Thursday, January 10, 2008

apparently, the government can’t afford generic highlighters

As you all know, I love my new job (and if you don’t know, now you do). It’s honestly all I can think about. It’s such a weird feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way about a job.

This week is my second week. And although I would’ve preferred to be in the office this week, getting to know my new staff and such, I was shipped away to a training. Apparently, my assistant (oh my God, I can’t believe I have an assistant!) made these arrangements before my first day so I didn’t really have a say in whether or not I wanted to go.

Because my program is funded by the government (thanks, DHHS!), we have to go through certain hoops in order to stay funded. So I’m being trained on these hoops. No biggie.

After I accepted the fact that I would be spending my second week at my new job away from the office, I had to come to terms with the fact that this training consisted of 3 full days of information at a hotel somewhere and food would not be provided. What? The government can’t afford to feed me? I’m not asking for much. A sack lunch with a mediocre-tasting sandwich would be sufficient. After all, it’s the thought that counts. I work for a non-profit, for crying out loud. How much would a sandwich cost to the government?

A lot, apparently.

Ok, so we weren’t being fed. That’s fine.

I got over that eventually. But then something else came up. While in training today, the instructors handed out some highlighters for an exercise. As they were passing them out, one of them said, “Ok, guys, now don’t get too attached to these highlighters. We’re going to collect them at the end of the day. We need to take them to our training class next week.”

I took the highlighter from the instructor’s hands as he was passing them out and realized that it was just a normal little yellow highlighter—Staples generic brand. Seriously, how much does a highlighter cost? How cheap is the government that we all have to reuse the same highlighters? First food, now brightly colored markers?

So apparently, the government can’t afford to give us highlighters (or food) but they can fund a billion dollar war?



Jilian said...

Ah - the government :) When I was a contractor at the Army - it really made me wonder how the hell we were able to defend our country? Seriously!

Don't forget to spend all your budget!!! Don't want to live in fear you won't get the same amount next year ;) ;) Which really surprises me that they are being so stingy - I wonder what their office looks like? Maybe that's where all the money gets spent? Cappuccino maker? Brand new computers? State of the art desk chairs??

MK said...

gov't is not allowed to pay for food. they aren't being cheap, it's the law, my friend.

at my office I can get two pens no problem. But if I want threee- watch out! That's crazy talk.

Anonymous said...

Um, the cost of the war is closer to a trillion (a billion only buys the govt like, a tank) and it was your decision to work in the non-profit field. If these things bother you--go do something else. HHS is already underfunded so how could they then pass on money they don't really have to the peons that do their work (non-profits)?

lizzie said...

jilian--the budget i have to work with is crap. i've got some problems to work out courtesy of my predecessor. i'll make sure to spend all i can this week.

mk--no food? really? that sucks. and what's with the pen stinginess? oh, silly gov't

anon--geez, lighten up. you know, i'm not going to say anything else to you b/c you obviously don't read my blog on the regular and you don't understand my occasional hyperbole. go take your grouchiness to some other blog.