Rewarding bad behavior…

I worked through lunch today trying desperately to un-cluster a fuck that need not have been clustered to begin with. The cluster in question was entirely self inflicted – as are most of our most damaging wounds, really. Truly we have met the enemy…

See, the problem is that we’ve got a really dumb habit of rewarding bad behavior. See, how I always, naively, thought it should work was that you provide ample lead time, sufficient instruction, and a deadline. Then, being reasonably close approximations of adult human beings, we can get that assignment done. What really happens, of course, is you provide the lead time, instructions, and deadline and everyone waits patiently until the deadline expires to begin screaming about not having the time, the people, or the money to get it done. All the pitfalls are things that could have been rectified early in the process if only people paid just a little bit of attention.

They don’t do that, of course. It’s far easier to blow off a deadline and expect someone else to jump through their ass to bail you out than doing the thing to begin with would have been. Hoping that there might be some level of accountability – that “because you didn’t do X, you cannot now do Y” – is a pipe dream at best. It’s one of those words we like to talk about, but not do a thing to enforce because it means someone is going to have to have an awkward conversation.

Day in and day out we reward bad behavior and then wonder why every single goddamned thing turns into a world-class cluster fuck.

With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan…

Last week, I mentioned something on Facebook about Gilbert and Sullivan. That turned into a whole discussion, and then you end up with what we have here… and very, very badly rhymed example of what happens when your brain spends too much time churning on something that was said two weeks ago. Before I change my mind and burry this far, far out of sight, here’s, what I cam up with…

I am the very model of a modern Civil Service Slug,
I’ve information lesser men than me could barely ascertain.
I know regulations and can quote from all them quite at length,
From AR 1 dash 1 and on – this isn’t metaphorical.

I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters operational,
I understand OPORDERS, both the easy and fanatical,
About the latest memos I am teeming with a lot o’ news,
With many dull ass facts about the Old Man’s squirrely views.

I’m very good at email and at taking margin notes;
I know the acronyms of systems thought to be far too arcane,
In short, in matters questionable, marginal, and edible,
I am the very model of a modern Civil Service Slug.

I know our mythic history, Al Myer’s and Saint Mercury;
I’ll answer random questions and have no shame using PowerPoint,
I quote lengthy orders from the peckers in the Pentagon,
In a comic flaw of short attention span;

I can tell unfounded lies from grand plans and strategies,
I know the gasping sound of interns drug down to their knees!
Then I can make a note of stupid things that we already tried before,
And feel myself trapped in that infernal nonsense Pinafore.

I can draft a contract longhand using not a single form,
And tell you every minor fact of current civil service law.
In short, in matters questionable, marginal, and edible,
I am the very model of a modern Civil Service Slug.

In fact, when I know what is meant by “empowered” and “process flow”
When I can tell at sight a Gantt chart from a cover sheet,
When such affairs as taskers and surprises I’m more troubled at,
And when I know precisely what the bosses mean by “new format.”

When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern management,
When I know more of theory than an intern stuck at old Fort Lee–
In short, when I’ve a smattering of elemental banditry-
You’ll say a better Civil Service Slug has never mocked drily.

For my breadth of knowledge, though I’m plucky and adventury,
It’s only been brought up since around two thousand three;
But still, in matters questionable, marginal, and edible,
I am the very model of a modern Civil Service Slug.