Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

1008, 04 Nov 17

Reason 4,797,931 Why Government Ticks Me Off

There’s just a different mindset in government…

I won’t name the government involved in this story because it could have been any of them. This is just a typical example. Several weeks ago there was a board meeting where a presentation was given. The presentation was about some possible changes they are considering.

Being the curious, informed citizen that I am, I emailed the government employee who gave the presentation and asked for a copy of it. “Sure! No problem!” he said…

Over a week later, I get a note from another employee of the government telling me that my Open Records Request is ready for pickup and it will be $3. Grrrr… bear in mind that this was a PowerPoint that was presented at a public meeting. Is there any rational reason why they couldn’t just email it to me and save the paper and expense? Instead, it takes a week to involve multiple employees (at least 4 that I had to interact with) and costs to print it. I had to drive over there and pick it up. All for a PowerPoint that was undoubtedly on the original employees computer that he could have emailed in 15 seconds.

I do understand why they print emails and other documents when I request them. They need to review them and they want to make sure they are not manipulated. But this time I asked for something that was presented at a public meeting. It shouldn’t be that hard.

I’m not done…

That was annoying enough, but then I get the presentation – the printed PowerPoint. There are no less than nine embedded links to other documents in it. The PowerPoint would say something like, “Here are the findings and recommendations” and have a link to them. The PowerPoint is virtually useless without the documents behind it.

I try to put myself in the other guy’s shoes… if my boss or customer asked me for a presentation I did in which the PowerPoint was merely an outline that links to the actual data, I would either ask my boss or customer if they wanted that information too, or I would just provide it as a matter of course. The clear intent of the request was to be informed and the PowerPoint without the linked documentation does not inform.

But no. I asked for the presentation and that is exactly what I received – printed and over a week later. No more. No less. No thought. No notion of customer service. No effort to do anything more than the bare minimum required.

Now, to be informed, I will have to make another request that will undoubtedly take the time and effort of another 4 or more employees and a couple more weeks. Wasted time. Wasted effort. I might have something to say about what I get a month or more after it actually happened. All of this to get to information that was public presented and could have been sent to anyone interested – or, Heaven forbid, posted on the government’s website – within seconds.

*rant end*


1008, 04 November 2017


  1. kjanz1899

    In the eyes of the government bureaucrats we the people are neither the boss nor the customer.

  2. billphoto

    Hard to argue with kjanz1899 except to say, in my opinion, government bureaucrats exist to serve government bureaucrats and further the interests of government bureaucrats.  Lowering the water level in that swamp does not sound like a bad idea.

  3. jjf

    Did you ask for the electronic version to be emailed to you?

    Maybe you could try that.

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