Thursday, September 25, 2014

Would you, or your mother, have stayed in this job?

I was looking for the ratio of USDA employees to farmers, and found a wide variation.  Everything from 9 employees to 1 farmer to 1 employee to 25 farmers.  But I did come across this comment at one entry:

“My mum was a USDA employee. I remember visiting its offices and being intrigued by the displays of different corn species USDA claimed to have contributed to inventing. My mum did not like USDA much. She had a job as a chemist running gas chromatography of tobacco, though her true love/advanced degrees were in bacteriology. The problem was, the program was insanely designed to make her do the same test over again every year for no reason whatsoever. Because nothing about tobacco from any of the cigarette companies ever changed. It was just a badly drafted law. But, she escalated from low to super-high civil service level over the years, and had a ton of time to raise her children on that useless job. So, I’m not complaining…. Still, she utterly DESPISED her boss who maintained the idiocy that kept her job and thus his (and her) budget for his stupid useless fiefdom, going on and on for 20 or more years, for no earthly reason at all. She was deeply pained by the extremely unethical nature of it all and had she had access to a whistleblower statute, I have no doubt that she would have used it.”

I have quit jobs in my “vast” employment record for much less.  (And I’ve also been fired for not being teachable in crappy jobs.)  I might have stayed long enough to look for a better job, but 20+ years working with tobacco, with a despicable boss for his empire building when my degree said I could do better?  No way!

But back to the ratio.  Here’s what senator Coburn said about it: “The USDA currently employs over 120,000 individuals in 16,000 offices and field locations.  The agency notes that if it were a private company, it would be the sixth largest in the United States. Today there is one USDA employee for every eight farmers (those that list farming as their principle source of income), or overall, one USDA employee for every 18 farms.

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