The truth about government

Leon Bambrick had a really great blog post today. You know the "one laptop per child" program? Well, he thinks it's great that the IT industry is doing this and that other industries should have similar programs, such as "one handgun per child." My favorite, though, was the program for government:

Governments could offer "One soul-destroying job in a miasma of bureaucratic inconsequentiality Per Child"

If you're a regular reader of this blog, or a member of my family, then you probably know that my last job was as a Systems Analyst in the IT department of a local government, so that quote really spoke to me. I know you hear people say things like that about public sector jobs all the time, but based on 6 years of experience, I can say that it's all true. There's a general atmosphere of hopelessness, where most things don't make any sense, lots of them don't really work, and everything is more complicated than it needs to be, yet nobody seems to think this is a problem. The only way to keep your sanity in such an environment is to simply stop caring. After all, nobody else has.

Of course, the private sector is no panacea. But at least there's always the possibility that you can improve your organization or you lot within it. Or at least change something.

The one thing I will say for government work is that if gives you a different angle on conspiracy theories. After a job in public service, it's impossible to waste even a second seriously considering any of those grand, sweeping government conspiracy theories you see floating around the internet. I mean, most government offices can just barely manage the job they're supposed to be doing. How are they going to manage some sort of vast cover-up? That would require motivation and initiative, and those aren't allowed in public service.

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Comments #

    cheers peter

    re conspiracy theories -- what's that saying?

    never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.
    (Hanlon's Razor -- yeh i had to google it)

    don't let the muggles get you down.

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