Evening “I mostly love my job” Open Thread

I just haven’t had much to say the last few days.  I’ve been Acting PC-Support Lead-my supervisor’s job-while he steps up to Acting Facility CIO while the FCIO is detailed up to Region.

My boss’ job sucks.  It sucks even more without the his pay.  I spend a tremendous amount of time on the phone dealing with vendors, some of whom are trying very hard to weasel out of their responsibilities,  dealing with irate users, who usually have no legitimate reason to be irate, and with other leads and managers, as well as my coworkers whom I am ostensibly leading.  I could probably grow into the position and I think I would be pretty decent at it if it ever opens for advancement, but I gotta say that the likelihood that I would strangle myself with a mouse cord is probably about 50/50 in the first year.  On the other hand, I went to a staff meeting and it was an eye opener.  EVERYTHING was about “how can we improve our service to our Veterans and improve our value to the Taxpayer?”  And “what is your department doing to improve our service to our Veterans?”  After many years of going to various meetings as a Soldier and as a civilian, in private sector, in contracting, and now as a civil servant, I never thought I’d say this about a staff meeting, but I left that meeting with a better feeling about my organization and my place in it.

I still get up every morning and say to myself “hey, I get to go to work today!”  It’s a damn site better than my last job where I would lie in bed in the mornings and say “oh, I have to go to work today.”  And when you consider that the only things Rmoney ever said about the VA was that he wanted to privatize it and put Vets on vouchers, back before he realized that nobody liked his policy positions, I was a little nervous about the potential for a Rmoney presidency.  Yes, I said here on multiple occasions that I thought President Obama was going to win and win big, but I’ve never lost money underestimating my fellow human beings capability and especially, my fellow Americans’ capability to do the exactly dumbest thing they could do to themselves given the chance.  So I am gratified that I’m going to have a job  for a while, and especially that I and other Vets will get the proper care and service that is the VA’s mission to provide.

Thank you all, so much, for being such great bosses.

Now, before we all start a round of Kum By Ya, let’s remember that we are no less than two years away from a critical mid-term election…

89 replies
  1. 1
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    EVERYTHING was about “how can we improve our service to our Veterans and improve our value to the Taxpayer?”

    This is so good to read … and no surprise, really. This was the attitude I encountered and worked with every day during my teaching career. Thanks for this …

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    If McCain is down with the flu, do they cancel the Sunday blathering heads shows?

    Also too, since Open Thread, something to pass along which has been no-fail for Thanksgiving:

    It costs a bit more, but seek out a kosher turkey.

    So-o-o much better tasting than the who-knows-what-injected, over-processed ones.

    And no matter how I’ve screwed up with the cooking, have yet to have one come out less than fully juicy and tender and never, ever dry.

  3. 3
    Hill Dweller says:

    Colbert’s first segment was brilliant.

  4. 4
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    So, given that we’re only 2 years from a Congressional election, and given that us dedicated volunteers have just scrubbed the registered Democratic database to a fare-thee-well (moved, building gone, all addresses are a recovery house), and we’ve got a really clean list to start with …

    Will we get to use it? My understanding is that the data belongs to OfA and there are talks about whether or how to turn it over.

    This is at least the third election where I’ve knocked on doors and checked off “Moved” or “Inaccessible”. Let’s use this in 2014 and not waste our time. M’kay?

    BSoSR +2 and finally home from work.

    PS Bloody Marys, they’re not just for breakfast any more.

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Putting it as clear as crystal.

    Romney and his friends are being intentionally deceptive about the role of politics in people’s lives. We come together to do what we cannot do alone.…
    How can it be wrong to give the “gift” of guaranteed healthcare, if the American people so choose? And we did so choose by reelecting President Obama. Is it really some kind of skeezy gift to change immigration policy? Or reduce student loan debt? Or share the costs of contraception, as well as childbirth, which have traditionally fallen on women but which benefit everybody?
    And how can it not likewise be a “gift” to cater to the wealthy for generations, slashing their tax rates as well as larding our tax code with special breaks that only accrue to the top 1 or 2 percent? Those are the gifts the Republicans have been giving to the rich, especially since the Reagan era.
    …as president, Obama rediscovered the power of delivering for his base – and there’s nothing wrong with that. African-Americans, Latinos, women, the young and gay people voted for him – and they got some policies that made their life better. That’s what’s supposed to happen when you win elections.  Source

  6. 6
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @NotMax: Never done the kosher turkey, I did make the perfect turkey last year. My wife got a “fresh turkey” breast from target. I brined it the night before in Swanson chicken broth, and microwaved it. It was so good the wife even asked for seconds, and she hates turkey.

  7. 7
    Roger Moore says:

    EVERYTHING was about “how can we improve our service to our Veterans and improve our value to the Taxpayer?”

    I’m sure the part about mooching, freeloading, and facilitating the formation of a global Communist government are saved for after they’re sure you’re on board with the program.

  8. 8
    Mark S. says:


    If McCain is down with the flu, do they cancel the Sunday blathering heads shows?

    Nah, they just re-run last week’s show, since John McCain is always on the week before. No one ever seems to notice.

  9. 9
    guachi says:

    I like my job, too. I get to work at the NSA doing stuff. A lot of junk to sift through to find the useful things.

    The people in my shop are smart and fun to work with and want to do a good job. The downside is the complete inability to really talk about my job.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:


    The downside is the complete inability to really talk about my job.

    Semi-serious question:

    Should you choose to leave and seek employment elsewhere, is more than vague data permitted to be put on your resumé?

  11. 11
    Mark S. says:

    Karl Rove (I’m not linking the fucking WSJ opinion page) goes through what went wrong for Republicans in the election and never once looks in the mirror. Here’s one particularly stupid part:

    While the Democratic “ground game” was effective, President Barack Obama received 90.1% of his 2008 total while Gov. Mitt Romney received 98.6% of Sen. John McCain’s vote.

    Suck it, libs!

  12. 12
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    I was so impressed during a couple of years working on a state government program that it permanently changed my perspective. I went from the usual outsider view that no one is trying or doesn’t really care, to seeing a bunch of incredibly dedicated, hard-working people trying every day to straddle all of the forces pushing everything in opposite directions and miraculously getting something done despite that.

    I actually think that everyone should experience it at least for a while, to gain a better perspective about how incredibly difficult it is to get anything accomplished before spending a lifetime complaining that nothing gets done or that it’s all just useless. For libertarians, I think it should be compulsory.

    I’m kidding. Sort of.

  13. 13
    Felonius Monk says:

    Dan Burton of Indiana is a piece of useless dog-shit. This pea-brained idiot is an outstanding example of the totally incompetent republican (small r for small brain)piss ants that the fouls the air in Congress. Somebody needs to brick this moron’s nuts. Please can’t we make a concerted effort to replace these oral flatulating dickheads with rational thinking adults in 2014.

    (Sorry for the rant – I feel better now.)

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    Couple of politics stories which caught the eye.

    More on George, son of Jeb’s playing eeny-meeny-miney-moe in Texas. (And once more, his second middle initial – the Hispanic name – is omitted.)

    And some seemed skeptical about any affect via gerrymandering in this year’s election. So this (emphasis added):

    The House of Representatives is supposed to be the arm of government that most closely reflects the popular will. Its members are allocated by population, serve brief two-year terms and represent small districts, giving every citizen a local representative who will advocate directly for their interests.…
    For most of modern political history, the [House] has fulfilled this duty admirably. When one party won a big lead in the popular vote—as the Democrats did often from 1954-92—it exaggerated their advantage, helping the voters’ preferred party enact its agenda. Following the Watergate scandal, Democrats won 59% of House votes in 1974 and 57% in 1976; they were rewarded with 67% of the chamber in both years. In contrast, when the vote has been closely split, the House has generally reflected a divided electorate: from 1998 to 2004, the Republicans’ share of representatives (51%, 51%, 53% and 53%) closely matched their percentage of the vote (51%, 50%, 52% and 51%).
    However, in the first vote following the decennial redistricting process in 2010—when Republicans took advantage of their strong performances in state legislative elections to set a new standard for gerrymandering—the House has completely abandoned the popular will. Not only is the wrong party in control, but it reigns with a sizable majority: despite receiving just 49.6% of the two-party vote, the Republicans have 54% of the seats. The GOP will have a bigger share of the House in the next Congress than it did following Newt Gingrich’s “Contract With America”-fuelled Republican Revolution of 1994, when it won 53.5% of the two-party vote and 53% of the seats.  Source

  15. 15
    trollhattan says:


    And oy, the jokes. A bird like that, you don’t eat all at once.

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I have no idea how the IRS has survived two filing seasons with a hiring freeze and bringing several new units online at the same time. I work my ass off at my job and I’m fairly decent at it, but it’s very difficult to do well. I go back and forth about whether I like it, but for the most part it pays the bills and the insurance is amazing. So a net positive overall.

  17. 17
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    I really enjoy Sooner’s contributions here and I’m glad the election results have provided some security for him and his family.

    Plus, Tagg Romney is hiding somewhere, crying himself to sleep every night. What a great election in so many ways!

  18. 18
    trollhattan says:

    @Mark S.:
    Pretty interesting, given the likelihood a quarter of McCain voters are now dirt farming. But Herr Karl has the ‘rithmetic.

  19. 19
    NotMax says:


    Should the angry occasion arise, he can now say, “You’re not the boss of me. Or of anyone!”

  20. 20
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:


    for the most part it pays the bills and the insurance is amazing. So a net positive overall.

    And you have a pension. I have a small one from a stint as a County employee. Bain and the vultures fucked us all when they looted the private pension funds.

  21. 21
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mark S.: CA turnout was much lower with no prop 8 on the ballot – 3 million fewer voters. Obama would have gotten at Lear 2 million of them. NY and NJ also had much lower turnouts because of Sandy.

  22. 22
    trollhattan says:

    Everybody loves Los Lobos, amirite?

    WasteInvest fifteen minutes on this.


  23. 23

    When I worked at Kaiser, team meetings – management, doctor, and nursing staff – tended to go like that. It was either ‘How can we comply with government regulations?’ or ‘How can we improve care?’ The only time monetary efficiency came up was ‘Docs, if you just do your coding right, we get so much more money from Medicare.’ I think it’s an element of non-profits, the focus on actual service.

    EDIT – Okay, and ‘Oh god, HIPAA is going to doom us all!’ (Medical humor)

  24. 24
    suzanne says:

    My job is okay. I’m working on taking my licensing exams. Two down, five to go. Next one is December 22, which is why I’ve been commenting less frequently than usual. Love y’all. Wish me luck.

  25. 25
    Linkmeister says:

    Every experience I’ve had with the VA has been positive. I’m about to undergo a second surgery at a major Army hospital with which the VA is affiliated, and the docs/nurses have all been great.

    That two-plus years of active duty paid off in spades for medical care down the road.

  26. 26
    pragmatism says:

    @Mark S.: Why yes Karl, Mitt was a marginally better candidate than johnny mac. But they both got stomped. You can’t polish a turdblossom.

  27. 27
    amk says:

    This old, angry, lying 2008 loser & his bgf whining on & on about susan rice nomination? What’s their threat value ? They can’t do a shite about ? Or they can screw the pooch for the kenyan muslin ?

  28. 28
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Sooner, good to hear that you came out of the meeting feeling better about your organization and your job. Keep that memory green and take it out whenever the job in front of you sucks.

    My job? I’m retired and I’m pleased to say that I finally found something that I can do well.

  29. 29
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Hals- und beinbruch!

  30. 30
    Felonius Monk says:

    A tip of the hat, Sooner.

    Thanks for all you do there and here. Glad you’re breathing a little easier now.

  31. 31
    Bmaccnm says:

    This is an open thread, right? Ok. I’m about to become quite vulnerable here. Would one of you astute folks please explain the Benghazi outrage to me? I don’t understand what is the impeachable offense in this mess. An ambassador was away from a secure embassy on 9/11/12 and was killed by a mob. PBHO watched a REAL TIME video as it happened? How can that be true? And again, what is the impeachable offense? Thank you for your kindness- I just don’t understand.

  32. 32
    WaterGirl says:

    Wishing suzanne good luck, and perseverance in taking an exam 3 days before christmas.

    Oh, and Mitt Romney is still not our president. I have resolved not to take Barack Obama for granted for a single day of the next 4+ years.

  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    I only pressed submit once, but it duplicated.

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @WaterGirl: The proper response here is FYWP.

  35. 35
    PurpleGirl says:

    @WaterGirl: That’s okay, we know and understand. It happens to us all. (Now let’s see if it happens to this comment…)

  36. 36

    The two elements that could possibly be scandalous are that the ambassador did not get extra protection he asked for (the House of Representatives had refused to approve the money) and a spokeswoman for the Administration once described the attack as an angry mob, which turned out to not be entirely true. If this does not sound like enough to make an actual scandal, well, some folks are desperate to make a mountain out of a molehill.

    For the other half of your question, a president can be impeached for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’. Those terms have never been defined, so technically the House can start an impeachment for any reason it feels like. Yes, if they impeach over this that would be a ridiculous travesty. Impeaching Clinton because he used dishonest lawyering weasel words while under oath being asked about his love life was also a ridiculous travesty.

  37. 37
    Bmaccnm says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Thank you. But it was an angry mob, no? An angry mob with some direction. Would the House actually go through with impeachment hearings in this political climate? Do they want to lose 2014 also?

  38. 38
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    Republican women really know how to submit.

    Suck it, Libs!

  39. 39
    👽 Martin says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Ultimately this is about the GOP getting their ‘daddy party’ cred back. McCain ran as the foreign policy/defense guy, but Obama outpolled Romney on both – the first time a Dem has done that in decades. McCain is trying desperately to get that back – and apparently failing badly.

  40. 40
    Bmaccnm says:

    @👽 Martin: I am not usually this ignorant, but I must confess on this one. Is McCain behind this? That bitter, nasty old man has been waiting for four years to get back at the usurper?

  41. 41
    👽 Martin says:

    @Bmaccnm: It was two things happening at the same time – an angry mob, and a planned attack using the mob as cover. Our intel at first only recognized the mob and had some threads that there might be more there. It took a few days before they really got a clear picture of the planned attack.

  42. 42
    Mary G says:

    Good post, Soonergrunt. Our men and women deserve the best.

  43. 43
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    A normal opposition party wouldn’t even consider impeachment for Benghazi. Our current Republicans are so far from normal that I would not be surprised if they torched the Capitol and then tried to blame it on Obama. It worked in 1933.

  44. 44
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: It wasn’t even a consulate. We know now that it was essentially a CIA operations base masquerading as a consulate.

    It was Amb. Rice that made the comments about the angry mob being used as cover, which was word for word from the briefing she received before going on the Sunday shows.

    The Republicans have nothing. They know the State Dept. and the CIA are on the hook for this attack, but the wingnuts won’t dare go after Patraeus nor Clinton. So they’re pretending Amb. Rice and the White House are somehow responsible.

  45. 45
    👽 Martin says:

    @Bmaccnm: It appears that McCain is the one keeping this most alive. I personally think its less about getting back at Obama, and more about trying to rebuild some home field policy advantage for the GOP.

    By 2016 the economy will likely look really good, and the Dems looking strong on the economy. Obama will have worked us out of all of our wars and still have OBL on file, and Dems looking good on foreign policy. PPACA will be in full force, and Dems are winning the culture wars, and Obama should be able to swing SCOTUS farther left. Immigration is likely to go through and big deficit reduction should be visible. That leaves the GOP with no baseline advantage going into the next election. I think McCain is just trying to grab one issue back.

  46. 46

    I, for one, welcome the even more batshit crazy Republican Party. I would urge Congress-Creature Issa or some other idiot to launch a full investigation into Benghazi, the sex lives of generals, black people voting, or whatever insane delusions FOX, Rush, Drudge, and the whole right-wing world can come up with in the next six months.

    One big message from this election is that the great mass of Americans, along with an impressively large chunk of the corporate press/media, are finally seeing them for what they really are.

    The key is for the Democratic senate to get rid of the filibuster altogether or, failing that, for presidential appointees. They can continue their loud and fact-free attacks on an African-American woman. When Secretary of State Susan Rice is confirmed along party lines, we will laugh at them.

    When Speaker Boehner refuses to allow a tax increase for the wealthiest Americans, the non-wealthiest Americans will see exactly who Speaker Boehner and the congressional Republicans are working for.

    Keep it up Republicans. You’re killing us. No, really.

    And please Governor Romney, please never stop giving speeches to your friends, please.

  47. 47
    Jewish Steel says:

    but I’ve never lost money underestimating my fellow human beings capability and especially, my fellow Americans’ capability to do the exactly dumbest thing they could do to themselves given the chance.

    Funny you should say that as I just arrived here after perusing this unhappy website. They’re mostly kids. Kids who have learned to talk and think in a certain way. I wonder how that happened?

    My SIL goes to school with one of them and she has posted his profile on the school website. We’ll see what comes of it.

  48. 48

    @👽 Martin:

    I think McCain is carrying water for his party, as is Graham. McCain is still the Villager’s go to guy on ‘foreign policy’ and he still has credibility with the public. This Benghazi business is all right-wing fantasy, but having McCain talk like there is something to it will lead the usual Villagers to follow along. There is no there there, they know it, but the phrase “Senator McCain declared that . . .” gives them a reason to talk about it some more.

    And believe this: after riding along in the “Romney Is Surging” wave for the last two months and looking really foolish for doing so, there are quite a few people, and not just Chuck Todd, who are dying for something anything to throw at the president who made them all look like the dumbass at the end of the bar.

  49. 49
    Anoniminous says:

    @James E. Powell:

    They still have to sell eyeballs. Nothing gins up the old eyeballs like a MAJOR SCANDAL!!!!!!!

    Even if they have to manufacture one:

    When Hearst Artist Frederic Remington, cabled from Cuba in 1897 that “there will be no war,” William Randolph Hearst cabled back: “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

  50. 50
    Yutsano says:

    @Anoniminous: Oh great. Grandpa is gonna start shouting, “REMEMBER THE MAINE!!” any day now.

  51. 51
    Hill Dweller says:

    Elected Republicans have started openly using the word “liar” when referring to the President. Apparently the hacks at Fox are doing the same thing.

    They’ve decided to really escalate the rhetoric in the last couple of days. I suspect it’s a misguided attempt to weaken the President before this tax fight, but it will fail miserably.

  52. 52
    Ruckus says:

    Please keep up the good</strike? great work. If the VA was only half as good as my experience it would still be miles ahead of health care in this country as most people know it. Are there ways to improve it? Of course there are, it's a human endeavor and then there are people assholes who think it is money wasted. I’m sure there are people who think their care is less than great but this vet is not one of them. That there are people in this country who can’t get any care to speak of is despicable of any nation let alone one that is supposed to be a positive example in the world, I’m just glad that I get the care I do and wish everyone could because they should.

  53. 53

    @Hill Dweller:

    Is that over-heated rhetoric much different from what we have heard over the last four years? If so, is it done to harm the president, or is it a salve for the very wounded spirits of the right-wing rabble? The right-wing leadership may feel compelled to it in order to maintain standing with their supporters.

  54. 54
    Ruckus says:

    Cut out a couple of sentences.
    Sooner thanks for the great work. Thank all the people at the VA. This is one vet who knows that the VA is saving my life. It may be the one bright light I have right now so I’ll say it again.

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    Los Lobos is a national treasure. That is all.

  56. 56
    Joey Maloney says:


    And again, what is the impeachable offense? Thank you for your kindness- I just don’t understand.

    Presidenting While Black.

    I’m sorry if that sounds flip or dismissive, but really – that’s what it all comes down to. Bad enough that a Democrat is squatting in Their! White! House! but on top of that, he’s one of Those People. This cannot stand.

  57. 57
    Yutsano says:

    @Joey Maloney: What’s even worse is some of them think if Obama gets impeached that means Willard gets installed by default. Apparently that whole succession lesson in history class passed them right up. Then again Biden is an old white guy…

  58. 58
    Linda Featheringill says:


    If Obama were to be impeached, Biden would be president.

    They probably think that Uncle Joe is a pleasant fellow but if they succeed in hurting Obama, they might be surprised. Joe is rather fond of the skinny black dude with the funny name. I’m sure he knows how to fight and of course he knows how to get revenge. He’s Irish, ain’t he?

  59. 59
    Yutsano says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Impeachment of course will never get past the Senate. So even if Issa gets delusions of grandeur Obaba’s gig is safe. But should Uncle Joe take the big chair in that fashion, he’ll be like LBJ, but nicer to beagles. And some serious shit would get done.

  60. 60
    Mary G says:

    It wasn’t just McCain who couldn’t be bothered to show up to the closed door official briefing on Benghazi today. Five of the eight Republican members of the committee were absent. Incompetent loons. The country deserves better.

  61. 61
    Michael G says:

    In case you missed it, a CNN reporter asks McCain why he didn’t attend the briefing on Benghazi, and McCain gets really, really mad.


  62. 62
    amk says:

    jtp, the mockery of a mascot of 2008 old nutter/tundra twit campaign loses to marcy kaptur by 73 to 23 points.

  63. 63
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @amk: Couldn’t even get 27%, sheez.

    ETA: Did take me a second to figure out ‘jtp’.

  64. 64
    amk says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: The pathetic bleating cry of- joe, joe, are you there joe?- from the perpetually poutraged old nutter for the absent grifter was the low point of 2008 campaign.

  65. 65
    Suffern ACE says:

    The point of Benghazi is to give republicans cover for the next phase of senate foolishness, which is probably an attempt to make Obama go through his next term without key cabinet members.

  66. 66
    JPL says:

    Free to a good home. Unusual looking 18 pound mutt. She’s a wonderful watchdog, if you appreciate being nudged awake at 4 to search the house for invaders. After being assured that no one is in her domicile she will return to sleep, under the covers and on your pillow. How sweet is that!..

  67. 67
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Have you ever heard of a Sugar Glider? I was in a meeting yesterday and a co-worker started talking about the one they have at home. They are flying opossums.

  68. 68

    @Hill Dweller:
    Have they moved on to ‘anger’ already? ‘Denial’ has been in full swing – with the major themes being ‘it wasn’t my plan that lost, must have been that other wing of the party’ and ‘he had to have cheated’. I figured things would heat up for awhile before they reach depression or acceptance.

    @Suffern ACE:
    They ain’t that smart and calculated. The election demonstrated fully that they’re a pack of crazy dumbasses, not criminal masterminds.

    Sugar gliders are weird little animals, fragile, but the most adorable things on Earth.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @Raven: NO!!! Aren’t opossums nocturnal? Since I am already bitchen about waking at four, I can’t imagine sharing the abode with an animal that wants to swoop down and play at all hours.

  70. 70

    Sugar gliders are nocturnal by instinct, but in captivity they sleep whenever convenient. You don’t let them run around the house – you keep them in a cage, preferably wire so they can climb the sides and ceiling. There’s lots of getting them out for petting and playing, but they’re too small and fragile and eager to get lost or poke their head into something to roam freely. They do get very loyal – some people walk around with their sugar glider in a shirt pocket or on their shoulder. I wouldn’t because of the curiosity and fragility thing, but it’s a good example of how friendly and attached they can get.

  71. 71
    Raven says:

    @JPL: Yea! Her high school aged daughter has is and the girl is off to college soon. She was talking about what she’s going to do because SHE”S not going upstairs to play with it at midnight!

  72. 72
    Raven says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yea, I had never heard of the little critters until yesterday but that was her exact description.

  73. 73

    The biggest thing is, they’re not domesticated animals, they’re wild animals who are so social they bond easily with humans. So, like parrots, they have a lot of specialized needs. They’re also illegal in many places, although that’s not enforced much.

  74. 74
    Raven says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yea, I’m not thinking about getting one, just trippin on how cool they are!

  75. 75
    Soonergrunt says:

    Good morning, all!

  76. 76
  77. 77
  78. 78
    Raven says:

    @Soonergrunt: Nice post, it reminds me some of my work. We constantly work our hardest to serve our faculty and, by extension, students but many people see us as the boogie man.

  79. 79

    They are. Oh, BOY are they. Climbing everything, licking baby food off your fingers, eating bugs, gliding, and just being as cute as a button.

  80. 80
  81. 81
    Fogeyman says:

    As a fellow VA employee, I echo everything soonergrunt says. I’ve been Acting Facility FCIO, and in every meeting, the first concern is for the veteran. It’s a much better place to work than my last one, where every meeting was concerned with the bottom line. It’s nice to be doing something to help somebody instead of make somebody rich.

  82. 82
    kay says:


    The Joe the plumber/ Marcy Kaptur race is a really good example of how nuts the GOP have gone. It was funny to follow. The Lucas county (Toledo) GOP has been taken over by a single individual, a crazy person. He’s like a big “personality”, says outrageous things, etc.
    He was a Tea Partier before there was a Tea Party. He and Joe were thick as thieves. They’re bitter, that’s really the central theme, so Joe essentially refused to campaign. He wouldn’t go to debates or answer questions or participate at all, really. Kaptur just went along like she had an opponent and local media pretended Joe was “running” but he didn’t do any work at all.
    A fake candidate and a fake campaign. Pure, distilled grift

  83. 83
    Schlemizel says:

    I don’t want to say what organization I am currently toiling for but I just moved inside & found the exact opposite of what you find at VA.

    I knew my immediate boss is a lazy lay about. His boss is 1200 miles away so he comes in anywhere from 9:30 to noon – when he bothers to come in. He cannot be trusted to finish a thing, follow up on anything or even respond to simple emails. What I found out after getting on board is that this rot got right up the chain to the very top.

    We are in the middle of a critical project that they have let fester for a couple of years instead of doing ANYTHING to make it better. There is an actual drop dead date & failure is going to be very very expensive and damaging to the entire org. The first all-hands meeting I attended the very top guy of the whole shooting match states we are not going to make the goal & how it will be all the fault of the consulting company they brought in late to help us. His immediate underlings all chimed in trying to build a case for why it is not our fault! Nobody asked,”what can we do to accomplish the actual goal?”, nobody examined their own role in any potential failure nobody seems to care about the damage that will be done. All they want to do is blame someone else.

    In the month I have been inside I made up 6 months worth of backlog so my part of the program is 100% up to date (thank Pasta I should be free from blame!) but the attitude that failure is inevitable and we are not to blame is maddening

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    TerryC says:

    I love my job. I don’t deserve it. I try to appreciate, every day, how stimulating it is intellectually, the free reign I have to control my time, and the fun tools (Internet) I get to use: Building online connections, community, and knowledge sharing for a pre-existing professional society, where I have worked for almost 20 years. (We have an email newsletter that’s been transmitted regularly since 1987.)

  85. 85
    Lee Rudolph says:

    @Mark S., quoting Karl Rove:

    Romney received 98.6% of Sen. John McCain’s vote.

    Hey, 98.6, it’s good to have you back again
    Oh, hey, 98.6, your votin’ is the medicine …

    You know, they got me on another kind of highway
    I want to go to where it takes me

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    rikyrah says:

    glad you love your job. glad you do your job and see it as a service. public employees get a bad rap.

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    Thatgaljill says:

    Good lord, your mouse still has a cord?

    thanks for all of the work you are doing both here at Balloon Juice and to support our veterans.

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    Frivolous says:

    It was really great to read Soonergrunt’s account of how the VA really wants to serve its veterans.

    Kudos to you all at the VA, Soonergrunt.

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    Daulnay says:

    On the other hand, I went to a staff meeting and it was an eye opener. EVERYTHING was about “how can we improve our service to our Veterans and improve our value to the Taxpayer?” And “what is your department doing to improve our service to our Veterans?” After many years of going to various meetings as a Soldier and as a civilian, in private sector, in contracting, and now as a civil servant, I never thought I’d say this about a staff meeting, but I left that meeting with a better feeling about my organization and my place in it.

    Thank you! The VA’s good work gives us hope for other parts of federal government that don’t (yet) function as well, and proof that government can work well. I wish I’d ever been to a staff meeting that had me as proud of my organization (in the private sector). I suspect, profit motive being what it is, that hell will freeze over first.

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