Day by Day cartoon

Friday, June 22, 2007

Your government in action...

I don't know if I can possibly put the correct amount of snark on this post and the entire back story would be too long to tell, but this little exchange is just too good not to share. I do have to tell you a little bit so the entire thing makes sense.

A month or more ago, an email went out to all the folks in the military group that I support on the job. The Colonel wanted volunteers to paint the brown stripe that encircles our WWII vintage brick warehouse converted into office building. And the Colonel got zero volunteers. None. Nada. What a surprise… But the Colonel wants the building painted- just the reachable potions of the brown stripe, mind you, no ladders will be authorized, and so our boss, the Major has declared next Wednesday to be painting day.

You also need to know that our boss, the Major, is brand new and all gung-ho at the commander business. So he likes to try to instill "team spirit" and esprit de corp through challenges and competitions. All of which are rousingly ignored by the civilians and the military types alike. So read the following email that came out this morning and then I'll add some additional commentary below.

Sent: Friday, June 22, 2007 8:38 AM
To: XXX ACSS All Personnel; XX ACSS/GFLD All Personnel; XXX ACSS/GFLC All Personnel
Subject: Painting and Parking
All Bldg 1212 Personnel:
Please DO NOT Park along the West and East side of bldg 1212 Wednesday (26 Jun 07). We will be painting. I will cordon off the parking area on Tuesday (25 Jun 07) late afternoon. FYI there is the large parking lot North of Bldg 1201 and 1211.

I plan to start painting about 0730 on Wednesday (26 Jun 07), of course that is subject to change.

I appreciate everyone’s cooperation in this matter.
Thank you,
Information Manager
PS: The quicker we get the painting done the quicker we can park are vehicles.

From the Major, this reply-

Thanks. Cary, please make sure that we have a camera to take some snapshots when I start my watch at the beginning until we complete the job.

All – if you have old paint rollers, please bring them in. Hopefully, a team will do the prep work of taping prior to 0730. If you can’t dress down to paint, you may want to participate in the tape work before the paint starts flying.

Thanks to all for your excitement to rapidly execute this paint job and make Bldg 1212 look better! As a reminder, our contractors are not authorized to assist in the painting.

Please note the Major's expectations and anticipation of painting fun. He wants to stage photo ops of him clicking his stopwatch and he is going to time the entire process to see how quickly the building's stripe can be painted. He thinks that hurrying will add fun and challenge to this little project. He thinks by challenging the project to be done quickly that we will all be encouraged and gain team spirit and bragging rights for being done faster than teams on other buildings. Sure. Also note his hopeful thinking that some unnamed, unappointed team of masking tapers will be done before the 0730 roller and tray crew begins. I can tell you that the civilians I work with are looking for ways to avoid this painting project like a flaming paper sack of dog pooh. There is going to be a rash of folks taking leave rather than show up in their grubbies for a painting day. That means it will be up to the military guys & gals and those civilians that are either supervisors or those that expect promotion in their future through sucking up.

And me, I'm a contractor; specifically forbidden by contract not to participate in thrilling extracurricular activities like this- dang!

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