April 20, 2011

True tales of government efficiency

So I work for a certain association in Washington, DC. We share a building with a certain (major) department of the US federal government in the executive branch. Arguably, the most major. Well, second most. I will accept a 2nd place rating in this regard.

Anyway, because of this any guests to our building need to be pre-screened so we have to provide a listing of these people several days in advance, including many of their vital stats, before they are permitted to park or enter the building.  We provide these details to our administrative office who forwards them to this certain (major) department of the US federal government in the executive branch.

I've been scheduling meetings with some folks to come in to our office and last week we had a bit of confusion because the guest we were to meet with got held up by security because his name wasn't passed along to them as being our guest. After about 45 minutes of confusion, he was eventually permitted in for our meeting just a bit frazzled.

I have another meeting scheduled for this afternoon so to avoid the chaos of last week, decided to check with security if they had the three guys who are coming in this afternoon on their list.  I learned that none of them were on the list for the day's visitors. Or any, in fact.

I contacted our administrative office to find out what we could do to ensure we wouldn't have any problems this afternoon and learned what the problem last week was, and what the problem today was.

Turns out, the guy who works at this certain (major) department of the US federal government in the executive branch who handles these requests is on vacation for a month. Regardless of this fact, the people who also work in this office have simply have been placing guest lists on his desk. I guess since it is his job, he can deal with it when he gets back. In a month.

So to resolve today's issue, someone from our administrative office is physically going to go to the office in this certain (major) department of the US federal government in the executive branch to get the guest list and ensure it gets passed on to the security guards of the building so they can be let in - today.

In any company or organization, when a person takes time off, if there are certain on-going tasks that need to be completed, common sense dictates that those things would continue to happen even if the person who normally handles them is away.  I do realize this is the government we're dealing with, but still.

But then after the problems arose last week, why weren't provisions made for any subsequent guest list this week and for the duration of this guy's vacation? Other visitors to the building have also had problems getting in because of this very issue. And it still continues. WHY?

True story.

April 6, 2011

Meredith leaving?

So yesterday, as I am watching my Today Show podcast for the day before (yes, it's all very confusing), I noticed that for many days, Meredith Viera had been away and there was not the usual "she's on vacation," or "she's on assignment" when she is in either of those situations.

Then, in between segments on the podcast, the Today Show ad they normally play was changed from the one with Matt, Meredith, Ann, Al and the rest all laughing the entire time in the context of everything they do on the show (to let you know they are a fun group!) to one that seemed they were characterizing the show as one with hard news - Matt seriously interviewing somebody about some major political issue.. and then Ann interviewing someone regarding the tragedy in Japan.. yes, Ann.

They did a group studio pan shot that included both Meredith and Al, but Ann was at the anchor desk.  "Weird," I thought to myself. I looked for clues online as to what might be happening, but found nothing.

Then, yesterday in my Google Reader, I see this article.  Meredith Vieira expected to leave NBC's Today this year

Then things made sense.  I only post this because of my amazing intuition and ability to see something was up on the show without actually knowing something was.

Also, please Today Show producers, please don't give us Ann Curry as co-anchor. I like her as a person, just not as a co-anchor. Unless Katie Couric takes over Ann's job at the news desk. Now that would certainly be an entertaining morning "news" show.