New School Puritan, puttin' the smack down on incompetance

Monday, November 21, 2005

I have often feared that it would read on my tombstone:
"She worked REALLY Hard at her job"

I was raised with a work ethic that makes Puritans look like slacker bums. And I love my job. I have been blessed to have chosen a career that I am proud to be a part of, and that makes a difference in the lives of children living in poverty - every day.

Furthermore, I felt called to serve in this profession. Early Childhood Education was too often the bastion of the mediocre, and I felt that it was important to be a really intelligent person who chose to do this work, rather than had to do this work cause it was the only thing I could do. You know the people of whom I speak. Many of you have seen them in the child care centers sprinkled throughout our country.

It has hurt my heart in the past couple of weeks to be training a person who has no passion, no career, no knowledge in my field of expertise. She is , for lack of a better word, a worker drone in the system of state government. She knows the right person, has some connections, and so she has landed on my proverbial doorstep. She won't read my "handbook" on how to do my old job. She doesn't care to learn anything "new" ( she proclaimed this on her first days in our bureau). She seems to spend most of her days trying to convince me she is working at her desk without doing a damn thing.

And her people skills? Holy shit. A talking goat would be more helpful to the public at large than this chick. I actually heard her tell a client that "She didn't know nothing, she was new here, but it all seemed to take a really long time to get anything done". I wanted to stand up and yell - "YES!! CAUSE OF LAZY FATASSES LIKE YOU!!!".

So I spend all day squashing my rage. Willful Incompetance makes me unreasonable, and I see it on parade for 8 hours every day. I watch her dismantle a system that I carefully built for three years. A system that nearly 8000 children a month depend on for child care.

But the most galling thing? She doesn't care. She doesn't care that without the smooth movement of paper in the Machine that is government, Child Care providers don't get paid. Without that payment, parents can't work. Thanksgiving's don't happen. We had our first call today from a provider who won't be having a dinner on Thursday because his $50.00 check isn't coming this week.

For many of these parents and providers, this IS the money that keeps them afloat.

So, for all the government workers you may encounter who act like assholes and don't give a shit, just know that there are the people like me in there too. Those of us who really do care about doing the right thing, and a good job. On behalf of Us, I apologize in advance for the deadwood like her.

10 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

How infuriating, to watch your hard work undone by someone who can't even muster up the decency to care.

sweatpantsmom said...

From my jury service, I know of those asshole of which you speak.

I wish there were more people like you working in government, people who have a passion for what they do and want to make a difference.

Don't give up - our children need you.

Anonymous said...

As a fellow government worker with a strong work ethic, I second your comments -- we're not all ignorant, obnoxious, slacking bureaucrats. Unfortunately, the ones that do exist in the workplace, like your new coworker, give the rest of us a bad name.

Hey, since this isn't *my* blog, let me vent a little -- do you know my agency fired my friend, a very competent and hardworking person with excellent people skills, because they said they did not like her GRAMMAR??? (this when she writes better than 9/10ths of the people whose work I am constantly editing and rewriting.) But there's a guy that sits in my row of cubicles that does CROSSWORD PUZZLES all day. Aaagh!

I think it's awesome that you are so dedicated and in such an important job. And I bet your situation will correct itself -- chances are, Ms. Deadwood will not stick around once she realizes that there are people around her that actually care, and she's in the minority.

(speaking of dead wood -- my break is over!)

Anonymous said...

Can I have her job?

halloweenlover said...

How terribly frustrating, Dawn, to have to watch her intentionally hurt people. Thank you for being such a great advocate, and hopefully she will get the hint and change her ways.

Your blog is fabulous, btw, I stumbled across it the other day and I'm hooked!

Julie Marsh said...

Dawn, I do know that people like you and Nancy are out there. And I know how hard it is to get rid of the dead wood. Cheers to you guys for putting up with the BS.

Nancy, I'm shocked that your friend was fired - did someone have it out for her or what?

Anonymous said...

Girl sucks. Thanks for keeping on, Dawn.

Anonymous said...

Fucking maddening just to read this. I'd prob be on BP meds if I worked w/ her.

Keep up the gud werk! At least someone gives a shit and that's heartening.

Anonymous said...

Julie -- yeah, someone had it out for her (2 someones) and she was in her probationary period. What makes it worse is she'd just moved here from NY and they gave her no warning. I think she could get reinstated if she tries, but I think she's done with this place. (as am I.)

Dawn -- you rock!

Lisa said...

OH Dawn. I am so sorry you have to deal with that poor excuse for a human. Thanks for being one of the great people who make a difference.

My child was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction years ago and Verbal Apraxia. We went through First Steps to get help. FS is a big beaucracy here. ANd the program helps kids ages 0-3.

I know there were some very caring and dedicated people at First Steps or else my child wouldn't have gotten the help he needed as soon as he did. You made me think of them.

And now, thanks to FS, his occupational therapist and speech therapist, he's a happy little person who is fun to be around. We often remark that his speech therapist did too good of a job because he doesn't stop talking... Ever...

So to let you know.... I am thankful to you and many like you... You do touch so many lives.

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