Day by Day cartoon

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Doesn't pass a Common Sense test-

Of course, dealing with the government rarely does require common sense but I have an example of just how stupid things can be when dealing with civil servants. I had to take some online, Computer Based Training last week, just like everybody else at this base. The training took about 3 hours to accomplish and more time after that to print the certificates required to prove compliance.

Remember, this is Computer Based Training. Each of us had to first obtain a User ID and a password, using our email address as part of the information divulged to gain access. Remember that certainly the creators of these CBTs included data gathering and reporting options for those monitors that need to measure compliance. That's what computers do, right?

Part of the requirement was to mail or fax or scan the completed certificates and forward them to a training manager who monitors unit compliance. This of course meant that each person had to print no less than 4 pages and then the same 4 pages were reprinted at the monitor's end when the results came through the fax machine or were printed from the email attachment.

So, I scanned and sent off my completion documents, just like a good little government drone. One of my documents was this one.

Imagine my surprise to get a response email telling me that my Report Card was unacceptable as proof of my completion of that training... Instead, I was instructed to go back and print this certificate-

and submit it as the "official" completion proof document!

Do you know what this says to me? It says that some training manager is unwilling or unable to use the computer's reporting functions and instead is keeping white 3-ring notebooks filled with these printed certificates on row after row of shelves someplace. The fact that the Report Card was unacceptable tells me that it simply didn't look like all the other documents in the notebooks and that upsets their sense of order. I've already called bullshit to the training manager's assistant, since he is answering his email and the TM isn't. This is a completely ridiculous misuse of government time and money to maintain a worthless, paper database that most certainly is not dictated by government direction. Instead, it must be one person's obsolete office practice that hasn't kept up with modern technology.

This is your tax dollars at work folks!

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