Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2010 Public Employee of the Year Award Parody

Ever wonder why state employees have become targets of the ire of the American public at large?

While the vast majority of government employees are good and decent people the plain fact is that we are being dragged down by the least of us.

I suppose my Dad was right and it only took me thirty years to realize it. Back when I was a teen I hung around people that my Dad referred to as "Losers and Druggies."

My Dad of course did not seem to see that my friends were at their very core basically good people who just had a difficult life and they need someone to care about them.

I can still remember hanging with some of these friends when they made wrong headed decision that could have easily gotten me in trouble too. For example, one group of people I knew asked me to leave the dance and head over the line to go drinking at a local bar. Something told me not to go so I said no. Two hours later, two of them were dead and one of them became paralyzed.

My Dad, teachers, and guidance counselors would all question my wisdom as to why I chose to associate with "these people". I would sometimes answer, "I want to help raise them up. I want to help them." My Dad then told me, "Cathy, it's easier to drag someone down than it is to build them up." Now that I'm no longer a teenager I actually see the truth in what my Dad said to me that day.

So while there are many people who do a good job and try to help others they are dragged down by those who do not do their job. Everyone is being unfairly with the same brush.

Americans understand that we want to be able to bargain for a fair wage but tax payers resent hearing cases of employees who "work the system". They resent dealing with public sector employees who treat you, the person who pays their salary, as though they are doing you a favor by just showing up that day.

Do I know outstanding teachers? ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do I know teachers who should have been kicked out of the classroom years ago? You bet your sweet BIPPY I do. I bet you do too. I have even seen teachers who were actually rewarded for their bad behavior.

I think this skit from Saturday Night Live actually illustrates some of the frustration that we are all feeling on both sides of the fence. Americans feel that the unions help mediocre workers and many union members feel resentful because these same mediocre workers have become the public face of union members to the general public.

By the way, many teachers work in Right to Work states. That means we do NOT have a powerful union. We PAY for our own pension. I pay for half and the local school system matches that. I also pay social security. Here in Georgia we no longer have tenure. Yet we are still being looked upon as "greedy union workers" by some.

We are not the enemy! Many of us have advanced degrees and could have worked in other industries making much more over the "good years" in the economy but we wanted to make a difference in a child's life, your child's life. Sadly it's the worst of us that people see when they talk about education when there are so many who really are very good.

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