Friday, July 16, 2010

The Joys and Headaches of State Employment

This was one of my first posts about working in state government, and even better, remains the only post about work that ended on a happy note. Did a slight tweaking to add a photo link.

I've been told on numerous occasions, by pompous peons who don't have a clue and spout off nonsensical garbage in my local chat forums, and by blowhards who work in the private sector at twice my hourly rate, who I meet in the various businesses I frequent, what it is exactly I do for a living.

To whit, the typical state worker is someone who:

1) Is lazy
2) Reads the newspaper all day
3) Who ignores the phone, thus ignoring the general public
4) Who plays computer games or surfs the 'net
5) Who drinks coffee
6) Who props his/her feet up and takes frequent naps
7) And who is overpaid for the work he/she does

This is what I get online, of which I (and a couple others, who have intimate knowledge thereof) spend a good deal of time trying to correct these idiots who post variations of this garbage.

Oh yeah, I also get variations of "how many DOT workers does it take to fix a pothole in the road." as well.

Puhlease! Spare me your misguided, ill-informed opinion of me and my job. And spare me the sob story on how "my tax dollars pay for your salary". MY OWN TAX DOLLARS PAY MY SALARY! SO GET YOUR SORRY AZZ OFF MY BACK!

By the same token, I do find joy and happiness while working for the state. For all the moaning and groaning that I personally do about my job and the office politics, I really do like my job. I love doing payroll, and all of things that go into creating a paycheck for someone. I do like fixing problems and I love doing research to fix potential problems.

I actually enjoy being the go-to guy when things need to get done, done right, done efficiently or simply lend a few brain cells to help solve the problem. I have earned the respect of my peers and of the people I do payroll for on a daily basis.

As for the joy at work, that sometimes happens on a weekly basis, whenever a parent happens to bring their child/grandchild to work for a visit. Considering where I work, and who I do payroll for, it is an absolute joy to meet a child, no matter what the age, that isn't associated with crappier side of my work environment.

If one examines my cubicle, it is an absolute joy for a child to look it. Many a time has a toddler stopped by my cube to check out the contents of it, and to a lesser degree, check out me. If you've seen the picture of me, then you know how I can look to a small child. Thus, whenever a child comes around, I always get down to their eye level and I always remove my glasses as well. As for the contents of my cube, I have enough stuffed animals in it to choke a horse. There have been on a few occasions where the child did not want to give up the stuffed toy that they had temporarily gotten from me.

That my friends, is the true joy at work. No matter how frazzled or how aggravated I'm getting at the moment, whenever I see or hear a small child, it reminds me how the simplest things in life, can often give you the most joy.

Originally posted June 27, 2008


  1. I'm a former state worker (child welfare), so I just want to add an "amen!"

  2. I am so glad that you find joy in your work, G. There are some days that I find joy in mine and others in which I go home and look for other work online. :) It's mostly good though.

    And I think that is a perfect way to greet wee ones - to get down on their level. I'll bet they like that.

    Have a great weekend, my friend.

  3. Mama Z: I currently work for such an agency. I didn't really state it back then because 1) I was very much a newbie in the blog world and 2) I used to get rake over the coals in the chat rooms for it. But it does brighten the day from time to time when co-workers bring in their little ones or newborns for show and tell.

    Lynn: I think they do, at least judging by the non-reaction I get when I do so to begin with.

    Finding joy at work though, has been tough as of late. Still, when I do, it does overshadow the garbage I do go through with the adults.

    You have a sensation weekend as well my friend.

  4. The simple things definitely rate. If we keep our eyes opened for them, they're really all around us. Like today, the simple joy of air conditioning will help make me happy in this heatwave of a summer we're having!

  5. Joann: I agree with that sentiment. The simple things in life often bring us the most joy.

    Today's simple pleasure will be checking out Newington's annual fireworks festival and experiencing the joys of small town life in the suburbs.

  6. It's unfortunate that some bad apples DO spoil it for the bunch, y'know--particularly in the public sector.
    BTW, I tried clicking your FB link in the left sidebar & it just brought up your blog again..?

  7. Actually, it brings up a very short page. It's a new feature that Blogger came out with about three or four months ago. It lets you create various stand alone pages for your blog.

    If you click on "New Post" you'll see a link for "Edit Pages", and clicking on that will let you create pages for your blog.

    I created one for facebook on how you can search for me; one describing Cedar's Mountain and one that talks about a positive book review for Betrayed!

    A ton of apples spoil it in the public sector. The ratio is about one bad employee for every three good employees.


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G. B. Miller

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