Saturday, November 17, 2007

A couple of things I have learned

A couple of things I have learned over the past 45 years.

One is to never, ever give a restaurant more than one chance. Ever. There are too many restaurants around to bother with one that gives crappy food and/or service. Take this evening, for instance. I went with my oldest son and niece to an East Indian restaurant called the Taj. We sat down and waited about 5 minutes before we were even given menus. We weren't asked if we wanted any drinks. Then another couple sat down, and the waiter took their orders BEFORE us. Nice, eh. We walked out, but not before I told the waiter (owner?) that we would never be back. The same thing happened at a Boston Pizza once. We stood at the front for about 10 minutes and not one employee came up to get us a table.

Another thing I learned is that no matter how terrible a government employee is, you can be damned sure he or she will never be fired. Short of killing someone, or perhaps raping a co-worker, a government employee has a job for life. Incompetence that would otherwise make a person unemployable in the private sector is grounds for a promotion in the government. Think I jest...guess again. The only way to get a useless waste of flesh out of a mission critical position is to get him an acting assignment or lateral transfer out of the area. Many employees who shift positions a lot in the government do so, not because they are so dynamic that they are in demand, but because they wear out their welcome and get moved along to be someone else's problem. There is one in my area right now. I have been there since 2005 and I have absolutely no clue what this guy does. At all. I couldn't even guess. I have heard that he has been given several different projects throughout the past few years, and has completed none. Of course, his lack of success is not his fault, according to him. It is the fault of everyone else. As is his butchering of the english language. Do you think he got to his position (CS-2 - would be a junior to intermediate programmer in the real world) because of his skill set or because he speaks a particular language that is under-represented in the IT sector? I'll give you 10 guesses.