First thing this morning a competent, energetic, and pleasant DDoT employee who I’ve had a couple dealings with called to ask my opinion on something. He was tasked with trying to find an alternative to something that would upset people. He probably wanted the people who will likely be doing the complaining about it (like me) to be informed before they got too far into it as much as he wanted my thoughts. It was bad news, but it was a positive encounter with a pro-active government.
That conversation having gone well, I asked him how I could deal with his boss stonewalling me on a very simple problem. This is one of the greatest frustrations in dealing with DC gov. A request for service will get made, someone will get assigned to follow up, and you’ll end up spending more effort chasing down a resolution that you would have doing fulfilling the request yourself.
He said, “I can’t go there”. He went on to explain that he was so disgusted by the lack of action and follow through on such things that he’s quitting. He’s a recent hire (who is one of the good guys) giving up already. It’s even worse news in that DDoT and most DC government takes a minimum of 6 months to fill most positions. Six months is the perfect amount of time for a department to fall apart. (I’ll have more to say about vacancies, pay equity, and hiring policies in later posts). But when they hire someone who turns out to be completely incapable of doing his or job, it takes years to get them moved out of that position or off the payroll.