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Tales of a Disgruntled Government Worker Right …

10 November 2004

Tales of a Disgruntled Government Worker

Right now, I can be the poster child for the definition of ‘disgruntled government worker.’ Work’s been shite and treating me like shite. Last week, my co-worker and I were the subject of a stern talking-to by my supervisor. [My co-worker and I are teamed up and assigned to one judge]. Exasperated with our incompetence, our supervisor point-blank asked us if we needed to be micromanaged. As if! This is all happened because of a case I resolved via a plea deal for my juvenile. My co-worker handled the co-juvenile’s case. In cases involving co-defendants, we usually ask for a ‘inculp’ as part of the plea (i.e., we ask the kid to ‘tell on’ the other). I didn’t do it in my case –which wasn’t the world’s biggest deal. My kid had 3 outstanding complaints to deal with and my offer took care of all three. Plus we had an independent witness. But the ‘upstairs’ people got ahold of it and called my supervisor. They made a big deal out of how me and my co-worker aren’t doing well and how we suck as trial attorneys, yadda, yadda, yadda. They ended the lecture by telling my supervisor that perhaps we should be separated.

Needless to say, we were pissed. The higher-ups based their criticisms on one lousy case and concluded that not only were we both inept, but that we are so inept that we should be separated! I’ll have you know, our judge happens to like our work. You’d think we’d be getting complaints about us left and right if that weren’t the case. I handle anywhere from 10-60 cases per week and they make a big stench about one?! I was livid at the remarks made by our supervisor. I wrote him a long-ass memo stating that yes, I made a mistake. I owned up to my mistake and take responsibility. I also stated that we were new to this unit; this month is my third month and it should be understandable that we wouldn’t be seasoned vets at this gig. I didn’t try to make excuses for myself. I listed down my weaknesses (e.g., I wasn’t used to having 9 trials back to back and turned some subpoenas in at the last minute or ordered evidence late) and said that I would work harder. If I needed to be reassigned, then so be it!

My supervisor read my 2-page memo (single-spaced) and said “you know I don’t think you’re incompetent, right?” And that was that. Nothing more was discussed. Whatever. It’s like it’s a big deal only if the higher-ups want to make it a big deal, but if you try to say your peace, they make light of it. Bloody brilliant. I’m so not liking the current atmosphere at work. I dread going now and I hate feeling that way. Perhaps the novelty of this line of work has finally worn off.

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