Thursday, February 24, 2005


I think that this job is beating me down. There's a mountain of unfinished business sitting on my desk, but I've been told to take 4 hours off so that they don't have to pay me overtime. Never mind that I haven't asked to be paid for overtime or even expected any overtime. In fact, I've gone out of my way to try to just get the job done... take junk home with me, move things around so that I can multitask, try to parallel process things so that I can cover a number of jobs at a time. All the usual things that people do when they have 20 pounds of you know what to fit into a 10 pound sack.

Doesn't matter.

And my boss gave me a parable the other day to tie my despair to: she had a group of her staff come to her at her previous assignment as supervisor, and complain about not having cell phones. This is a job that really requires one of those things and the administration staff all have those miserable Nextel things that you always see in restaurants being wielded by thoughtless boors who want everyone in the place to know that they are middle class and have cell phones. Anyhow, the message came back from on high that our big bosses would not consider getting cell phones for the troops because... "they're willing to use their own so why should we go to the expense? They already are willing to use their own."

In the Machiavellian work environment that I'm in that makes perfect sense. My unit is supposed to be staffed at 10 trained, certified, competent (well.. maybe), people. We've limped along with 4 people doing the work of 10 for the last 6 months. They have gotten a few replacements... but these are all children (I swear to God, one of those girls looks 12 years old to these wizened eyes) who have to get through the academy (only 25% pass), then get back in place here at the underbelly to begin carrying a case load. Call it 6 more months... minimum. And we processed 35,000 cases last year. Sigh. I can say this... the four of us have killed ourselves, gotten the job done, and haven't missed a single critical assignment. Unfortunately, the toads up the ladder have seen that so they're taking their sweet time sending any help our way. More and more I feel like Yossarian sitting up there in his tree. I suppose that's exactly what I'm doing here, writing this and sitting in a Joseph Heller tree while Rome burns around me.

In the meanwhile, I'm being told to not work any overtime or try to practice any survival strategies... or else. What else? There's an old joke in the Department that if they want to punish you they will make you go work at the JAC. Woooo -- oooo. We're there now.

I'm sorry. I promised myself that I wouldn't talk about work on this blog... and now I find myself doing precisely that. I feel like a bit player in a remake of Catch-22. Let's see... if I refuse to fly the extra missions then I must be sane so I can't quit. But if I agree to fly the extra missions then I'm gonna get killed whether I'm crazy or not. Wasn't that it?

Yup.... that's the feeling I've got. No wonder Hunter cashed it out. Poor bastard.