Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slacking on the Job

In a recent comment to one of my Blogs, a Mr. Richard Feder, from Ft. Lee, New Jersey wrote:
“On the one hand, you complain about the sheriff not upholding his oath . . . then on the other hand you seemingly approve of city workers not putting in a full day. Why the disparity? After all, both of them deal with refuse of one type or another, do they not?”

Mr. Feder, I just revisited my Blog in question and I read nothing about me condoning slackers. The point I was attempting to make was that there are probably more slacking office employees than slacking sanitation workers. They just don’t get caught as easily.

A friend, who was in a managerial position with the Federal Government, once told me that if he received 5 hours of actual work per day from a lower level employee, he was happy. I heard a similar story from an officer in the Maryland DNR.

The bad part about it is that they both had to hire more employees to pick up the slack. I never understood this reasoning. Why not just terminate a few of the slackers with the hope that the remaining employees would put in close to a full days work? Both answered; that it was nearly impossible to fire a government employee for slacking.

One of my younger friends, who called me his surrogate father, spent one summer (while working on his Masters Degree) working for the GSA (General Services Administration) as a temporary employee. He once told me that his immediate supervisor cautioned him to not work so hard and fast (efficiently). That it would make the other regular employees look bad.

Now let’s go back to the refuse collectors.

Most are on a time clock and not on a salary (as are the office workers). If they can get their daily assigned task done in six hours rather than eight; should they be financially penalized for their efficiency? If you took them off of the clock and put them on salary they would not be looked upon as slackers.

This reminds me of my penultimate visit to New York City in 1975. The Garbage Men were on strike and the city streets were littered with rotting trash. The entire city smelled like the lower East River, near the Brooklyn Bridge, on a hot August Day. If there was a southeast wind you could probably smell the stench in Fort Lee.

As for the Sheriff, I wasn’t complaining, I was just stating the facts.

The Beach Bum

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Blogger alfredo_tomato said...

Sanitation workers are like our butthole. It's not something we want to touch, but if it stops working, it becomes the most important part of our body.

The sheriff was torn between duty and real world consequences. Renters are the victims of someone else's misfortune or greed. In the end he has to do his job or resign. He has decided to do his job.


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