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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to get the job done

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hi neighbors. It's another hot day in the neighborhood and like the weather the race for various offices is heating up.

Have you ever considered running for any office? I cannot imagine why anyone would want to go through all the rigmarole just to get a job.

The application process for a regular job is stressful enough. Finding out what companies are hiring; filling out job applications, updating your resume and then those awful interviews!

Running for an elected office would be ten to a thousand times more stressful.

I've decided that elected offices must offer more than we think.

Do they offer prestige? Not much. As many people, or more, complain about everything you do as sing your praises for doing anything.

The pay? Most elected jobs are funded by a government budget. Those don't pay much and the benefits don't outweigh the work load.

My daddy always said only three kinds of people run for public office. Those too ignorant to know better, those so corrupt they seek out illegal ways to get money through elected offices, and those who just want a chance to do good.

He would quickly point out that it was often difficult to tell the first and last group apart ... but the middle group would usually get greedy enough to get caught sooner or later.

My daddy was a great believer in the good intentions of the average individual. He was also very aware of the pitfalls of human nature.

He would say that if you paid a person $10 a day to sit by a river and get up once an hour to throw a rock in the river, it wouldn't be two days before even an honest man would decide it was a stupid job and just sit under a tree and wait till time to draw his $10 without throwing a single rock in the river.

A dishonest man would not only not throw a rock in the river, he would ask for more pay based on having to sit on the river bank in the heat and lift dirty rocks that would undoubtedly lead to back problems by the third hour of the first day. By the end of the first day he would demand his $10 plus compensation for his pain and doctor bills and emotional isolation brought on by sitting on the river bank alone all day.

Heaven forbid anyone in a boat pass him by on the river and yell anything to him about just sitting on the bank and not working. That would show prejudice against a working person's right to a dignified working place and their right to have pride in their job. All the employer's fault no doubt.

But this just describes a person in a working arena doing a job they were hired for.

An elected official, on the other hand, would have to have a camera crew there to watch him throw in the first rock of the day and then listen to him describe how much good this job of throwing rocks in the river was going to do for not only the river, the rocks and the passing boats, but also all the people upstream and down.

A crowd would no doubt form to watch the camera crew watch the elected person talk about throwing rocks in the river. By lunch time only one rock would have been thrown in the river, but much ballyhoo would have been thrown toward the cameras.

Many people would have come to listen, a cook or two would have shown up, food distributed, hands shaken, rocks hefted and admired, the river would have been applauded for keeping the water all going in one direction and a good time would have been had by all.

All except the person who had wanted (and paid for) more than one rock to be thrown into the river.

To show his leadership qualities, the elected rock thrower could talk all the citizens around into picking up a rock and throwing it into the river.

To demonstrate a "can do" attitude, he could get his cousin Fred hired to bring his Bobcat to the river, pick up a few boulders and toss them into the river. All could be seen on the evening news: including, no doubt, the resulting damming up of the river, upstream flooding and downstream water shortages.

Oh well, throwing rocks in the river was a dumb idea anyway and whoever wanted it done should be brought to justice -- on tomorrow's newscast.

Until the next time, friends, remember, vote for someone who knows what to do, not how to show off doing it.

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup