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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-05-2007, 09:04 AM   #41
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

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Originally Posted by donheff
Nobody "expects" 80-hour weeks. Their employees would have to sleep in their cars in the lot. A worked some long hours during crises but I don't know anyone. other than a few small business owners, who really worked anything like that kind of schedule. I do know people who travelled extensively that professed to work that kind of schedule - but they were not doing actual work -- just on the clock.
*nods* DH will probably put in about 80 hours both this week and next when all is said and done, but this really only happens a couple times a year right before the big industry conference (where they always launch the new version of their software) and whenever a big customer is getting ready to go live on the system. his normal schedule is about 50 hours a week, mostly because they take long lunches and his work ethic won't let him leave in the middle of a bug fix.
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 12:49 AM   #42
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
The fact that you decided to stick around means that the *total* compensation is fair, or at least not so bad that you decide to do something about it. Total compensation can include status, security, job satisfaction, the challenge, travel opportunities, time off, any number of intangibles. The same 'opportunity' may be a plus for some, a minus for others. That is why you can't put a dollar figure on it.
I am doing something about it. I'm raising awareness. I'm screaming bloody murder. I'm not stupid enough to walk away from the pension when I'm only 4-6 years from it, particularly when my skillset is so specialized that if I left and tried my luck in the private sector, I'd probably have to start over again. I just don't get why you think it's OK to underpay people to the point where the government is having trouble hiring and retaining qualified people. You must like incompetence, because you're asking for a lot more of it. Me, I don't like it, particularly when I have to work with it and clean up after it.

Quote:
Gee, that is one of the things the HR people do when they want you to come work for them. This is an odd, odd experience on your part, even if it is true. One of the reasons companies provide benefits is to attract new workers - you think they want to hide those benefits under a basket? At a minimum, you would review the benefits between getting the offer and actually accepting it. You said these people were actually working there before they learned what the benefits were. I say that is their problem.
"even if it is true?" So now I'm untruthful? I'm sure it's probably possible to find these things out before being hired. The State doesn't (for obvious reasons) broadcast that its benefits package sucks rocks, though, so people would have to get on the DPA's website and click a lot of links until they stumble onto the right bureauspeak for "benefits". But I'm sure some folks did find out earlier than these two did. That may well explain why we can't get people to apply for the positions.

Quote:
Oh, I understand that it could mean some rough going if they really cannot fill those positions with qualified people. Eventually, something will be done. I never said the free market system kept everybody comfy, just that I think over the long run, it works better than the alternatives.
It might, but the State doesn't have a free market system. We have constitutional provisions that ratchet the budget constantly downwards, making it harder to pay competitive wages. The people who could do something about that have their spines surgically removed when they get elected to office. They aren't going to stick their own necks out to fix the problems so long as they can keep gutting the payroll. Not enough people care when that happens.

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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 12:06 PM   #43
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

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Originally Posted by LKH
I am doing something about it. I'm raising awareness. I'm screaming bloody murder. I'm not stupid enough to walk away from the pension when I'm only 4-6 years from it, particularly when my skillset is so specialized that if I left and tried my luck in the private sector, I'd probably have to start over again. I just don't get why you think it's OK to underpay people to the point where the government is having trouble hiring and retaining qualified people. You must like incompetence, because you're asking for a lot more of it. Me, I don't like it, particularly when I have to work with it and clean up after it.
I can sympathize with your frustration. It is best that you get used to it because yelling is unlikely to change anything. Are your totally happy with the prospect of doing no gainful employment in 4-6 years? If so then maybe take some anger management counselling (as it is likely to get worse at work).

Otherwise maybe you can develop some new skills that will enable you to make some money on the side in retirement. This new focus might take your mind off the frustrations at work.

(BTW many large corporations that have mindlessly downsized repeatedly to sustain profits offer similar work enironments to what you are describing. It is sometimes called the "death spiral".)
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 01:34 PM   #44
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

In a number of threads similar to this one, I have mentioned that there is a real upside to eliminating DBP pensions and replacing them with employee contribution plans such as 401K's and 403B's. This is a perfect example.

LKH is absoulutely miserable in his current public sector job yet stays on because he is locked in waiting to collect his DBP pension in 4 - 6 years.

Wouldn't it be nicer to hear him saying that he's moving to a private sector job of his chosing, rolling his 401K over and looking forward to happily working for an appreciative employer in a field he enjoys for 4 - 6 years and then RE?

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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 02:41 PM   #45
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

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Originally Posted by youbet
Wouldn't it be nicer to hear him saying that he's moving to a private sector job of his chosing, rolling his 401K over and looking forward to happily working for an appreciative employer in a field he enjoys for 4 - 6 years and then RE?
I agree that golden handcuffs can be a terrible waste of human potential. But LKH has said that his deep skills are not portable because he is too highly specialized. So he will have to suffer through it.
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 04:08 PM   #46
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

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Originally Posted by kcowan
I agree that golden handcuffs can be a terrible waste of human potential. But LKH has said that his deep skills are not portable because he is too highly specialized. So he will have to suffer through it.
Perhaps, but my take on LKH's comments were that his skills were not directly transferable to the private sector but he could find work he likes doing something else. Except........ he's handcuffed by the need to stay on and finish earning a DBP pension.

And he was quite clear that he's very unhappy as things stand now.

Beyond LKH's specific situation, my point still stands. There is some upside to converting new, young employees to defined contribution plans where they will be free to job hop as desired, even late in their careers, without leaving a pension behind.
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 05:28 PM   #47
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

Boy, you guys don't read very well!!! I never said I was miserable. I think I've been pretty clear that I love my job. I get a lot of satisfaction from being a "GOOD" public employee (or trying to be). I am complaining about something that I think is harmful to my state, and to myself as a taxpaying citizen who also has to utilize state services. I'm angry about the way people bag on the people I work with, yes, but I'm far from needing "anger management." You'd be tired of it too if you constantly had to deal with people who say thoughtless things about the work you've dedicated yourself to do.

And as for my example, maybe you should read up a bit about how "taxpayers bills of rights," those that were not well written, have harmed the states where they've been adopted. Colorado, for example, just dropped to 50th of all state governments in its spending on education, and there are lots of articles explaining how Colorado's TABOR and its "ratchet effect" are behind the problem. People in other states where TABOR-like ideas are being considered are looking to states like Colorado and its horror stories and rejecting the idea out of hand. Which is also wrong. Something that would genuinely control government growth is not a bad thing. It just has to be written by someone who knows how to do it right. The guys who draft these citizen-enacted Constitutional amendments usually have no real clue how things can turn out. It's also a horrible idea to carve ANYTHING like that in stone, as through an amendment to the Constitution, because then there's almost no way to address problems that arise.

Colorado's citizens haven't learned their lesson, though. They recently voted in another amendment that prohibits any government official or their family from receiving gifts valued over $50 in any year from any source other than family and close personal friends on special occasions. The idea - cutting back on what amounts to bribes of public officials - is not a bad one. But from what I hear, there's concern that this thing may keep government employees' kids from receiving college scholarships. Not to mention, it still might not do anything to stop bribes, since it's going to be difficult to define "close personal friend" in any meaningful way.

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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 06:20 PM   #48
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

Interesting article on the effects Colorado's "TABOR" has had on its public services.

http://www.cbpp.org/10-19-05sfp.htm

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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 09:21 PM   #49
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

Tabor is great if it stops government growth.......

State employees have it pretty good and certainly can/should have more savings beyond a pension....esp. with the 457 plans that most of these states have with pretty good low cost choices and able to take the money out at separation of service...

You cant have it both ways....one hand think you are underpaid compared to the private sector vs. your skills arent transferable...
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 09:25 PM   #50
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

Maddy - love the name. But I'm pretty sure you didn't follow what I've been saying.
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-06-2007, 11:59 PM   #51
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

LKH.... I will read it tomorrow when I am 'working'

But, I know that some (most?) have a clause in them that will allow more spending if it is voted by the public....

If the public votes it down.. then they DON"T WANT IT... before, the gvmt demanded that they pay for it no matter how much it cost and even if they were lucky enough to vote in new representatives... they usually don't KILL everything so it rachets up and up...

I have a friend that works for the city in their drafting dept.... and he talks about every once in awhile getting a new managing director who is a political hack... and then the work they used to do is put on the back burner for the 'new guy'.... but to tell the truth, that happens in the private sector many times...

I remember one day when we were having a discussion on how bad our department was.... someone asked how we could fix things... I said 'stop making stupid decision after a merger'... we had a great system for planning and reporting, but they threw it out since one group 'won' and like their system... their system could not handle the new load and crapped out... they also got rid of almost all of the people that knew anything... so we were now trying to 'fix' something that was 'fixed' many years ago and nobody was around that 'fixed' it in the first place (except me and a couple of others... but we are being ignored... )...

BTW... I am glad that you like your job... it is not a common thing...
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-07-2007, 03:45 AM   #52
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

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Originally Posted by LKH
Boy, you guys don't read very well!!! I never said I was miserable.
Well....... ya kinda sound miserable LKH!
Quote:
I think I've been pretty clear that I love my job. I get a lot of satisfaction from being a "GOOD" public employee (or trying to be). I am complaining about something that I think is harmful to my state, and to myself as a taxpaying citizen who also has to utilize state services. I'm angry about the way people bag on the people I work with, yes, but I'm far from needing "anger management." You'd be tired of it too if you constantly had to deal with people who say thoughtless things about the work you've dedicated yourself to do.
That's all part of your job!


OK, as long as you love your job and are happy then sticking around to collect your DBP pension should be easy enough. And, oh yeah, thanks for being concerned that the low pay and benefits will cause us citizens to receive less than optimum service going forward! I mistakenly thought that all your pissing and moaning was for yourself, while actually you were worried about us! My mistake, sorry, and I stand corrected.
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-07-2007, 04:20 PM   #53
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

I re-read LKH’s posts. He (or she?) has posted that s/he is: (1) depressed; (2) angry; (3) frustrated; (4) a slave [to ill-drafted legislation]; (5) “screaming bloody murder”; (6) merely hanging on for the promised land of a pension. But no, not miserable at all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKH
But yes, I'm getting angry and I'm getting activist.It's not so much for me as for others.I'm one of the lucky ones.I started in with the State early, back when they had regular pay increases that moved people through the scale. I had moved through all the steps before they phased that out. Most of my coworkers came later. They've done excellent work, but they languish at the bottom of the pay scale because the legislature hasn't funded merit increases.
I am always suspicious when someone justifies whinging on the basis that they are concerned about others. Presumably those junior co-workers are legally competent and above the age of majority. They can speak for themselves (voting with their feet, if the politicians are as wrong-headed as LKH suggests) ... they don't need anyone to fight their battles for them.

My advice: stop being a martyr, and focus on the positives in life.

Edited to add: is there not a significant difference between "regular pay increases that move people through the scale" and "merit increases"?
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-07-2007, 04:42 PM   #54
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

Hmmmmm sounds like BS to me.... here is an example...

"TABOR Has Played a Major Role in the Significant Cuts Made in Higher Education Funding

Under TABOR, higher education funding per resident student dropped by 31 percent after adjusting for inflation. "

WHY Funding is supposed to increase by INFLATION and NEW POPULATION... so, unless the number of students have gone out of whack to the populaton of the state.. they should be funded at the same level..

Another one...

"TABOR’s interaction with other areas of the state’s budget has created additional problems. Spending for corrections, for example, has grown substantially faster than the inflation-plus-population formula of TABOR, in part due to strict criminal codes and sentencing laws. Because spending for corrections has grown rapidly, other areas of the budget have been squeezed even more in order to keep overall spending under the strict TABOR limit."

OK.. so let them out... OR, put this to a vote to the citizens.. Like.. Under TABOR, funding for prisons would be XXX, but we need YYY... do you want to be taxed for the extra safety with more prisons?? If this has not happened... then shame on the state politicians...

And finally....

"TABOR’s costs are becoming clear. A wide range of Coloradoans — business leaders, higher education officials, children’s advocates, legislators of both parties, and Governor Bill Owens (R), among others — recognize that TABOR has limited the state’s ability to fund critical services.

“Coloradoans were told in 1992 . . . that [TABOR] guaranteed them a right to vote on any and all tax increases. . . . What the public didn’t realize was that it would contain the strictest tax and spending limitation of any state in the country, and long-term would hobble us economically.” — Tom Clark, Executive Vice President, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation

“The [TABOR] formula . . . has an insidious effect where it shrinks government every year, year after year after year after year; it’s never small enough. …That is not the best way to form public policy.” — Brad Young, former Colorado state representative (R) and Chair of the Joint Budget Committee

“[Business leaders] have figured out that no business would survive if it were run like the TABOR faithful say Colorado should be run -- with withering tax support for college and universities, underfunded public schools and a future of crumbling roads and bridges.” — Neil Westergaard, Editor of the Denver Business Journal
"

First one is a political hack... the second is a politician... not sure about the third...


Sorry to say, but businesses are run like that ALL THE TIME... if revenue is reduced, they have to CUT... they make decisions all the time where to fund and where to stop funding... there is a limited pot of money to spend...
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-08-2007, 06:33 AM   #55
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

Another discrepancy ... first LKH complains that s/he is being compensated at "85% of market". Then s/he says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LKH
[M]y skillset is so specialized that if I left and tried my luck in the private sector, I'd probably have to start over again
Is is obvious from the above that effectively there is no competing market for LKH's alleged skillset. Which proves my earlier point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milton
Those complaining about how good others have it presumably lack the skills, or at least the confidence, to apply for similar jobs.
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-08-2007, 02:12 PM   #56
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

But is there any among us who hasn't felt tired, discouraged, miserable, and whiny once in a while? Gee - - Why not cut the guy some slack.

Even though I too am a government employee, I know I've never walked in LKH's moccasins (as the saying goes).
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-08-2007, 03:17 PM   #57
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

At best, complaining is pointless; at worst, it's counterproductive. It alientates friends and family ("poor me, poor me" ... who wants to listen to that?), and can result in a 'victim' mentality, passive-aggression, and other self-sabotaging behaviour.

As you say, we all have bad days. When those happen, a mature person will go for a walk, listen to music, enjoy a nice dinner, watch a movie, etc. ... whatever restores one's spirit.
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-08-2007, 03:51 PM   #58
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

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Originally Posted by Want2retire
But is there any among us who hasn't felt tired, discouraged, miserable, and whiny once in a while? Gee - - Why not cut the guy some slack.

Even though I too am a government employee, I know I've never walked in LKH's moccasins (as the saying goes).
I am not saying anything about his day, good or bad... only about how he says certain thing are happening with laws meant to control runaway gvmt spending... and then when it DOES.. lets complain...

To tell the truth, I don't have much contact with gvmt employees. Don't use their services much... but, when I do, mostly it is anywhere from OK to pleasant.. a few times I will say a cross word about a bus driver, but usually not to them..

As others have pointed out, the service at the private enterprises have gone downhill significantly... so even changing to another merchant does not help much because it is the new standard....
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-09-2007, 11:55 PM   #59
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddy the Turbo Beagle
You cant have it both ways....one hand think you are underpaid compared to the private sector vs. your skills arent transferable...
Not true. It's crazy to say that because a person's work is specialized, they should not be paid comparably to people who use the same skills in different ways. My work is similar to investigation, to legal clerks and paralegals, to various types of appraisers, and to a number of other professions. I use the same skills those folks do, and should be paid commensurately. But if I were to jump to those jobs, I could not expect to be paid there as if I had worked in those positions for 20 years. I would have a learning curve as I'd have to apply those skills in different ways and in different sets of circumstances. I suspect that's true of anyone who's worked in a particular field for that long - jumping to a new field, even if it uses the same skills, would typically require some sort of pay cut.
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods
Old 05-10-2007, 12:20 AM   #60
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Re: For anyone who has bought the bill of goods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
LKH.... I will read it tomorrow when I am 'working'
Hah! And WE get dissed for skiving! Sheesh!

Quote:
But, I know that some (most?) have a clause in them that will allow more spending if it is voted by the public....
True enough. But the public doesn't always grasp what it is that they're voting on. For example, Colorado had a set of TWO that needed to be approved together last year. The voters approved one and denied the other, meaning that while Colorado has approval to keep some money, it cannot completely raise the funding that was needed to fix its roads and bridges, and some 70% of them are in serious need of repair. There's talk of closing a few highways simply because there's no money to keep them in shape, and they took a serious beating through the winter last year. The voters simply didn't understand the 2nd one, which was more difficult to explain.

There's a reason we pay legislators. There's a reason our Founding Fathers did not write the Constitution so that every issue would be brought to a public vote. We need to let the people we elect to do a job, do that job. If we don't like the way they're doing it, we can write letters. We can elect someone else. That's the way the system is meant to work. Legislating via constitutional amendment is foolish. You're asking people who rarely know more than what they've heard on one thirty-second sound bite on TV between bathroom breaks to make decisions that impact the entire State. Inefficient at best. Disastrous at worst.

Quote:
BTW... I am glad that you like your job... it is not a common thing...
There's some satisfaction in being good at what you do. The work itself is pretty cool, even if the nonsense gets old.
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