Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wandering Thoughts

Once again WSF’s mind goes wandering down a cloudy, poorly defined thought path.

Over the years I’ve observed a vast increase in “overhead” personnel, often at the Management level.

As an example, in my high school with some 180 students we had a Principal, his Secretary, a school nurse and the kitchen staff in the cafeteria. They also covered the Junior High School. Add a couple of janitor/maintenance people and that was it. Looking at their current on line profile they have 650 students and  23 non teachers out a staff of 76.

I spent a large portion of my working life in the automobile retail business. Most places I worked ran “lean and mean”. Guess I got spoiled.

Everywhere you look, especially in government, there are bloated staffs. Consider the level of staffing in “Human Resources” in larger companies. Seems they spend a great deal of their operations filling out various reports fed to bloated staffs of government agencies.  The same is true of other departments. Damn few people actually doing revenue generating tasks as opposed to those doing “drone” work. Humans, being human, want to feel important and in power, “drone” or not, so days are filled with meetings and more paperwork to afflict and control the revenue generators.

I blame the University system. Thousands of graduates each year well schooled in what? Yes, I understand the process produces people who have proven they can sustain effort to follow a prescribed course. Bravo! Can they do anything worthwhile?

These people need to be employed, and they feel entitled to being well compensated. They are not stupid, but have been raised with certain expectations. I maintain much of government employment is “make work welfare” and at a deep level these people know that. Perhaps this explains an IRS Lois Lerner. The demands made by the government spills over into the private sector forcing more bloated administrative overhead.

This post may well piss off people. It is not meant as personal criticism. We all have to do what we do to survive and live in a system we didn’t create.

Do I have an answer? Not really, which bothers me. I hate finding fault without offering some solution. My major tactic is to resist (politely) authority. YMMV


  1. IMO the University system is just a reflection of society at large. It follows, it doesn't lead. Outside of the hard sciences, when's the last time you heard of an idea from a university leading to a change in our lives?

    Instead, I subscribe to the Pogo philosophy: "We have met the enemy, and he is us." We (the collective we) elect our 'leaders.' We decide what shows and movies to watch, what stories to read, what social media trends to follow, etc. We allow those absurd programs to be offered at universities.

    Government will do whatever is necessary for the careerists to remain employed and in power. Private enterprises are lean and mean because they have to be to survive. Governments can just raise taxes if they need more $$$.

    A solution? Theoretically, yes. Only allow productive members of society to vote. But you and I know that'll never happen...

  2. Your background allows a greater perspective than mine. I attended a "streetcar" college where most classes were taught by working professionals. What I learned there was usefull my whole life. My classes at the "highly esteemed" Univ of Colorado not so much.

  3. I agree with your observation on bloated gubment offices. Back in the day I had reasons to go to several different offices in the Atlanta gubmental complex. I frankly found it hard to tell the difference between the break room and the working area. Slow (and even giving a shit that you have other stuff to do) was the norm. But they were entitled, being who da be.

    1. Back in the day my employer had me set up off site car sales in various municipalities in Colorado. The smaller ones had their quirks but for sheer complexity the Peoples Republic of Boulder and it's capitol city was the clear winner. Took me three weeks of return visits to get it done.

  4. Yep, HR is a self licking ice cream cone... sigh

    1. "Self-licking ice cream cone"

      LOL. I like that.