Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Can We talk??

I couldn't help but borrow the line, "Can we Talk ?..." from master people watcher and acerbic comic Joan Rivers, who would be spewing all kinds of obscenities at the Department of Human Services, if she had to endure the continuing lack of organization, that I 've had to face within the last few months. Supervisors not passing on messages, files missing or not seen by those who have made decision on the matter at hand, unreturned phone calls and the list just goes on. No wonder, we could'nt close any Arkansas revenue offices to save money, because we need every "warm body" that you can go through to get any services. It just seems so unbelieveable that in this "computer/ tech" craze world , that customer service hasn't really been enhance, but rather hampered. Especially with the advent of voice mail and messenging systems that no one seems to be actually using, except to avoid talking to anyone, Live. Over the pass week, I have called the Southwest Unit of the DHS, concerning the "paper trail" of an application to a local health agency. Repeatedly, a polite, yet droning voice mail has greeted me with a supervisors voice telling me that "she is not available to speak to me, but she is in the building. Leave a message and someone will return your call." Phooey! No one returns your call and if they do, they seem to busy trying to clear up all the other "files" that they are running behind on, to actually address your qustions with any real information. I realize that state workers feel that they are not appreciated or compensated well for the jobs that they do. I"ve heard it from more than one clerical or support person, who doesn't mind being a little dishey about state government. Even though not many seem to be relinquishing these life long valuable positions. However, perhaps to ensure that more work is accomplished may be we should consider offering a "peice" rate to clerical workers, similar to the now defunct garment industry.Certainly, this would certainly make things more accountable, since your pay would depend on how productive you are daily. The more completed files or retuned phone calls, the more your paycheck. What a novel idea? Absurd as this sounds, it worked years ago. My mother made a great living bagging blouses and pressing garments at a low rate that kept our familiy life humming along without missing a beat.I'm sure if she needed to complete files for living today, she would be leading the pack in getting the job done. Of course what this actually boils down to, is the lack of accountability and productivity in leiu of the "its just another applicant needing somthin," attitude that is prevelant at such agencies. Overall, I guess, I'd settle for some type of "can we talk action", but I would rather have a can we get something done action instead!! Stay tuned, take a deep breathe and let's see what the week has to offer. Until next time...

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