What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. AFGE Local 1904. Here we are 32 weeks past the “end of max telework” and the union, such as it is, still hasn’t come through on delivering the new and improved telework agreement. Now, I’m told, the alleged negotiation has gone so far sideways that it’s been sent to binding arbitration. Resolution to that could literally take years. So, we’re going to be grinding along for the foreseeable future with only two days a week like pre-COVID barbarians… as if 30 months of operating nearly exclusively through telework didn’t prove that working from home works. All this is ongoing while hearing stories of other organizations tucked in next door that are offering their people four or five day a week work from home options. It’s truly a delight working for the sick man of the enterprise. I’m sure someone could make the case that there’s enough blame to go around, but since the updated and perfectly acceptable policy for supervisors was published 32 weeks ago, I’m going to continue to go ahead and put every bit of blame on Local 1904 for failing to deliver for their members (and those of us who they “represent” against our will) and for continuing to stand in the way like some bloody great, utterly misguided roadblock. No one’s interest is served by their continued intransigence. The elected “leaders” of AFGE Local 1904 should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.

2. Amazon. For reasons I’ll probably gin up in a separate post to discuss in more detail, I’m opting to keep Anya and Cordelia on at least some wet food every day. In order to make doing this a little easier (i.e., so I don’t have to do dishes twice a day), I ordered some shallow stainless steel dishes from Amazon. They were a little pricey, in my opinion, for what they were, but I liked them so well, I ordered two more this past Monday. Wednesday afternoon, Amazon sent me this message, “Due to a lack of availability, we will not be able to obtain the following item from your order. We’ve canceled the item and apologize for the inconvenience.” Annoying, but it happens. I immediately logged in to Amazon to look for similar alternatives. There I found the exact product from the same seller at the same price in stock and ready for delivery tomorrow. Both orders, at the time of purchase, were showing in stock at one of Amazon’s “local” warehouse facilities. I’ll never know exactly why Amazon couldn’t fulfill Monday’s order even if it happened to be a day late, but can somehow manage to ship out Wednesday’s order in 1/3 of the estimated delivery time. As a one time half-assed logistician, it definitely leaves me with questions about what the hell they’re doing over there at the local warehouse, though.

3. Politicians. After a four plus month absence from the Senate, the corpse of Diane Feinstein was wheeled back into the Capitol to retake her seat and get “back to work” for the people of California. I just about it being the senator’s corpse… but only barely. At 89 years of age, the stalwart Senator from California is just the latest in a long line of American politicians who hang on grimly to power when age and physical or mental infirmity have pushed nearly all of their contemporaries into retirement if not into the grave. I’ve never been an advocate of term limits or age restrictions for our elected leaders. As a republic, we get precisely the kind of representatives we vote for in each election. Why on earth so many voters are willing to return politicians in their 80s and 90s to office – to legislate issues of online privacy, artificial intelligence, and what the world will look like during the back half of the 21st century – has got to involve some kind insane troll logic. Literally all of our wounds are self-inflicted at this point. 

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