Monday, August 18, 2008

Big Wheels Keep on Turning, Pax Romano Keeps on Burning

Nothing gets under my skin more, than wasting several hours at a long, drawn out meeting. Especially one that is purportedly all about the wonders of redesign (IE reinventing the wheel).

Every couple of years the gods from the ivory towers of the State of New Jersey Department of Services for the Less than Fortunate, swoop down and gather together to expose their latest lame-brain scheme that will allegedly make our jobs less stressful and more productive.

More often than not, these speeches feature the latest Grand Pooh Bah, brought to the Garden State from far away; someone who, for some mysterious reason, has all of the answers to the questions that vex us on a daily purpose. The Grand Pooh Bah will strut and fret his hour (or three) on the stage and lay before us a marvelous proposal of all the great and wonderful changes that are coming our way shortly.

In the old days they did slide shows, today they use a computer; I am sure that before my time, they used placards and a pump organ to make their point. Over and over, another power-point page pops up on the screen to illustrate the point being made. Later on, one of the current Pooh Bah's lackeys will stand up and reveal how astounding working life will be once the correct computer system is in place, the new staff are hired, and the office space is made available. We are assured that everything will be in place in "a month or so"... provided that come the elections this fall, we keep the current administration.

I've been to this same meeting, several times in the past twenty years, and ultimately, nothing really changes (or some things do change, only to be rolled back to the way they originally were several years back).

This year, as an added attraction, The Pooh Bah spent a few minutes giving us an abbreviated motivational speech ... all I can say is that Tony Roberts should not loose any sleep.

Pooh Bah's come and go, as do bright ideas, governors and redesign plans. In the end, it will be me and the rest of the drones, doing what we do best, grinning and baring, sloshing through the muck that is social work ... but you can bet your bottom dollar that somewhere, someone is dreaming up a grand new way for us to do what we do. Or as I like to call it, reinventing the wheel.

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