite cheated, after he threw a cup of coffee at me and stormed out of the door. His father called me about an hour later to ask if his son could come back to work. I told him as far as I was concerned his son quit when he walked off the job.
Not off thread at all Belinda, it all started with job related subject;)
In my day your guy would not have made it to the curb if other male employees were there. You would have had real drama in the workplace.

Phil Thien
11-09-2010, 10:26 AM
The comparisons to military are interesting but... I can't touch an employee, I cannot even get in their face. I cannot insist on them returning the next day or suffer any sort of consequences. That just isn't the real world.

I'm not even sure if that is the real military. I know plenty of guys that spent time in the forces and I don't think any of them were ever the type that required a threat of violence to perform their job. Hell, my electrician just got back from Iraq, he is a mild-mannered kind of guy.

I'm not saying those guys don't exist, but I seen them more on the silver screen than in real life.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-09-2010, 10:56 AM
Phil,

Believe me it did exist in those days but it wasn't the "Hollywood'ed over dramatized garbage" you see portrayed.

I can't speak for the military today because I have been out for 34 years.

People need to realize that what you see in the narrow view in your personal life, isn't all there is. I have never seen someone picking cotton by hand or a moonshiner operating a still but that doesn't mean there isn't or wasn't.

And the military? The greatest social equalizer that has ever been. Every person who puts on that uniform has the opportunity to prove themselves ...to themselves and the entire world. It doesn't matter what your previous economic, social or educational background is. We all start as equals.....shaveheads....we all dress exactly alike.... My youngest son went to Navy Aviation Officers OCS boot camp in Pensacola. When he finally got far enough along to make unscripted phones calls and later after OCS....he described it "Never had he felt the camaraderie he felt when on a Sunday evening...hearing the senior boots singing the Navy Hymn in the stairwells...for the new arrivals. He said it put goosebumps on him. It affected me too when I went to boot camp.

Understand, what Charlie and I was talking about was not somebody stomping and brutally beating somebody. Somebody got knocked on their butt....they picked themselves up and got on with it. This wasn't a case where bones got broken or lives taken. There are certain people with whom you can't reason. They won't listen or will just ignore you. So you have to deal with it, live with it or eliminate it.

I was age 15 on a rig in southern Illinois the first time I saw my Dad deck somebody and it was his boss..the pusher...tool pusher. We were working morning tower and arrived on location to find evening tower had burned up the torque converter. The tool pusher told us to finish getting it disconnected, he was going to town and get a trailer. He'd haul the torque converter to Evansville, IN to get it overhauled. He didn't come back for 5 hours. We got this 375# monster disconnected and put on a sheet of plate steel. When the pusher came back, he was drunk. He backed the trailer up to the floor of the rig. Two of us stepped on the end of the sheet steel sticking out over the trailer and it raised the torque converter up in the air and it slid down the steel into the trailer. In the process a 1/4" drain plug broke off. The toolpusher began a drunken rant about it. Mind you..it's burned up....it is going in for an overhaul....what's is it going to take or cost to drill a hole in the 1/4" plug....install an "easyout" ....back it out and replace it?

Dad told us to go to dog house and change clothes as we were going home. At which time the pusher changed his drunken rant to "we couldn't leave". I was the 2nd guy through the door......I heard a thud....the guy behind me chuckled and I asked "what happened?" "Nothing" he replied " Your old man just smacked Ruben and the thud was him hitting the side of the doghouse". When we left the location, he was still sitting in the mud, shaking his head trying to clear it.

I can't speak for the oil field today. I have been away too long but there was a time when it was TOUGH.

A verbal reprimand or education seems pretty tame compared to that!:D

but....that was over 40 years ago too....Things change...only thing guaranteed in life...things change

Charlie Reals
11-09-2010, 11:23 AM
It has all changed, I watched a pbs special on the USS Enterprise. Having a nephew aboard and watching from the deck of a DE when the "Big E" came under the gate for the first time made it of real interest for me. I can tell you, half way through I told the wife I would have done brig time for saying most of what I heard said.
One must also understand that not all that was done back then happened at 9 am and showed up on the noon news.

That is why I have often asked where the person I am talking to was when Kennedy was shot. One cannot have any inkling and cannot relate to what we speak of if all they know is what they have been told or read.
Ken can remember when the first letters were written by mothers to congressmen complaining on how their boys were being treated in boot camp.
No, our boys today can't fathom our boot camp days but they still do an outstanding job.

Dan Hintz
11-09-2010, 11:49 AM
Belinda,

If it makes you feel any better, it's not any better in D.C. The SO is a federal employee, and the stories she comes home with (and I've seen a few in person, so I know she's not embellishing), oi vey! There's no union, but the difficulties of firing worthless people are just as difficult. Just a few weeks ago they were finally able to give a real rat the boot for having all of her employees lie on their timecards to make her numbers looks better. Of course, they couldn't do it until the "investigation" was over, even though the timecards were proof positive they were lying (how does someone put down 80 hours of overtime on their timecard when they were on vacation for two weeks?!). All involved not only have to pay back the money, but the ones who were having their tuition paid by the gov also have to pay that money back. The problem is this is a VERY rare occurrence.



And for those who still believe gov employees make a lot of money... go look at the pay schedule online (it's public), then find a job that you think is comparable to what you do. Yeah, it's kind of sad. My salary would be nearly half. My SO could easily make double in private industry to what she makes now (and put my salary to utter shame), but as it stands I beat her by a healthy amount.

And benefits? Heh. Not any different than what most private industry people get working for large companies. The dental stinks, and the heath isn't overly impressive, but acceptable. Vacation time is pretty good once you get up there (grade 13+ and such). She keeps it for the better-than-average job security, even though the pay stinks, comparatively speaking.


EDIT: Oh, and while working for a major university, my father spent 30 years trying to get a useless lump of carbon canned (the only person he considered worthless enough to fire), but the rules always found a way to prevent it. He eventually retired (early this year), and the lump is still there, taking up precious resources.

Mike Henderson
11-09-2010, 11:58 AM
That falls into my "I just don't care category."

While I will work with employees on techniques for (and the importance of)being on time, if they make no effort I just let them go.

I sometimes feel like I'm a new employee's mommy, teaching them things they should have learned at home. I have high standards and don't mind spending time getting people up to speed.

But I let them know that I'm not a broken record. If the same behaviors reoccur, then I have to assume they don't care any more and it is time for them to find a job elsewhere.

I sure wouldn't add a time clock to accommodate an employee that couldn't show up on time, I'd simply replace that employee.
Well, she did good work. Just had a problem getting in in the morning. I actually didn't install a time clock - I just required her to send me an e-mail when she arrived since the e-mail was time stamped. Back in those days, the e-mail was only available on her work computer.

Finding good engineers, who knew our technology, was tough so I was willing to do a lot to keep her.

It worked out. She just needed to know that being late was not acceptable and would lead to dismissal.

I might add that her lateness was serious, not just a few minutes each day. We'd have morning meetings and she wouldn't be there.

Mike

Gary Hodgin
11-09-2010, 12:29 PM
That salary study by the Cato Institute is much more political than economic. Any study has to compare comparable jobs, experience, and other factors. Even under the best conditions this is a difficult assessment to make. Jobs within occupations and industries often differ substantially.

What's unusual is that Cato was very critical of studies from a few years back that showed women made about 62 percent of what men made and claimed this difference was the result of wage discrimination against females. Cato's study was right then, but the Institute's study on public/private pay and benefits has exactly the same problem the wage discrimination study had.

Once those wage discrimination numbers are adjusted for occupation, years of schooling, and continuous years of work experience the difference pretty much disappears. Similarly, when the public/private pay is adjusted simply for education the results change substantially. Generally, the lower the level of education the better the pay in the public sector relative to the private. The higher the level of education the better the pay in the private sector. If Cato wants to do a reputable study then it should submit the study for peer review to an reputable economics journal. Otherwise, it's just more politics.

I'm not saying there is no difference. I don't know and can't tell from the Cato study.

Belinda Williamson
11-09-2010, 12:42 PM
Not off thread at all Belinda, it all started with job related subject;)
In my day your guy would not have made it to the curb if other male employees were there. You would have had real drama in the workplace.

No other employees were present, Charlie. The incident occurred on a Monday morning after said employee's face was plastered across the front page of the Sunday paper. He was arrested, along with his roommate, for possession with intent to distribute. He was one of my installers and I was sending him to some of the nicest homes in town. I didn't think his appearance in the paper projected the company image I had worked so hard to achieve. I called him into the office to tell him that he was restricted to shop duty only until further notice. He wasn't too happy about that.

I will share a funny one with y'all. I hired a young guy who needed a second chance and he was a greater worker in the beginning. After a couple of months he fell back into his old habits. We were running behind schedule on installations one day and had one left to complete in a home an hour or so away from the shop. The guys loaded up the truck and headed out. About ten minutes away from the shop this young guy said to his supervisor, "Ya' know, I'm young, I have a life, and this job is seriously messing that up. I got stuff to do tonight and this really makes me mad!" The supervisor says, "Fine, I'll do the install myself." (It was only one small vanity.) So the supervisor turns around, drives back to the shop, and as the young guy is getting out of the truck the supervisor says, "You got the same britches to get glad in!" I grew up hearing this from my dad all the time. The young guy doesn't bother to clock out, just gets in his car and hauls butt out of the parking lot. Again, in my book he walked off the job.

Here's the funny part . . . this guy filed for unemployment, stating that he was fired. After several back and forth phone messages with the Dept. of Labor I finally spoke with the adjudicator. She wanted to question me about a remark that was made to the employee. She stated that the guy told her that his supervisor told him to "get happy in his pants". I laughed so hard I cried . . . she didn't see the humor. :D

Mike Cruz
11-09-2010, 1:49 PM
I wanna know how many of you are at work while reading and replying to all these threads...:rolleyes: :D

Hey, I'M sitting on my duff, recovering. Of course, it would be a lot more "perfect" if I had a beer in my hand, but I'm out...so that visual will have to wait for another rant...:D

Charlie Reals
11-09-2010, 2:00 PM
I am retired, doing whatever I want when I want. right now I would love to have a big mac but don't want to drive 5o miles rt to get one :mad:

Dan Hintz
11-09-2010, 2:08 PM
I wanna know how many of you are at work while reading and replying to all these threads...:rolleyes: :D
http://www.smileyvault.com/albums/forum/smileyvault-stirthepot.gif

Gary Hodgin
11-09-2010, 2:10 PM
I wanna know how many of you are at work while reading and replying to all these threads...:rolleyes: :D

Hey, I'M sitting on my duff, recovering. Of course, it would be a lot more "perfect" if I had a beer in my hand, but I'm out...so that visual will have to wait for another rant...:D

Not at work, at home listening to sports call in and reading sawmill creek. Tomorrow's work.

Mike Cruz
11-09-2010, 2:22 PM
Soooooo, maybe forums are the decline of America....

Glenn Clabo
11-09-2010, 2:40 PM
I'm retired...after working for the Navy for almost 40 years. Of course I haven't received a full retirement payment yet because there aren't enough government workers to do the calcs. Yup...it's true...

David Weaver
11-09-2010, 3:04 PM
Glenn- i hope they true it up on an actuarial basis when you get payment (i.e., i hope you get more later) - or at least that they'll give you lump of past due payments when you start.

The government offices I've dealt with here are pretty snappy. Even the county government, but this is a city and they are more fluid than where I grew up.

I was surprised how orderly our driver's center is, folks doing jobs I really wouldn't want to do over and over. I guess they can do them quasi-asleep, but they wind people through here at a rapid pace when it's license renewal time, even on saturday when it's full.

I have to deal with the IRS from time to time. I've found them also to be quick to respond, but the basis is different than on a person-to-person basis and I'm not doing tax work.

Greg Peterson
11-09-2010, 9:54 PM
In the good ol' days, a man was paid a fair wage for a days work. These days workers are seen as an expense that gets in the way of profits.

From 1950 through 1980, the share of all income in America going to everyone but the rich increased from 64 percent to 65 percent. The economy was growing for 9 out of ten families - from $17,719 to $30,941. A 75 percent increase in income in constant 2008 dollars.

Since 1980 the economy has continued to grow handsomely, but only a fraction at the top have benefitted. The line flattens for the bottom 90% of Americans. Average income went from that $30,941 in 1980 to $31,244 in 2008. The average income of Americans increased just $303 dollars in 28 years.

I can't condone a poor work ethic and I have run into far to often for my taste. In the midst of an anti-worker environment, I can understand workers being disillusioned.

The American worker has become another expense account in the general ledger.

Charlie Reals
11-10-2010, 8:19 AM
In the good ol' days, a man was paid a fair wage for a days work. These days workers are seen as an expense that gets in the way of profits.

From 1950 through 1980, the share of all income in America going to everyone but the rich increased from 64 percent to 65 percent. The economy was growing for 9 out of ten families - from $17,719 to $30,941. A 75 percent increase in income in constant 2008 dollars.

Since 1980 the economy has continued to grow handsomely, but only a fraction at the top have benefitted. The line flattens for the bottom 90% of Americans. Average income went from that $30,941 in 1980 to $31,244 in 2008. The average income of Americans increased just $303 dollars in 28 years.

I can't condone a poor work ethic and I have run into far to often for my taste. In the midst of an anti-worker environment, I can understand workers being disillusioned.

The American worker has become another expense account in the general ledger.


1969, lead SD. A nine hour day underground paid just over $18 before taxes. Gas was .25 gal. Minimum wage was $1.25. Anytime we got a nickel raise the price of hamburger went up a dime at the piggly wiggly. The mine kept three towns alive, this was before gambling was legal.

Joe Dowling Jr
11-10-2010, 9:21 AM
1969, lead SD. A nine hour day underground paid just over $18 before taxes. Gas was .25 gal. Minimum wage was $1.25. Anytime we got a nickel raise the price of hamburger went up a dime at the piggly wiggly. The mine kept three towns alive, this was before gambling was legal.
Hmm, .25 x 5 = 1.25 2.80 x 5 = 14.00

Charlie Reals
11-10-2010, 9:33 AM
Hmm, .25 x 5 = 1.25 2.80 x 5 = 14.00

Yep, just goes to show how good those days were.

Greg Peterson
11-10-2010, 10:06 AM
Let's look at it this way. If, in 1969, someone had told you that in 2010 a wage of $18/hour was hardly sufficient, you would be shocked I'm sure.

There is no dispute that workers income have flatlined in the past thirty years. The middle class is not a naturally occurring construct, yet from the 40's through the sixties/early 70's, everyone was rising. That upward mobility ceased a long time ago and we are now starting to see a generation entering the workforce whose expectations are for nothing more than what they have at the moment.

Certainly this will be incentive for those with the entrepreneurial spirit. But many companies rely on workers. Well trained and motivated workers. I wonder what assessment a kid fresh out of high school or college makes of the landscape these days?

John Coloccia
11-10-2010, 6:23 PM
Anyone following that idiotic missile launch story? If not a cause of decline, certainly it's a symptom. We appear to be going soft in the head as a nation. I'm not surprised it manifests itself in the workplace. Pardon me while I don my tin foil and hide in my shelter...

Ken Fitzgerald
11-10-2010, 6:28 PM
I'll admit....I'm over 60......getting old....not quite as sharp as I used to be...:o


SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW WE WENT FROM SOMEBODY USING POOR ENGLISH AND RECEIVING AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT AT WORK TO THAT "MISSLE STORY" ?:confused::confused::confused::confused::confused ::confused:

Did I miss something?:confused:

Back to the shop. I need to turn some more sample knobs.

Charlie Reals
11-10-2010, 6:47 PM
It is called the off topic forum is it not?;)

Ken Fitzgerald
11-10-2010, 7:07 PM
......and Oh Boy! It has gotten off the OPs topic too!:D

John Coloccia
11-10-2010, 7:25 PM
I'll admit....I'm over 60......getting old....not quite as sharp as I used to be...:o


SOMEBODY PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW WE WENT FROM SOMEBODY USING POOR ENGLISH AND RECEIVING AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT AT WORK TO THAT "MISSLE STORY" ?:confused::confused::confused::confused::confused ::confused:

Did I miss something?:confused:

Back to the shop. I need to turn some more sample knobs.

The thread title is "This explains the decline of the U.S.". I don't believe reprimands and poor English are the cause of our decline. I believe it's that we're rapidly loosing our ability for critical thought, and I thought that a country mistaking a routine airplane for a missile launch, including Robert Ellsworth (it's a pretty BIG missile, right?) and the military (scrambling to count their missiles??) is a good example of that.

If everyone else thinks it's because we have some lazy public employees, then fine. I think it's more because it takes days to figure out, as a nation, the difference between an airplane and a missile launched by a nuclear submarine. It looked and looks like a pretty obvious airplane to me, anyhow. I believe the media and the military are all still trying to nail it down. LOL

glenn bradley
11-10-2010, 8:37 PM
I'm sorry, I'm from California. Could someone please translate? And please, none of that silly "dude" stuff that you all see on T.V. :D


Boiled down . . . You have no right to reprimand me, and you cannot fire me, because I do my job. (but she didn't)

I'm sorry you're from California, too. :D

I hope everyone knows I was saying this tongue in cheek, smile on my face in the spirit of funniness. :D:D:D

Tom Leftley
11-10-2010, 9:43 PM
Up here in the frozen north in Canada, our small town (10,000) came up with an ingenius way of voting. The response over the last three municipal elections has been over 60% response.

You receive a letter in the mail four weeks prior to the election.
Inside the envelope is a ballot of all of the people runnng for election (mayor, town councilor, and board of education).

You mark you ballot and place it in a special yellow envelope which is enclosed in your letter (postage is prepaid).

Put the yellow envelope in the nearest mailbox and you"re done.

Works really well and results in a very high voter turnout.

Seniors can call city hall and they will send someone out to pick up your yellow envelope and take it to the nearest mailbox.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-10-2010, 10:27 PM
This could be the largest geographical topic change we have encountered yet.....from a local governmental employee being "refocused" in Georgia, USA to senior voting in Canada.

Can we reach out to our European brothers and sisters for a wider swing in this thread. I'm sure if you will help, Belinda, the OP, will jump in with one of her witty humorous posts!

Help us out here.;)

John Coloccia
11-10-2010, 10:46 PM
This could be the largest geographical topic change we have encountered yet.....from a local governmental employee being "refocused" in Georgia, USA to senior voting in Canada.

Can we reach out to our European brothers and sisters for a wider swing in this thread. I'm sure if you will help, Belinda, the OP, will jump in with one of her witty humorous posts!

Help us out here.;)

I tried to bring Eurovision in on this but someone deleted my post :p

Greg Peterson
11-10-2010, 10:47 PM
We have to many distractions in these times. Too many shinny things.......

Ken Fitzgerald
11-10-2010, 10:48 PM
I am waiting for some glue to dry.:)

Belinda Williamson
11-11-2010, 8:38 AM
Anyone following that idiotic missile launch story? If not a cause of decline, certainly it's a symptom. We appear to be going soft in the head as a nation. I'm not surprised it manifests itself in the workplace. Pardon me while I don my tin foil and hide in my shelter...

Yes, and I'm also following the story about the former NORAD guy who predicted back in June that there would be multiple UFO sightings on 10/13, and according to some sources he was correct in that prediction. Hang on . . . okay, I'm back. I had to adjust my tinfoil hat as it keeps slipping down over my right eye. :D


I hope everyone knows I was saying this tongue in cheek, smile on my face in the spirit of funniness. :D:D:D

Yes Glenn, I knew, I just 'splained it anyway in case some here truly don't understand Southernese.

I did have a delightful time standing in line at the post office yesterday. One clerk, 12 customers. I'm not blaming the clerk, mind you, she was very pleasant and efficient. I didn't even mind when an elderly lady walked in the door and went straight to the counter to borrow tape as it only took five minutes or so for the clerk to find the tape. I was even patient with the mother who was trying to reason with her three year old, even as he kept head butting me in the leg. Yesterday I was wearing my halo instead of my tinfoil hat . . . I probably shouldn't go to the post office this afternoon. :D

Dan Hintz
11-11-2010, 11:38 AM
Belinda,

Been in the head-butt situation (and not just kids)... I find in cases like those it helps to suddenly present a much more solid object, such as your knee or elbow. I'm not suggesting giving the little tike a WWF-style smackdown, just let him get used to the idea of a soft leg hitting his head, then suddenly switch positions and let him ram your knee.

While standing in a crowded vestibule waiting for a dinner table, some half-wit decided his personal space was more important than my (then current) girlfriend's... during his umpteenth shove I replaced my girlfriend's body with a well-placed elbow, resulting in a satisfying "Oomph!". He got the idea.