Friday, July 21, 2006

Public and private

My company subscribes to a number of magazines about the federal IT marketplace. They have names like "The Federal IT Marketplace" and "Government IT Federal Computer Contractor Synergistic Marketplace Monthly." The latest issue of one such magazine had this gem:

Two employees sit in neighboring cubicles working on the same project. Both have comparable responsibilities and are equally effective. However, the similarities end when it comes to what motivates them. The first empoyee works for the government and believes the work has intrinsic value and that there is a duty to serve the American public as well as possible. The second employee, a contractor, enjoys the job but needs to work 60-hour weeks, split between this project and two others, to earn a bonus this year. The contractor also wants consideration for a future promotion up the corporate ladder.

Wow. I mean, wow. I'm glad our federal IT managers think like this. Aren't you? Curse those mercenary contractors.


At 11:20 AM, Blogger BrianESpilner said...

So they're implying the guy who works for the money and not intrinsic value is wrong?

At 11:41 AM, Blogger CharlesPeirce said...

I don't take issue so much with the mercenary view of the contractor as with the angelic view of the gov't employee. We're all mercenaries here on earth, just to lesser and greater degrees.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger StandingOutInTheCold said...

Apparently IT managers don't believe that government employees are motivated by promotion up the corporate ladder... perhaps this explains why postal workers get so mad...

I think they could have simplified the artcile this way:
"Your normal empolyees are brainless automata who will do whatever you want because they have been fooled into believing it matter. Contractors, however, are just like you."

At 12:44 PM, Blogger RedHurt said...

The other thing they're not telling you is that both of the guys are probably total idiots. The guy who works directly for the government is 75 and ought to retire but won't because he's got nothing else to do and thinks everyone at the office likes him. The contractor is too incompetant or inexperienced to work for anyone other than the government, who seems to thrive on providing employment for cretins, and has 4 kids and a house and two dogs, and spends 98% of his day attending meetings or talking about his house, kids, dogs, wife, etc. to the other morons in his office.

The contract gets over budget and behind schedule in a week before the only smart guy in the office finally gets it through to his upper management that the codename:"Super database" project was a stupid idea, couldn't possibly have worked, and was understaffed from the outset. The government agrees that the project was a bad idea and scraps the project after wasting 2 million dollars employing idiots to do nothing for 6 months.

Two weeks later, management has shifted roles five times but is still comprised of the same people, and they unveil a new project to the team. A great project, a project of vision, and depth. It will startle the world, and put us on the map, and all that: project codename: "really super database." They put the same government employee and contractor on it, and give them 3 weeks to finish their project analysis.

And the cycle continues, ad infinitum, and somehow the country doesn't fall apart.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger J. Morgan Caler said...

Wait, redhurt, you were talking about the article, right?


Post a Comment

<< Home