For the few that claim I am targeting the weak or professionally-impaired, I apologize. This blog is all about making the District a better place. If concerns were not expressed about the quality of writing by a certain member of staff, nothing would have happened to improve the quality of writing. Unfortunately, the writing style is not of her supervisor, but rather of his and at the rate she is paid, I suspect the tax payer would have been better off with poorly constructed sentences and nonsensical directions.
It's good to know the blog is still having an impact.
On a more serious note, I certainly wouldn't want the blog to cause any personal trauma or hardship for anyone. If it creates a bit of work, maybe that work might motivate public servants to do the right thing first. Avoid stress and pressure by making the right decisions earlier. Don't let the heartache and sweat accumulate. Think things through before you run with questionable instructions.
In fact, I would go as far as to suggest that people feeling pressure should unload their guilt and share their ideas about how to make things better for everyone. Don't live under thumbs. Don't live with the hatred you propagate at the direction of others. Unleash your humanity and be your own person. There is a better way to live than marching all day to the beat of a misguided manager. People want to like you but alas, they cannot get beyond the glare of your master.
Again, this blog is all about change. The District needs change. Things change when board members do the honorable thing and step down when necessary. Things change when board members ask intelligent questions and understand the answers they are provided. Things change when people start challenging the status quo and demand more than mediocrity.
Like everyone else in the District, I know we can do much better. Unlike everyone else in the District, I have a meaningful forum that cannot be controlled or manipulated by management. Most importantly, I am not on their payroll, but as a tax payer, they are on mine.
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I'd almost settle for the lofty goal of mediocrity at this point.
I was listening to NPR the other day and heard a book review of a new book, "The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia" by Orlando Figes. It is apparently a compliation of interviews describing first-hand what Stalin did to the 'average Joe-Russian' family. I was struck by the description of the fear and intimidation injected into daily (communal) life; government informers seemed to be everywhere, people disappeared without word and people literally lowered their voices to a whisper even in their own living quarters.
Sounded to me like what my work life was like in the District. It was not a workplace where people worked together dispite the hyped "collaboration" that was the professed banner under which we were working. There can be no "collaboration" when decisions are made by one person no matter how much icing is on the cake to hide it. When educational decisions are made with no stated educational reason ("to ease your load" is not a reason when you haven't talked to me about how "the load" was CREATED by YOUR previous decisions, also made without my professional input) there has to be another reason for making them. I do not discount stupidity or incompetence in the equation, but it seems to me that when a series of these decisions tend to impact senior staff members more than junior staff members and when this is pointed out to upper administration, it is ignored or dismissed ("I talked to Mr. X and he says that didn't happen"), there is something going on that is bigger and more complex than stupidity.
Please remember that management is usually disgraced when it is discovered that they tried to cover-up indiscrete or stupid actions rather than from the severity of the indescrete or stupid actions in the first place. Thus 18 minute gaps in tapes are worse than breaking into the office of your political enemy.
The District will not become a better place to work until the fear, intimidation and bullying of subordinates stops. Nor will it become a better place to work until people who don't know what they are doing have no power over those who do know what they are doing.
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