Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Fri 16th Jul, 2010

The monkey on ones back

I've just been listening to stories from a friend of mine about his new place of work. Simple things like getting support have to go through other departments and are quietly filed and ignored. New software is anathema. Fixing problems is impossible, because it would admit that the problem existed. People are regularly bullied into doing things that are way outside their job descriptions. No-one knows the passwords to any machines and point the finger at other people in an endless circle. Managers actively suppress any dissent.

But the worse is yet to come. This place uses billions of tax-payers money and its budget continues to expand. Even revealing the name of this organisation or any substantiated claims can be considered treason and is a criminal offence. The money gets used on projects that regularly get cancelled, delayed and changed and often end up costing orders of magnitude more than originally budgeted. Any questioning of the spending is considered unpatriotic. Powerful people with distinguished careers have stood up to this organisation only to find themselves cut off and facing the sharp end of the law.

How does society get rid of this cancer? The theoretical function of this organisation and its actual activities are so different as to almost be antithetical. Yet it seems impossible to actually change it, fix it or remove the harmful elements from it. Surely the only thing to do is to scrap the entire thing and start afresh. Yet that too would be considered heretical or traitorous by some. What can we do?

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