Your Tax Dollars At Work : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I work for a city department in a medium size city and I see first hand how the machine works on a small scale. I'm going to assume that what I see in my little corner of the universe is pretty much the same in larger ponds. My department is very top heavy, with a director, two assistant directors, countless supervisors, even more assistant supervisors, area coordinators...more chiefs than Indians. The further up the ladder you go the more you get paid and the less you do. The further down you go the more work you do and the less pay you get. The bottom tier on the ladder are part time workers, we work those suckers to the bone.

Our department has no vision, no long term goals and rarely is more work accomplished than what is the minimum to justify jobs. Seldom do I see anything resembling long term thinking, that includes conspiracy and plotting. If something goes wrong the rule is to cover your ass and let it pass. Don't get involve and don't act to clean it up, just pass it on. There is always some poor sucker who will take the fall, often it's a low level manager.

How does this relate to y2k? While I believe that y2k is a serious problem, I don't believe there any kind of serious government cover ups going on. Bureaucracies just aren't that good at long term vision and hard work. What is going on is business as usual, don't deal with the problem, cover your ass and work it so that someone else is to blame. The people who work for the tax payers in general aren't interested in doing their jobs, let alone saving the world or plotting to take it over. That would take too much time away from figuring out where to go for lunch.

-- Mabel Dodge (, August 22, 1999


My husband worked for City Utilities for 20 years. You couldn't be more correct. BUT, have you noticed who's in the Oval Office? Pa- leaaase. Not only does Clinton know the incompitency level of those beneath him, he counts on it and he generally knows what bra size they wear.

Fine tune your antenna, you almost have a clear picture! :)

-- Will continue (, August 22, 1999.

Will Continue

Are you stating that politians are good at hard work and long term thinking? If that were true we wouldn't be in this mess.

-- Mabel Dodge (, August 22, 1999.

Actually Mabel, I believe that's *why* we're in this mess. It's a snake in the grass sort of thing. Protect the financial system, curb panic no matter how many 'buy the farm'. Protect our power, let them eat cake.

-- Will continue (, August 22, 1999.

Government workers, except for ones that do real services like firefighters, are going to hve the most to worry about come Y2K. No wonder they hope that things will continue as is. Most government workers I know got a government job so they could retire -- on the job!

-- A (, August 22, 1999.

If only the sheeple were good at hard work, had a sense of responsibility for their citizenships and had ANY gift for long term planning (other than their 401K plans)......we wouldn't have a bunch of snakes in the grass running OUR country. Too bad they're all too busy wondering where to eat lunch.

-- Will continue (, August 22, 1999.


Sadly, I think you are correct. I have never worked for the .gov, but I have worked at a few companies, including IBM, over my past 31 years as a programmer. I think what you are saying is also true on the business level. I think that the bigger the company, the more true it is.

Don't get me wrong. There are people out there that do care, and I consider myself one of them. I don't know how many times I went at it 'til 3:00 AM, got a few hours on the office couch, and was right back it. But, computing is my hobby, not just my job. Again, sadly, I think I am the exception. I haven't seen too many people sleeping next to me, at least at the office...

Most people just want to do their "time," and collect their pay check. They really don't care, as long as the check is cashed on Friday.

It's just one of the reasons that I am concerned about Y2K.

Tick... Tock... <:00=

-- Sysman (, August 22, 1999.

If you want to see what an organization will do, look at the reward system. Are employees rewarded for initiative? Or just for putting in their time? Are bad employees terminated, or do they stay in place due to the union contract...and remain a bad example?

The more I see, the more I am convinced thaqt the only way to get a supurb organization is to have a privately held company, but reward employees with some substantial profit sharing...

-- Mad Monk (, August 22, 1999.

The more I see, the more I am convinced that the only way to get a supurb organization is to have a privately held company, but reward employees with some substantial profit sharing...


The system we have really isn't a bad one. However tax payers need to realize just who is in charge...they are. If you have government officials who aren't doing their job it is YOUR job to correct that situation. I have seen the laziest bureaucrat move their a$$ double time, when some citizen calls in to complain. Get involved, start asking questions and remember who is in charge. You don't let the fox guard the hen house do you...then why let YOUR employees run the business?

-- Mabel Dodge (, August 22, 1999.

That is an excellent point Mabel. I just can't help but feel we pay our government services to do the job FOR us. They jump through hoops if you mention your attorney or the local news entity, that's for sure. You seldom get an answer that doesn't require you seek legal council any more, just to figure it out. I can't ever find ANYBODY who takes responsibility. Half the time, I can't get past the damn phone menu with multiple language choices, and subsequent transfers. I love the term, "user friendly". This stuff is about as friendly as The Hells Angels. The whole system is set up to discourage contact and when it's finally made, you recieve the standard canned attorney- approved response, which is better than the canned sheeple sedative some try to feed you.

Work ethic is unknown. I dealt with Social Security for 16 years (widow's benefits). In year number 2, I decided to ALWAYS continue making calls with the same question until I had recieved 2 answers that agreed. Companies who won't pay decent wages or offer benefits are plagued with morons too. "I don't know". I always have to ask who does? Do you know where they live? Could you please mail them and find out for me?

And who picks the music?

-- Will continue (, August 22, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ