Perfectly Fitting

At the entrance of the building I work at there is a small concrete slab. There is nothing all that out of the ordinary with this little slab, it really isn’t anything special. It is just a boring, ordinary, piece of walkway.

But this one piece of walkway perfectly illustrates working for the government. This one piece of concrete is always loose. After spending billions of dollars on BRAC, they just can’t get this one piece of walkway right. Today, walking in, someone put two cones over the lose tiles. Billions of dollars spent. A “state of the art” facility, and the U.S. Army cannot get one tile right.

And that’s how it seems to be with the government, they spend a fortune, and they cannot even get the little things right. Look at NASA, they spent billions on a pen that can write in no gravity, but the Russians decided to use a pencil. NASA sends a satellite to the planet Mars, which crashes because someone confuses Metric with the English system. The US Army spends millions designing a new tank, which is under-armored, barely mobile, and catches fire.

But, bless the Army’s heart, it does keep trying. Someone will once again try to stabilize that small slab. They will take more time, more money, and more effort, and in a few weeks it will be loose again. The cones will back out, and we will have to start all over again.

And like most of my customers, they keep getting the little things wrong, but they do keep trying. I get documents with contract numbers from 4 years ago. I keep being told that someone tried to load a document into our website, even though they were told to email it to me. I deal with people who send me funding documents, and have been for years, and they get the same thing wrong each time.

I guess I should be used to this by now, but the Army just can’t seem to get it right. But it does keep on trying.

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