Monday, July 10, 2006

"Supporting" the Navy

Wed 12 Jul 06 Follow-Up
Oh, I was privy to witness a typical union response to information put out at that the organization is adding full time employees. Okay, I think we can all agree that jobs should be open within an organization before they're made available to outsiders - fair enough. But I think we would all also agree that ANY candidate, from within or from outside, should be QUALIFIED! These people actually believe in their hearts that just bringing your butt to work every day is enough to warrant life-long raises and promotions. Seriously, they do.

Original Post
I've spent ~16yrs supporting various defense programs, primarily Navy ship/sub acquisition. I recently transferred from HQ to a shipyard, hoping for a more down-to-earth hands-on experience. I thought the change in pace and culture from DC to Hampton Roads would compliment a friendlier more team-oriented work environment. Many of these folks have been at the shipyard, or the affiliated govt organization that I support, their whole professional lives. It's a small enough town that you play sports and go to church with these people, and run into them at the grocrey store or the mall. Was I wrong to assume I would be welcomed here?

And I was welcomed, by the community at large. I've discovered friendly neighbors, honest merchants, good business referrals, it's all I'd hoped for.

But the shipyard... can you say govt "UNION"? These folks hate that I'm there, just because I'm not employed by Uncle Sam. We contractors are specifically excluded from pertinent govt "all-hands" information, and from office social functions. We are seated apart from our customers - a most inefficient situation. Their "affectionate" term for us is "contractor scum." And to top it off, I sit within earshot of a bunch of govt costs analysts who seem to spend their whole days calling into question the integrity of every contractor invoice they process. If they treated and talked about [some minority] the same way they do "contractors" they'd have a major EEO issue on their hands.

If the general tax-paying population had any comprehension of the full extent of government waste and inefficiency, it would become a Congressional crisis. Why should politics and pork be the primary influences for govt spending. It's appalling. Do you know the federal govt is just now switching to a merit-based pay and promotion system!?! And does it surprise you they had to fight the union on that? All with your tax dollars of course.

This govt/union attitude is one of the primary reasons I have decided to explore a true private sector career. I'm looking forward to working in a for-profit environment, where good ideas don't have to fight against bureaurocracy.

And may every civil servant whoever discriminated against a contractor be interviewed by that contractor for their post-retirement job. Amen.

1 comment:

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