Welcome, government employees…

Note, it isn’t “welcome, government workers…” This Dilbert ‘toon o’ the day illustrates what goes down in much of government and is called “work.” In my time working for the G, it was easy to spot those who had never held real jobs, producing real things, on the outside.

They would, in all seriousness, embrace the notion that the world could be changed by a powerpoint slide. Now, to be sure, there have been presentations made to three- and four stars, and their civilian equivalents, that have resulted in real world changes. But this is a coincidence, and the method of the presentation isn’t important.

In the reality, the best presentations to the brass are made by those who’ve been out there doing real things. Moving dirt. Designing and erecting buildings. Designing, building, and field testing machines and weapons. And using them. There’s nothing to give that certain extra something to a briefing like, “Sir, we tried that in Blankistan, and it was fubared beyond belief because…”

Also in reality, decisions that have effect in the real world are not typically made as a result of presentations at all. Rather, they are the result of private conversations and intense lobbying by inside and outside interests with a stake in the outcome. No amount of slick briefing is going to change minds like the prospect of lucrative post-service employment, with stock options…

But many in government toil endlessly on their powerpoint presentations, polishing them, believing that what they do is “work.” If this all seems to be cynical, well, my world, and welcome to it.


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