Seriously Public Servants. What do we DO? If a bureaucrat walks into a community of beautiful people each doing their own useful thing (growing food, building shelter, making art or music, taking care of children) and she tries to find a place in such a community (say one in the middle of the jungle in Mexico amongst the magic of Mayan ruins) what is the first thing she would do?
Set up a meeting, a committee?
Offer to write a report, or a list of recommendations for how the community could be improved based on some sort of totally subjective yardsticks that someone else probably delineated in an entirely different context (she’d read a book to research best practices), or set up a participatory meeting to get everyone’s input on the yardsticks (but in the end she’ll just have to decide for herself cuz it’s her job and there are way too many opinions out there anyways)?
Champion or sponsor a project, then delegate by taking money from one person and giving it to another and telling them to do it? Then,
Measure how well they did it and report back to the the person from which the money was taken, covering up the extensive losses that happened in between (lunches must be had, taxi cabs taken) with extravagent words, glossy pages or pretty twitters
and when the person gets mad for the mismanagement, then
Hire ten others so that they can take the heat, throw them on the frontlines and pay them a fraction of what someone with more education or well-cultivated schmoozing skills gets for attending countless meetings and sending emails from their corner office overlooking the fancy government buildings that hide the politicians they work for but
Stay quiet, cuz she’s not allowed to say a peep about those special people and the parties they belong to because of some sort of old fashioned neutrality clause agreed to when she signed up for the benefits and lifelong income guarantee
Oh. I made a jump of some kind there. I think it has to do with my current quest to distil the pure purpose of a public servant. All of this is personal, btw, maybe I shouldn’t poke at the whole concept of bureaucracy just because I’m having an existential crisis and think that the whole concept of bureaucracy needs to fundamentally change…
But really, mixed in with my snideness is a genuine desire to fundamentally understand the role of ‘bureaucrat’ that we’ve created so many of. If we could distil society into a representative from each occupation, and you were the public servant, what would you do??
In defence of the role of the public servant, I beseech my fellow public servants (I think I still am one, cuz what else do you call someone with a Bachelor’s of Public Affairs and Policy Management other than create an acronym like BPAPM, that’s a pronounced with a soft second ‘P’, and call her a ‘BPAPMer’)? …or anyone really…
Tell me what you’d do if you walked into a community you wanted to live in and the label you carried on the business card (that no one is impressed with or has much use for other than maybe starting a fire with) reads BUREAUCRAT (cuz that is what you are if you go hang out 9-5 M-F in the government cubicles)…
What would you say you had to offer as a public servant at the core human level?