Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Social Security rip off

PHOENIX -- A Social Security Administration motivational management conference held at a high-end Valley resort last week cost $700,000, the SSA told the ABC15 Investigators.

Costs for the conference at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa included airfare, hotel entertainment, dancers, motivational speakers, and food, an administration official said.

I have been there. It is indeed a classy joint. Just the place our rulers would select for:

This was a training conference. The location was selected through the government's competitive bidding process. The facility that was selected was the lowest bidder, and we paid well-below the prescribed government rate.
-Leslie Walker, Regional Communications Director, Social Security Administration

As a public service I have translated these into normal American speech.

This list was provided to ABC15 by the Social Security Administration)

Multigenerational Communication - What you need to know to effectively manage four generations at work

People of different ages see things differently.

RelationsShifts - Techniques to empower you to change the way you relate to your work, your colleagues, our organization and our customers

When you become angry, count to 10. Better yet, walk away.

A Leadership Role in Strategic Management Planning - Learn how to be a strategic leader

Pay attention to what the boss says and how to nod wisely as the boss says it.

Managing Diverse People - Forum to discuss diversity and management for all employees

People from different races have different views. Try not to claim Tiger Woods isn't the greatest golfer of all time.

eServices in SSA - Learn about new and innovative agency initiatives and how they will change the face of SSA and help us to meet the workload challenges ahead

Knock off the personal email and blogging.

Mentoring the Generations - Will help you engage effectively across all dimensions of diverse thoughts, ideas, attitudes, beliefs, behavior and values of all generations

People of different ages see things differently. Try not to gush over Jane and Peggy's wedding.

Emotional Intelligence - Learn to "lead from where you stand" and focus on a wide array of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance

You have to work with what you have, not with what you want to have.

Policy Perspectives - Learn what's driving SSA in terms of programs, staffing and beneficiaries, how we change policy, hot policy issues

Silly you! I bet you thought you were supposed to be doing what the law required.

Reasonable Accommodation - Learn how to recognize potential Reasonable Accommodation issues and what actions are needed when certain indicators are present

If the other person is big and mad or your boss... count to 10 and/or walk away.

Health Information Technology - SSA plans for and use of health IT to improve our disability program

Typing isn't like driving a truck.

Improving Organizational Performance Through Employee Engagement - The effectiveness of engagement in improving organizational operations as well as the supervisory behaviors which foster greater engagement

If we had some ham we'd have some ham and eggs if we had some eggs.

Removing the Barriers - Learn a hands-on problem solving process that gives employees the opportunity to identify areas of conflicts and concerns in the workplace and options or solutions to address them.

Also see Psycho Babble 101.

Interest Based Bargaining - Learn a collaborative process used for contract negotiations and daily problem solving that will benefit the organization as a whole

Take turns getting the coffee.

Leading at a Higher Level - Join a panel of current Senior Executive Service (SES) Career Development Program Associates and learn

Don't nod off no matter how bad the speaker is. Nod wisely and tell everyone what a great meeting it was and how pumped up you are.(Also known as Brown Nosing 101


As the sign says, your tax dollars at work.


Walter Cronkite

The man once trusted the most is dead.

The talking heads will blather all weekend. All will opine as to his trail blazing. Most will cover his early career during WWII and his memorable reporting when Kennedy was killed. The press then, as it is now, was heavily invested in the President and it was only later that we learned of things that, if reported, most likely would have elected Nixon, and changed the course of history for the better.

Certainly the Bay of Pigs, if pursued at all, would have been prosecuted successfully, the Cuban missile crisis would not have occurred and Kennedy would not have needed to reestablish his strength and resolve to fight Communism by becoming more involved in South Vietnam.

But none will mention that.

A few will note his now infamous remarks that we had lost in Vietnam when we had not. His ignorance and hubris then was so striking and so bold that no one recognized it. It is, of course, a day labor's job today, as common as an Ivy League professor condemning America and a new Democratic administration preparing to lose the War On Terror.

That Walter was wrong is barely known and is rapidly dying with him. Few students are made to read such as this WSJ interview with Bui Tin, a former colonel in the North Vietnamese army.

Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?

A: It was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.

Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?

A: Keenly.

Q: Why?

A: Those people represented the conscience of America. The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win.

So his career isn't to be celebrated. Some times men do things that are so terrible they wipe out all that went before. The best I can do for Cronkite is to quote Shakespeare.

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones