Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From the “Help Desk”

I had a strange occurrence today. I should set the stage for it first.

The morale where I work, particularly in my part of the agency, is the worst it has been in about fifteen years. (I've been there for thirty.) I have now served under six presidents, and this is the most incompetent administration I have ever seen. I can't pin it on any one person -- believe it or not -- but we're halfway through this term, and these idiots can't keep a leadership in place long enough to figure out what it wants to do. The worst effect is on the career ranks of middle-management, some of whom prefer to hide under their desks until the unpleasantness goes away. Sometimes, a transformation of this scale causes the riff-raff to consider early retirement. Not this time. We've lost some really good people in the last year, people who just couldn't take it any more. You know who that leaves, right?

I don't have that luxury. I've got ten more years before I can retire. And even though they spend over twenty thousand dollars of YOUR money, and I spent several thousand of mine, expanding my skill set over a five-year period, these geniuses still can't figure out what to do with it. And they want ME to explain what went wrong.

They don't always like what I tell them.

It's been really annoying, but for one shining moment, it simply got weird. Before I left the office today, I got a message on my work e-mail system, from some innocuous administrative technical support address. The subject heading was "Requested update." It read as follows:


History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.

Bertie C. Forbes

For the life of me, I cannot explain this, as I certainly never requested an "update" like this one. But I'll take what I can get.

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