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Another exciting day of waiting....

Today I'm stuck in the office waiting to see when a certain city inspector shows up to do the final walk through of the project we did next door. Now, while this could certainly be a much more dreary assignment, I do wish that the window of when he might show up was something less than 9AM-5PM. Then again, based on the attitude of many folks in city hall, they are doing us a favor by giving us some of their oh so valuable time.

In general, it seems that when it comes to public servants there is an inverse relationship between actual importance/power and perceived importance/power. Its somewhat amusing to hear the mayor of El Paso sounding more high and mighty wrt raising property taxes than the president of the U.S. sounds wrt world-wide terrorism. As it that isn't annoying enough, when it comes to plan-checkers in city hall (some of my least favorite drones), ye gods, sometimes they act like god almighty. Its bizarre. Some goober that can't be trusted with vehicles from the motor pool is arguing engineering concepts without actually having a basic grasp of physics... or reading apparently.

Perhaps this is one reason why I really dislike politics (be it national, city, or office). I'm fond of the Japanese business system where blame isn't sought or assigned, but rather solutions are presented and accepted based on merit. I admit that I don't know how well that works in reality, but it seems like a good idea to implement (at least to some extent). It may not be a perfect system, but it seems that worrying about how to solve a problem or deal with a situation is more valuable than worrying about whether Bob forgot to send the memo to Joe or if Joe lost the memo before reading it.

In politics (in particular) there never seems to be any sort of accountability. Everything comes down to rhetoric and who is better and presenting their case. I may like the concept of spin and damage control (as in I'd like to watch a documentary on it), but when it comes down to getting something done, I get bored listening to person A accusing person B and vice versa while no one actually presents a solution or even an idea on how a solution might be reached.

That's one reason why I was never too excited about working for a big corporation. The ones I had the pleasure of working with while I was in college all seemed to be concerned with the status quo. You manager wasn't concerned with how well you did your job, he was worried about not getting in trouble and not having to deal with any unusual situations.

College was so much easier. If you came up with the right answer and could justify how/why you did your work a certain way you got full credit. Anyhow, just some random worktime ramblings. Nothing to see here, move along ;)


Have you ever tried saying to them when they begin to assign blame or try to explain what happened, "look, I don't care what the screw-up was, I just want to fix it?" And then patiently repeat it when they continue to try to explain it. I don't know if it would work, but it'd be a fun experiment to try (count the number of times you have to repeat it before they actually bother to listen :).
I've tried variations on what you suggested, and it seems that many folks are so invested in assigning blame that they are almost incapable of figuring out solutions. Sometimes it feels like they are determined to say "It wasn't my fault, it was Goober's fault!" at all costs. Then even once you let them say it, if you ask them for a solution they invariably have no clue and they often can't even begin to hazard a guess.

Its almost as if a huge percentage of the people out there believe that once they assign blame to someone other than themselves (or if there is a "good" excuse for why its their fault), it's not their problem anymore and therefore they don't have to deal with it. Its just one of those things that I doubt I will ever really understand.