Get your money back… Your tax dollars were wasted today.

I want a refund, and you might want to ask for one too.  You see currently working for the Canadian Federal government means my salary is paid for by you and me, the Canadian taxpayer, so as an organization we need to be accountable.

Check out what happened to me…

I’m writing this post to protest the complete waste of time and money spend on an all-day team offsite for work.  It was a major yawn-fest and a complete waste of time.

I actually knew this off-site was going to suck when the agenda was sent to us at 5pm last night. Loads of notice, eh?  Then I noticed that I was slotted in to present twice – 2 different topics and no time to prepare. So I grabbed the training manuals, took them home to review and then spent precious subway time, and morning cereal time reviewing them so I didn’t appear like an ass in front of my superiors and colleagues.

The actual offsite was actually set to begin at 9:15am this morning.   I arrived at 9:10am with my Tim Horton’s coffee in hand, and already the room was pretty full.  Impressive for the civil service, but for some unexplained reason the organizers still waited until 9:30 to begin, which set us back two agenda items from the get go.  The day went downhill from there.

By 2:45, the time for me to present my second topic (the first one was scrapped because the group manager discussed it by accident, and I used that oops to bring up my issues / concerns at that time)  and the day scheduled to end at 3:15pm you could tell no one was paying attention.

We ended at 3:45pm, basically ignoring all the rest of the actually important stuff.  What was even more odd to me, was that two people actually left this team-building offsite at morning break, and never came back!??! Yikes.  Bet they won’t be reprimanded…  Union.

The session never had the right momentum even though the two facilitators, quite unique in their own right, tried to keep it moving.  One of the facilitators, my team leader, was articulate, interesting and quite funny –  sure he goes off track a lot – but he makes his point and he makes it clearly. The other… yikes… He is the King of the false starts. He begins a sentence then pauses as if he is now picturing in his mind which word goes best next. They after taking a route, he realizes what he is talking about, so he switches the conversation another direction, finally ending it on a completely different track.  Its sad. I wants to smack him on the back and shout “spit it out!!!”.

For example, “I think that we need… ahhh, should be focusing, on taking a different… er… Another course, or plan of action to resolve and clear up this, problem, which he have to focus on go come up with another solution by taking a different course of action…”

So throughout the day him, and one of my peers, talked all over the map, and only wound up confusing everyone in the room.  If they had an agenda, or even something they wanted to get across to the staff, they failed miserably.

One funny thing did occur. If you see my previous “Stupid Sister” post, you will find this comment funny. One of the stupid sisters was in attendance and at one point during our lunch, she turned to the girl beside her, while chewing on a piece of celery and said, “I wonder how they make the celery so crunchy?”  Yikes.  Her comment was funny – expected – and was very thought-provoking as it made me wonder how in fact they get the carrots to be do damn crunchy, and the broccoli so damn green???

So this day ended without us having resolved anything.  I believe the purpose of this day was to unveil a new work structure, or new roles, new teams or something like that.  I suspected this offsite would be coming as management in the Federal government were singled out recently for being incompetent.  So maybe the hope was that we would be inspired by being out of the office and eating sandwiches, that we would work harder and better.   We all know that, sadly, nothing is going to change…  It’s the government.

I think this session pissed me off more than others because I was approached last week for my feedback on was could make this work, I am 2 years into my MBA after all, so I gave them my input on the agenda and the format.  I told them how I thought it would be effectively run and how to get the answers they needed while rolling everything out clearly and concisely to the staff and to no one’s surprise, they chose to take a completely opposite route.

At least my way would not have resulted in all the staff betting on which of their peers were going to fall asleep first. I was wrong. One guy head-bobbed throughout the first 3 hours. It was that dry.

So back to work I went as if the day had not happened, although I feel like I wasted a full day.

Thanks Mr/Mrs taxpayer…



One thought on “Get your money back… Your tax dollars were wasted today.

  1. Anonymous Colleague July 21, 2006 / 12:53 am

    The best part from the first hour of the meeting was when I sneezed and you said “What the fuck was that?!”


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