Mix'd Bag

I Am “The Man” | Public vs. Private

1 Comment 15 | November | 2010

Starting a new job is always filled with excitement and apprehension.  You can never be too sure what to expect once you’re actually working with, or slaving for, a company.  In most cases the picture in your brain never quite matches the real thing….like the menu pictures at Burger King.  While there are a few occasions when the circumstances are actually better than expected, most situations involve a realization that there are cracks in the façade.  To further the previous analogy, it can range from finding out that the stated “quarter pound” is the precooked weight, all the way to discovering that Chicken Fries are neither chicken, nor fries.

Editor’s Note: Please do yourself a favor and click the hyperlink to the video.  It’s worth its weight in chicken fries.  Streetwise chickens talking trash about affiliations, getting so hyped they break into foreign accents!? For Christ’s sake, they built a miniature set of a city stoop just for the commercial!! ALL WHITE CHICKEN WITH THE COURAGE TO BE A FRENCH FRY???”  Seriously…why can’t I be in advertising?

Anyway, in most cases you realize this well after the fact, and it’s too late to go back.  You’re stuck with a six-shooter of reconstituted mystery fowl and an 1/8th-pound hockey puck.  Fortunately, the nuances of my new job don’t amount to anything even close to a dealbreaker, but like a rousing game of Photo Hunt, I’m starting to see the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between public and private enterprise.  Here are a few musings from a guy who is completing a public transformation.

The Pros:
Anyone listening to the news in the past two years has probably heard about officials and executives in both the public and private sectors, who are making exorbitant sums of money despite an economy that was free falling like Lindsay Lohan.  The difference between now and fifteen years ago is nobody pissed and moaned about how much the Wall Street hedge fund big shots made back then.  Why?  Because at that point they were playing with their own money and the wannabe big shots couldn’t do anything but sit at home and jack off to Wall Street, wishing they were a Gordon Gecko peon.  But now that the taxpayers are footing the bill, Joe the Plumber is keenly aware of bonuses that could buy an entire development of foreclosed homes.

Meanwhile, government salaries and benefits have always been in the spotlight, and even on the ballot.  Despite a magnifying glass firmly focused on burning out the excess, public jobs continue to deliver the goods.  USA Today reported that the salary increase is ~20% across a range of positions that exist in both sectors.  Next time you go to pay your taxes, check the fine print.  It says, “Automatic 20% gratuity for parties of 10,000 or more.”

Add to that the benefits.  Finding an employer to match your 401k is like trying to find WMDs in Iraq.  And paid holidays, pleeeease…..get me started.  What did you do on Columbus Day?  I’ll tell you what I did.  Not a damn thing!! You do anything for Veterans Day?  Me neither….just relaxed.  MLK Day, President’s Day, Yom Kippur (?), whatever…

In fact, next time you accidentally go to your mailbox on a federal holiday, only to find emptiness, think of me and a mixed drink on my patio.

The Cons:
Ok, so now I’ve made you jealous (unless you’re one of us).  Thus, I will highlight a couple cons to let you know that it’s not all puppy dogs and ice cream.

As previously mentioned, use of taxpayer money is a touchy subject.  Duly noted by Uncle Sam, he has attempted to balance high salaries and benefits with severely downplayed office furnishings.  The word is “drab” or “drab-tacular.”  I have come to find that Sam is a master of “recapitalization.”  Every physical asset lives no fewer than three lives before disposal.  First it’s a hazardous waste disposal facility.  Next, it’s a warehouse.  Finally, it’s the cafeteria.

I could be wrong, but I don’t think the government has a single interior decorator on board.  Rather, I am under the impression that a convoy of military trucks were deployed to the Tijuana flea market and ordered to outfit an office building using $2500 and “necessary force.”  Voila!  That would explain the gross of Chiclet packs in my desk drawer.  So what if my desktop is an Apple II, it comes loaded with Lemonade Stand and Jungle Hunt.  And nothing makes you appreciate Windows Vista, like Windows ’95.

The quintessential example of our lackluster facilities is the men’s restroom.  Not that any men’s restroom is a beacon of cleanliness, but considering a majority of its users are NOT blackout drunk, it’s perplexing how such odoriferous emanations can manifest.  Someone actually posted signs that read “stand closer” and plastered them on the wall above the urinals.  I have yet to see, or smell, dramatic results…

Also, given the germaphobic nature of society, I have become accustomed to touch-free devices, that utilize motion detection technology, outfitting new and newly renovated establishments.  Unfortunately, the only things that detect motion in our restroom are small rodents.  “I call the big one Bitey.

The bottom line is sometimes your job is like filet mignon and sometimes it’s more like Chicken Fries.  Each day you’ll be left with a different taste in your mouth.  I’m just glad I have a ton of Chiclets for the Fry-days.  Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got some thirsty customers begging for lemonade.

San Diego Shows


© 2023 Long | Distance | Drunk. Powered by Wordpress. Login

Daily Edition Theme by WooThemes - Premium Wordpress Themes