State Government Is Sucking The Life Out Of Me
After my private industry job picked up and moved to Southeast Asia without me and left me in an uncertain and even frightening brush with unemployment, I decided to look into government work as a means by which to ensure the experience would not be repeated. I figured that a job in the public domain would be pretty much recession proof, and the benefits were attractive. Little did I know that I'd end up trading my soul for stable employment.
My job is a joke.
Fresh out of private industry where values like initiative, good time management, and strong work ethic were commendable and sought-after traits, they proved disastrous for me when applied to a government position. I was told within my first week to "slow down" because I was making everybody else look bad, and when I couldn't force myself to just go from 100 mph to 0 and kick back doing the absolute minimum like everyone else, I soon found myself finishing all my tasks and then 80% of everyone else's. Fine, I thought initially. This will all pay off when I get my performance evaluation, right?
At my first PM ninety days into the job, I received a rating of "Performing at the Expected Level". When I asked my supervisor why I was receiving a C+ grade for A+ work, she just giggled and replied, "Oh, nobody gets an Outstanding! People would start to think they deserve raises if we give those out!"
This is the same supervisor who basically threw me under the bus when it came to my training. My co-workers at the time were already hostile toward me, having both put in for the position I was now occupying, and only very grudgingly and very superficially showed me anything I needed to learn my job. I was pretty much shown everything by a temp we had working with us, who was already retired and didn't play office politics. (Thank God for him.) My supervisor really didn't know anything about how the functions of the job were performed; one of those "leaders" who figure that if they've got staff who knows how to do it, learning it themself is a liability in that they might just have to help out doing it in case of an abscence.
This woman is not worth the toilet paper she uses in this facility.
My bosses' routine is to come in ten minutes late on the two or three days a week she does decide to show up, go distribute Avon catalogues and pick up payments from her customers, go outside and smoke a cigarette with her buddies, then come back to the office to put on her headphones and watch episodes of "Desperate Housewives" from her PC. About six months ago she caught her husband cheating on her, which I only know because I can't help but overhear her SCREAMING at him over the (business) phone, and I sit about thirty feet away from her office.
"**** YOU, SAMMY!" is as much a part of the background noise here as the humming of the flourescent lights.
Recently we got a new addition to the staff, and it was my job to train her. (Not really MY job, but I didn't want to visit a repeat of what I went through on the new kid.) For a while there, things looked hopeful. She seemed like a quick study and a good worker, initially. But then, she got the "hang" of the system, and the ghetto came out; she treats her job like a contest of who can do the least, and at that, she excels. Every morning she comes waddling in with her cell phone glued to her ear, and since I have the cubicle next to her, I get to listen to the same, thirty-minute conversation every damn day, five days a week: "Who do she be thinkin' she is? How dat baby yours? What do he be doin' wit dat ho? No she din't!"
Which would be funny, but for the fact that she refuses to answer the business line when she's on this perpetual conversation, and the fact that when she does answer, the field agents seldom want to talk to her because they can't understand her. More work for me, yay.
Early on, I was able to establish a system where we rotate workstations every week, when it became apparent that my reward for hard work turned out to be more work. For a while, it was cool: it took some of the load off of me, and since I realized I'd be getting the same performance evaluation whether I busted my butt or did my equal share either way, why make an extraordinary effort? It didn't take long for the "gang" to slow down even more (and I hadn't thought that possible) and start stretching thirty minute tasks into the work of three hours. The end result of this has become a big-assed backlog on Monday for the next person to pick up. I happen to follow the bloated sloth mentioned the paragraph up:as I write this, it is Friday afternoon, she is blathering on her cell phone and shopping on line, and there is a huge pile of unfinished work gathering dust on her workstation right now, waiting for me to finish on Monday.
The "supervisor" is, of course, out today. Like every Friday. And most Mondays. How she gets away with taking no less than two days of work a week off, without either lying on her timesheet or working a deal with our manager, is beyond me. But, being that she and the manager are cousins, I guess that question just answered itself. Yes, I have approached her about saying something about the backlog: she does nothing about it, because speaking to an employee about not finishing assigned tasks is too much like work.
I have given up. I have relinquished my former status as go-getter and workhorse. I no longer care, I have been assimilated into the Borg. I am writing this at my desk at work, at taxpayer expense, and when I am finished, I will surf comedy sites and perhaps even post a shorter version of this at FML (**** My Life website).
And it isn't just this office: slackery and malingering and illegal negotiating are rampant in state offices here, as evidenced from the misdeeds of those in the highest offices. From a presidential hopeful who was banging a mistress while his wife was fighting cancer, to an ex-governor who is now being tried for getting his wife an $80,000 job at a local university (an 80% raise in a year when state employees got nothing but a week of furlough time) to a commissioner who attempted to fire an inspector when said commissioner was caught trying to illegally register a kit-car as an authentic antique, and so on and so forth. They're all dirty. And now I'm in the dirt, too.
I hate my job.