What Annoys Jeff this Week?

AFGE Local 1904. Here we are 14 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. So, we’re still grinding along 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. There’s probably plenty of blame to go around, but since the updated and perfectly acceptable policy for supervisors was published 14 weeks ago, I’m going to continue to go ahead and put every bit of blame on Local 1904 for failing their members (and those of us who they “represent” against our will) for not getting this shit done.

The GOP. It’s been a hundred years since a majority party in the House of Representatives failed to elect a Speaker on the first ballot. It’s a level of ineptitude that would be shocking if it weren’t so entirely predictable among members of what passes for the Republican Party. Government is serious business for serious people – and this slimmest of majorities has led off the 118th Congress in the most embarrassing way possible in not being able to conclude the most basic step of leading that chamber without devolving into a useless conglomeration of cockwombles. My level expectation of them being able to do anything else over the next two years is less than nil. 

The rut. Once upon a time, I use to believe that you were supposed to come back to work after time off feeling refreshed and energized. Maybe others do, but I came back from my long Christmas break no more excited or motivated than when I left. If anything, the time away left me even less enthused by the day-to-day after two weeks of doing “not work.” It’s a rut, to be sure. Uncle’s gold-plated fetters make it unlikely that any real changes are in the offing, so getting my head around this just being how I’m going to feel for at least the next 12 years is… troubling.

Wanting and Getting…

In life one of the hard lessons I’ve learned is that there’s a profound difference between wanting and getting. Wanting leaves open the window of great expectations where the actual getting has the hard finality of real world consequences. For most of my post-teaching professional career, the only thing on earth I wanted to do was run my own operations center and be at the center of the action. It’s a hell of a way to live and almost never a dull moment.

While I’ve held my own over the last year and even excelled at some points, what I have discovered is that my real talents don’t lie in running an operation. They lie in developing the grand strategies and seeing the big picture that the entire organization will follow. With my own frustration rising to a point that I haven’t seen since I was still teaching, I decided it was time for a change.

To make a long story shortish, I asked my boss if he would endorse a reassignment if I formally requested one. He offered training and a lot of other things to try to change my decision, but I think even he knows that if I’m talking about it openly, my mind is made up. So, yeah, I’m putting the wheels in motion for another change. If all goes well, I’ll still be here in Memphis, just down the hall from where I’m sitting now. Someone once told me that I seem happiest when I’m the calm center surrounded by mayhem and chaos. Maybe that’s true… and since nature has been letting me down in the mayhem and chaos department, perhaps I’ve decided to create my own.