Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Conversation with Goo-Goo

On a bright, sunny day with the breeze blowing westerly from the ocean and across the black pothole filled parking lot on the tiny island of Offland, the geotech for the military base, LaLa, sits in his truck and stares disdainfully at the trailer where he is to meet the Offland government bureaucrat, Goo-Goo, for a pay evaluation conference. Any contracted government work in Offland comes with certain requirements, one of these requirements is that all workers must be paid a scale wage regardless of experience or education.

LaLa gets out of his white truck and walks across the parking lot toward the tan temporary structure while anticipating the best for himself and his family. He thinks silently, "Surely, these government officials will see the absurdity of paying me 14 carks an hour to do all of the civil engineering inspections and materials testing. Surely, they can see with such responsibility entrusted to me that I deserve the skilled workers wage of 23 carks. Thank God that I am not at the mercy of my employer, but have this option to appeal to the government, and I believe they will do the fair and honest thing concerning my welfare." While thinking such happy thoughts, LaLa walks briskly and happily up the ramp to the trailer door, and when finally arriving at the door of opportunity, he knocks confidently.

Offland government bureaucrat, Goo-Goo, a man of average height and weight sporting 1970s style mustache opens the door, and inquires to whom LaLa might be and to what his purpose of entering the temporary facility might be.

"I'm here to inquire about my pay," says LaLa.
"Okay, please have a seat." says Goo-Goo.
"What might your name be." asks Goo-Goo.
"LaLa, I am the materials tester and the construction inspector," says LaLa.
"Oh yes, what is your current pay rate?"
"Unskilled Laborer."
" And so it shall be." says Goo-Goo.
"Sir, I do all of the Civil Inspections, and have submitted multiple Inspection and
Safey Certifications, which demonstrate my skill. So, I'm asking you to reconsider and grant me 'skilled laborer' status."
"Absolutely not."
"Why not?"
"Because you do not coordinate into production."
"But I produce concrete, mortar and grout samples. I calculate and check densities of soils, and produce reports showing the success or failure.
"This is true, but nevertheless, you are still and unskilled laborer."
"Sir, I submitted certifications demonstrating my skill."
"Those certifications only demonstrate that you are skilled enough to be labelled unskilled."
" I am skilled enough to be unskilled?" says LaLa

"Sir, the guy who shoots the laser to measure the length of the piping in the building gets 25 carks an hour. How is pointing a laser more skilled than what I do?'
"It is."
"Sir, this is a military base in Offland, and we are currently at war with our nemesis, Onland.
Don't you worry that someone might use this for propaganda reasons."
"How so?"
"Well sir, it is common knowledge that most of government buildings in our Capital were built with slaves. You know a hundred and fifty years ago when slavery was legal. Do you want people to say in a hundred and fifty years from now that these two buildings were inspected by a 14 cark an hour slave. Even worse, if Onland finds out about this, they can say that Offland mistreats their citizens by subjecting them to great responsibility with very little pay."
"This is no concern to me. You see, your just not important enough for anyone to pay attention too."
"But if someone did?"
"Did what?"
"Pay attention to this absurdity?"
"It won't happen. Now take your 14 carks and be happy that you aren't unemployed like ten percent of this country. Dismissed."
"Government Bureaucrat Goo-Goo."
"You are F------ stupid."
"That is the nature of bureaucracy. Have a nice day," said Goo-Goo mockingly.

As LaLa opens the door to leave, Goo-Goo sits sipping his tea and thinking about how to do nothing for his own 60 cark an hour paycheck. The rest of the day for Goo-Goo would be an hour or two of Sudoku, sitting and sipping. While he sat, LaLa labored at the site and fretted about how he was going to get enough money to feed dinner to his kid this evening.

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