Saturday, November 17, 2012
I deserve better
I've been mulling over the results of the elections, the non-results of Congress the last couple years, and the increasingly festering comments between both parties -- and have come to a conclusion. A blistering, blinding flash of the obvious.
I deserve better from Congress. And may I also boldly go out on a limb and add -- so do my family, friends and community.
For the last few years, I, like millions of Americans, have been struggling with the twisted perception that, somehow, because you are legislators, you are exempt from the same day-to-day expectations that are placed upon the rest of us mere mortals at home and at work. In the upcoming session, I want to change that game. I want you to walk in my shoes. And understand that when you go to work, people expect results. A product. Stuff. Something we can hang our hats on.
Legislating is a job. You get paid, you get benefits and you have a lunchroom. But here's where the wheels come off: I, and millions of other workers, are evaluated by what we crank out in the course of a year. We get raises and bonuses if we do well (well, I don't -- I work for the state) -- and we get canned if we don't don't.
Aren't you just a teensy embarrassed that last year's Congress was among those that produced the least amount of legislation ever? But it was most certainly a banner year for hot air. Congratulations on that.
Here in the Real World, we are expected to play nicely with everyone in the office sandbox, collaborate, problem solve, compromise, innovate and bring doughnuts every once and awhile. If we don't, we are counseled, letters go in our personnel file, there's probation, and even termination. On the other hand, when you perform badly, you end up on CNN at the top of the hour spouting off that it's the "other guy's" fault.
There is something just slightly wrong here.
So here's the deal. At the end of eight hours in my cube, I've cranked out newsletters, annual reports, press releases and ad copy; cackled over a couple Bad Lip Reading videos (you might benefit from this); cleared out the cracker crumbs on my keyboard; scheduled campus thespians on the morning news; planned out a rural winter advertising campaign; and corrected the word "calenkar" six places on our website. Yeah, welcome to my world. But, you know what? People know a little bit more about what we do at the community colleges in Bermtopia -- and support them -- because of it.
If you spent as much time on your job as you do polishing your 30-second sound bites crapping on the Loyal Opposition, we might see some progress on our behalf.
So here's my bottom line -- and I share it with my 50 fellow Bloggers (who, by the way are mostly family and friends and dog lovers, so watch out), 125 Facebook friends, fellow Twitterers (I still don't get Twitter, do you?) and whoever stumbles across this on StumbleUpon.
Ditch the political posing and get to work. As your mother no doubt counseled you, If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all. I'm tired of your unproductive snarkiness, your veiled and not-so-veiled threats of opposition for the sake of it, and your unrelenting zeal in picking apart anything good done by your colleagues across aisle. And I'm tired of how little you do on behalf of people like me.
Climb out of the pocket of Washington lobbyists, special interest groups and Super PACs and work and legislate under the same expectations I -- and the rank and file of Americans -- do: Produce excellent work, on time and with a minimum of whining. Think about what your audience wants and needs and deliver. Listen to people and compromise. Find solutions instead of fomenting impasse.
And most important, make your colleagues laugh once and awhile.
This is what I deserve -- this is what we all deserve.
Thank you. I feel better now.
Now get to work.
The Queen and Supreme Goddess of Bermtopia