Eddie the Thug, my unemployed and unemployable big, useless cat, would like to be considered for a position on the county road crew.
He is experienced in finding and removing, at least parts of, road kill, his most recent job involving the dead deer that hung around our neighbor’s mail box for the better part of a week.
Eddie was out there every day, doing his part to keep our streets clean, and he and a number of buddies worked every morning and evening until the human crew finally showed up and scraped off what was left.
“If you complain about high taxes, then you have to expect a decrease in services.”
I’m not sure where this voice is coming from. It’s in my head, but it’s not something I tend to say.
Years ago, when county property taxes were about what they are today, another man was in charge of road kill – something we rarely saw, especially near our mail boxes, because he was on top of the matter so soon after the car went over the top of the animal that we didn’t realize there was this problem with cars and creatures.
Not only that, but he was so quick, so efficient, and so good at what he did, he dressed the animals for meat consumption, preparing and wrapping the meat packets on his own time and donating the approved result to food banks and shelters in the area.
County residents were happy with our tidy highways; hungry people were being fed; okay, so the deer weren’t doing so well, but for the most part, we saw where our tax dollars were, literally, working.
But the man must have done something wrong – not with his job or anything, since he was doing that so well, but something along the lines of filling out the forms in triplicate with a blue pen instead of a black one, or backing into the county parking space instead of parking front first, or keeping the bin of paperclips on the right side of the telephone instead of the left.
As you know, these things make a huge difference in the efficient running of any company, and the reprobate who can’t get in line with the program gets in line at the unemployment office.
And so the deer, and the raccoons, and the possums, and the widdle itty kitties, pile up, while the forms concerning their existence are correctly filled out, in quadruplicate now, in the appropriate black ink, and Eddie’s picking up valuable work experience.
Lest you think that I’m picking on the public service domain, I’m not – actually, in this respect, government offices are learning from their private sector counterparts to “run themselves like a business,” and in pursuit of this, cull the ranks of the experienced – generally hapless, longtime loyal employees in their 50s – replacing them with new, less expensive, models.
Years ago, it used to be a red flag on a resume if you held down more than three jobs in 30 years.
“Looks a little flighty.”
“Jumps from job to job.”
But nowadays, three jobs in thirty years is an anomaly, and not necessarily because employees are leaving in droves by choice.
We are a nation of good, loyal, hardworking people. When businesses – private and public – re-recognize the value of those values, we will re-build more than just the economy.
In the meantime, what about Eddie, guys?