Friday, March 09, 2007


For those of you who have read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, you will know why I sometimes consider changing my name to Dagny Taggart. Working for the government in a bloated, top-heavy, inefficient bureaucracy which seeks only to perpetuate itself and scam more money from the taxpayer, the only thing that keeps the whole ball of wax from completely collapsing is a handful of dumb, dedicated, stubborn idealistic "Dagny Taggarts" surviving on budget crumbs down at the bottom of the food chain. Some of us still remember we are PUBLIC SERVANTS and that the land we are supposed to be stewarts of is PUBLIC land. The rest of the government, in just about any agency you care to name, has completely forgotten the public is supposed to be the master and government the servant.

So without further ado, I present to you an e-mail I received, author unknown, that offers an insider's view into how just about any governmental entity functions in this day and age...

The Old Forest Service and the Modern Forest Service decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race. On the big day, the Old Forest Service won by a mile. The Modern Forest Service, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Old Forest Service had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the Modern Forest Service team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing. Feeling a deeper study was in order, Modern Forest Service management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, in the National Rowing Plan, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure how to utilize this information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Old Forest Service, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendants and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager, with none of them having any rowing experience.

They also implemented a new performance system that would make the 1 person rowing the boat more professional and accountable. It was called the "IFPM Rowing Team Program", with meetings, classes and deadlines for the rower and a requirement to take 15 more courses on AgLearn (on-line training). There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses, but it never occured to anyone to add additional rowers.

The next year the Old Forest Service won by two miles. Humiliated, the Modern Forest Service management abandoned the National Rowing Plan, laid off the rower for not meeting the deadline, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Albuquerque Service Center as bonuses and the next year's racing team was outsourced to private contractors.

The End.

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