Saturday Night Live’s “Public Employee of the Year” Awards

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This topic contains 63 replies, has 43 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Terrence (Terry) Hill Terrence (Terry) Hill 4 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #98711
    Profile photo of Steve Radick
    Steve Radick
    Participant

    I’m interested in people’s thoughts on SNL’s “Public Employee of the Year Awards” skit that aired this weekend. Here’s the skit on Hulu – http://www.hulu.com/watch/144719/saturday-night-live-public-employee-of-the-year.

    Did anyone see it on Saturday? What was your initial reaction? Mine was disgust – it showed little originality and focused on old stereotypes that I’ve long forgotten about since I started working here in DC. I also felt they could have done the exact same skit about virtually any white collar profession – Dilbert comes to mind.

    However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there until I started actually working with government employees day in and day out, I would have totally felt the same way. When my only interactions with my government was as a consumer, I dreaded it. On the other hand, now that I’m working with government employees pretty much 100% of the time, I have a lot more appreciation for those employees who put in long hours, are dedicated to their mission, and who love what they do.

    No real message here – just curious as to what everyone else thought of it?

  • #98837

    Unfortunately, this skit perpetuates the stereotypes of government employees. I breathed a sigh of relief that it featured only local government employees, but we are all partly to blame. Believe me, go to a DMV or a Social Security Office and you’ll see that they aren’t too far from the truth. Many government workers have no direct contact with citizens, but we treat each other with poor cuistomer service and treat others as if they are nuisances.

    I’m not saying that I enjoyed this piece, but I am grateful that they are able to poke fun at government employees. We all deserve to be poked every now and then.

  • #98835
    Profile photo of Candace Riddle
    Candace Riddle
    Participant

    Some aspects of this video (ie. the DMV) really remind me of my interactions as a consumer. However, I feel that most workers on the local level are simply the “messengers”. In other words, they are only acting off of training and standards passed down from the larger macro-structure.

    Lets face it; you can’t shoot the messenger. It is what it is. That is generally how I have to look at it when facing long lines at the DMV. (A good laugh nonetheless).

  • #98833
    Profile photo of Bill Brantley
    Bill Brantley
    Participant

    I regret having to say this but the skit perfectly captured my experiences when I traded in my Kentucky drivers license for a Maryland drivers license. The line was long, the staff was rude, and I spent most of my Saturday waiting for the license to be processed after I was sent home the first time because I didn’t have my apartment lease. I found it especially ironic because one of my research areas is “street level bureaucracy” that deals with the culture of front-line government offices. I even started my government career as a paralegal in a public defenders office and here I was snarling about the rude treatment from these incompetent bureaucrats. And then the irony hit me.

  • #98831
    Profile photo of Mario Rosales
    Mario Rosales
    Participant

    DMV is always the standard go-to agency when you want show bureaucracy at its worst. However, I have noticed that no one is commenting on the slam to the unions the skit was making? I have to say that it speaks volumes.

  • #98829
    Profile photo of Bill Brantley
    Bill Brantley
    Participant

    @Mario: Good point! Given that every comedy show uses the stereotype of lazy union members, one becomes inured to the stereotype. And that is just wrong. Even on the various crime dramas, you rarely see a positive comment about the unions.

  • #98827
    Profile photo of Chris Bennett
    Chris Bennett
    Participant

    Eh, it’s a little funny, but not precious ;) Many people have bad DMV experiences and bad experiences are good fodder for comedy.

  • #98825

    Government’s not the only sector with customer service issues. They could just as easily have parodied “Fast Food Employee of the Year” or “Call Center Employee of the Year” or [insert customer-facing industry here]. So it’s annoying that they’re perpetuating the stereotype of government employees…but it can also be a catalyst for change. Sounds like most of the respondents here have had bad DMV experiences. So why aren’t we supplying our credentials and completing most of our driving transactions online, making these interactions unnecessary? :-)

    By the way, we have a new group on GovLoop where you can discuss “Citizen Engagement and Customer Service.”

  • #98823
    Profile photo of Steve Lunceford
    Steve Lunceford
    Participant

    I’m with Gwynne – it would have stung a lot more if the skit itself had been funny. But this skit, combined with the recent Pew report on lack of trust in government, illustrates the perception of government not being able to get things done is quite pervasive, especially when you get out of the Beltway bubble.

    That’s why I think the incentives portion of the Open Gov Directive is so important – if we build it (it being whatever mechanism for interaction with citizens) will they come?

  • #98821
    Profile photo of Keith Moore
    Keith Moore
    Participant

    Steve, first let me congratulate you on being bold enough to bring this question to the floor. I like Gwynne’s comment, that “it was painful to watch”. In all actuality, each contestant represented a very specific area of truth in many many government agencies and or states across the country. The power of this piece was the message and the power of the video. Until Government Agencies come to a place that from the Acquisition community to the Secretary level and every GS 15 and above agree that government must re-establish its brand and invest dollars into marketing and rebranding their agencies, congress and the senate are always going to in some cases be unfairly accused of distrustful, lazy, and consumers of taxpayers hard earned dollars that have little to show after the investment. And the longer we have full unemployment, the louder and more divisive this distrustful gap will widen. I am personally (for the record) on the side of government workers who work hard. But I see way too much that is not changing on how government is failing to successfully engage especially small businesses to participate in solutions, services and products that can help to change the negative perceptions. I believe the OGD in its most mature and optimal form is government’s only answer for Change.

    We at Open Government TV, (small business, minority owned firm) established ourselves for this very reason, to try and help government rebrand itself utilizing the precepts of the OGD. After almost 10 years of federal government business development experience, and nearly five years working in Government Whitman’s administration, where we under the administration abolished the Department of Commerce and formed an “in but not of market driven Commerce & Economic Growth Commission”. We operated like a corporation, had a CEO, a COO and there were 12 of us that were hired to represent 12 selected industry sectors and our results; we created 400,000 new jobs during that period of time. Some of the agencies especially like the Commerce Department (or at least the Minority Business Development Agency) should consider. The Better Buy Pilot project is as close as it comes to this market driven initiative and this is why I welcome supporting the expansion and advancement of this program. Its the best model I have seen to help Government change its brand depicted on this video.

    Under the Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, we branded, marketed and targeted our marketing to industries that would create jobs.

    It was under this market driven approach, that we attracted corporations like Shering Plough to move to New Jersey, Merck, Fed Ex, Continental Airlines to expand into NJ. Companies like Home Depot took advantage of our new brownfields policy (that I helped to develop the marketing program for). We should all, (particularly those of us in the Gov Loop community), find our selves continuing to idea share and then develop authentic collaborations. If we fail to, then in my opinion, (only because you ask for it), fail the President and his vision to have an Open Government.

    The characters in this rather funny but shameful spoof are real people representing that they work for real leaders from agencies who typically have been politically appointed to lead because of their campaign efforts and contributions, but choose not (or even have the capacities to inspire, and implement innovation, efficiencies, and collaborative productivity models that empower, grow a professional’s ingenuities and interests to excel.

    Thats my story, and my experience causes me to stick with it.

    Thanks for the ask Steve. Great question. If anyone wants to talk further, we can be reached at
    202-449-7705, [email protected] and we invite you to visit us at our ever changing (but not fast enough website) http://www.opengovtv.com

  • #98819
    Profile photo of Sterling Whitehead
    Sterling Whitehead
    Participant

    Standard go-to gov’t humor; still, pretty funny

  • #98817
    Profile photo of Sarah Twardy
    Sarah Twardy
    Participant

    This skit is not funny. Period. Why must mainstream and popular media perpetuate negative stereotypes such as this one about government workers? I have definitely had some poor experiences at the local DMV, but as a federal government employee, I’m saddened by the fact that people find this skit funny at all.

  • #98815
    Profile photo of Steve Lunceford
    Steve Lunceford
    Participant

    Forget being involved in government, as a fan of comedy, I’m saddened by the fact people found this skit funny at all… :D

  • #98813
    Profile photo of Cleat Grumbly
    Cleat Grumbly
    Participant

    I agree. Customer service interactions can be horrible in any industry and that should simply not be tolerated. However, If I don’t like the service at a commercial company, I can choose to do business with a different company. That is not alway true for the government.

    Thankfully, many agencies are starting to allow more to be done online. I renewed my Driver’s license last year online in about 5 minutes. That experience was much better than standing in line.

  • #98811
    Profile photo of Patrick Quinn
    Patrick Quinn
    Participant

    An illuminating picture of public perception.

  • #98809
    Profile photo of Sandy Ressler
    Sandy Ressler
    Participant

    Yawn…a few moments of humor at best. What I find somewhat ironic is that all of the actors and writers of the show are members of their own “powerful” unions. The Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America or others. I’d like to hear about their “silly” union rules.

  • #98807
    Profile photo of Jeanna Williams
    Jeanna Williams
    Participant

    Yes along with any other person, object, anything with substance there comes stereotypes but stereotypes are only created because there lies some consistency in the truth. Should all be viewed in that light, or course not but thos bad apples seems to ruin the tree and sometimes the entire farm.

  • #98805
    Profile photo of Jeanna Williams
    Jeanna Williams
    Participant

    lol, now what you said Steven was funny and so true!

  • #98803
    Profile photo of Peter Sperry
    Peter Sperry
    Participant

    Could our skin be any thinner? SNL makes jokes about lawyers, politicians, priests, doctors, actors, liberals, conservatives, progressives, cooks, soup nazis etc. Some of their best material has been pointed at themselves. So now they run a skit getting a few laughs from stereotypes that are painful precisely because they contain a small amount of truth (if you didn’t recognize at least one current or former coworker, you haven’t been in government very long) and Govloopers become offended enough to attract attention from the WaPo? Let’s get over ourselves. SNL is a comedy show and the skit was at least mialdly amusing, nothing more. Complaining about unfair representations by comedians only reinforces the sterotype.

    BTW, if you think their parody of government workers hurts, think of what they could do with social media! ;-)

  • #98801
    Profile photo of Steve Radick
    Steve Radick
    Participant

    Hah – I had no idea this made it into the Post today! I would have put some more thought into this had I known that! I just thought it would be interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts! Thanks to everyone who took a moment to comment here. I think it’s interesting to hear the wide wide range of opinions on this subject here among us early adopters though.

  • #98799
    Profile photo of GovLoop
    GovLoop
    Keymaster

    Washington Post link on SNL with the GovLoop shout-out

  • #98797
    Profile photo of Joe Flood
    Joe Flood
    Participant

    Wasn’t very funny but seemed largely aimed at government unions – the able-bodied person retiring on disability, the restrictive work rules, no-show jobs, generous contracts. That perception is out there, inspired by stories like how California is being bankrupted by its government unions. People are frustrated at an unresponsive government that doesn’t seem to share the pain of the recession. Not saying that any of this is necessarily true but that’s the public mood right now.

  • #98795
    Profile photo of Tommy McInnis
    Tommy McInnis
    Participant

    I didn’t LOL, but I giggled a little at the award winner.

  • #98793
    Profile photo of Bill Bott
    Bill Bott
    Participant

    As soon as the skit started my phone started buzzing like crazy. I thought it could have been a lot worse… but as it was- it reinforces what the typical person thinks about the work we do.

  • #98791
    Profile photo of Pam Broviak
    Pam Broviak
    Participant

    I don’t like to see the media perpetuate these ideas about government workers because I think it leads people to think managing government is not a serious business. So then the public thinks they can elect just anyone because how much harm can can an elected official do to something they perceive as already so messed up. As for the DMV experiences, usually I am a huge critic of Illinois government, but have to say all of my experiences with our DMV in Illinois have been extremely positive. Sometimes the lines might be long if I go on the wrong day or at the wrong time, but staff is always helpful and nice and go out of their way to engage in friendly conversation.

  • #98789

    One bad customer service experiance hurts everyone. I remember at one poiabOund experiance I had at the post office. Our office is next door and the post office opens up a half hour before we do. I was standing in line waiting for it to open and this gentlemen started griping and cussing about how lazy government workers are because the post office was late opening the door. There were lots of complaints that if this had been a private buisness he would’ve been fired and how we’re all a drain on the economy. It’s all baloney of course, but having the post office open late wasn’t helping our cause at all.

  • #98787
    Profile photo of Mark Hammer
    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    Not the finest bit of writing I’ve seen on the show.

    However, as a follower of the research literature on “public service motivation” (see James Perry at Univ. Indiana), I have to say that we often overestimate how generalized the call to serve is across the public service. The noble motives that propel some folks towards government jobs do not propel everybody. And if you run into a low-level clerk at a service counter who is providing anything BUT service, there is a pretty good chance they sought out government work, not because they were motivated by “the call to serve”, but by the fact that this was an employer that paid well, wasn’t going to leave town, provided some degree of job security, and likely had the sorts of collective agreements that folks in the private sector in similar jobs can only daydream about. Should they be expected to be more civic-minded than the person putting price-stickers on the marked-down canned goods in the pet-food aisle? Personally, I wouldn’t think so.

    At the same time, I can understand why some here found the rather generic label of “public employee” (which would include your kid’s teachers, public health officials, firefighters and police, social workers, and so many more whose motives we do not dispute) a little too broad a brush, given that the skit focussed on one small segment.

    As they would say on SNL….”Ooooh-whee, what’s up with that?”

  • #98785
    Profile photo of Martha Przysucha
    Martha Przysucha
    Participant

    Lame, unnecessary, not even funny, typical SNL of the last decade. DMV of VA has been very expeditious in the last few years. Having been in Federal government, some federal workers give the honor to serve a bad name, but I find that the majority are very hard working, intelligent and dedicated to serving citizens. SNL needs new material – go pick on Wall Street in your own back yard!

  • #98783
    Profile photo of Matt Carroll
    Matt Carroll
    Participant

    Not very clever writing in the skit. My primary thought, however, is about comparing public sector customer service with private sector customer service, which is in a much broader variety of contexts. We like to think of govt. providing a poor level of customer service, but look how poorly corporations often deliver customer service. In their case, many times, they have intentionally chosen not to invest in customer service resources to help their bottom line.

    Customer service is a challenge and problem in most industries, public and private.

  • #98781
    Profile photo of Philip L. Hoffman
    Philip L. Hoffman
    Participant

    Should they be expected to be more civic-minded than the person putting price-stickers on the marked-down canned goods in the pet-food aisle? Personally, I wouldn’t think so.

    Mark,
    I disagree with this part of your overall good statement. Regardless of how a person comes to be a public employee, once they are their attitude is as much a function of their training, career support, mentoring and supervisor as it is their inherent personality. Excellent customer service in the public sector SOMETIMES comes from with in, but many more times it comes because the organization has trained its people to be that way, rewarded them when they are, and sanctioned them when they aren’t. Eerily similar to the private sector – companies renowned for excellent customer service inculcate it from the beginning, and it perfuses their culture at all levels.

    And I hate to be the outlier, but I have yet to have a bad DMV experience.

  • #98779
    Profile photo of Carolyn Shannon
    Carolyn Shannon
    Participant

    Having come from the private sector originally, I can attest that bureaucracy thrives outside the halls of government as well. And as a consumer I can attest that poor service thrives outside the halls of government too.

    Do government agencies, local and state governments take brand management seriously? Some do, but the perception persists. I found interesting Demos’ research in this area back in 2005 – they looked at public perceptions of government and did a great series of kitchen-table roundtables with citizens. But the idea of government marketing itself and managing its brand like a corporation strike some as manipulative and counter to the goals of engagement and transparency; how does an organization of, by and for the people effectively respond to public perception issues?

    Of course, being involved in internet strategy I think the social/collaborative tools now available provide great opportunities to address these issues. But only if they’re implemented thoughtfully, in a sustained way. It will be interesting to see if the promise they hold to re-engage citizens and address the brand problem gov has will be realized.

  • #98777
    Profile photo of Philip L. Hoffman
    Philip L. Hoffman
    Participant

    But the idea of government marketing itself and managing its brand like a corporation strike some as manipulative and counter to the goals of engagement and transparency; how does an organization of, by and for the people effectively respond to public perception issues?

    Carolyn,
    At the federal level, it’s more then that. Too many senior managers in federal agencies view proactive public relations, including branding, as a violation of clear federal regulations against lobbying. In addition, many polls and focus groups have shown the American public supposrts agencies doing “education” about their programs, while having serious issues with “advertising.” and for too many of my colleagues, the mere terms “advertising, branding”, and “brand management” smack of the private sector, which they think they have to run away from at high speed.

  • #98775
    Profile photo of Tara*
    Tara*
    Participant

    I am more offended by the fact that the skit wasn’t funny than I am by the fact that it makes fun of government employees.

  • #98773
    Profile photo of Margaret Harrison
    Margaret Harrison
    Participant

    I was getting ready to write my reply, and, darn it, Tara wrote it first! This episode of SNL was one of the worst ones in a long time, certainly the worst episode this season. The actual message received by viewers was: not funny, hope the next one’s better, still not funny, time for bed.

  • #98771
    Profile photo of Irene Byrd
    Irene Byrd
    Participant

    I saw the skit and what the heck, it’s true. Those city, state, federal employees who serve the public are sometimes very rude. But look at it this way, sometimes the public is rude to them also. I have met both nice and rude front line workers and it just makes for having an interesting day. How would you like to begin your work day with someone screaming nonsense at you? There is a reason for the madness.

  • #98769
    Profile photo of Tara*
    Tara*
    Participant

    Great minds, eh?

  • #98767
    Profile photo of Peter Sperry
    Peter Sperry
    Participant

    Philip — Senior manager are not the only ones who view proactive public relations by federal agencies as a violation of federal regulations against lobbbying. So do most members of Congress. They have repeatedly inserted language making that clear in various appropriations bills and have been less than amused by the various ways agencies have found to circumvent Congressional intent. The Hill is willing to support PR efforts to promote noncontroversial agency efforts but if there is even the hint of an attempt to influence legislation or if the agency has a track record of trying to circumvent statutory intent, the Appropriations Committee will give said agency a harsh lesson in micromanagment.

  • #98765
    Profile photo of Philip L. Hoffman
    Philip L. Hoffman
    Participant

    Peter,
    So true, so ture. And so sad, because if I talk about how well NOAA is doing responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and then go on to say how much better we’d do if we weren’t as resource constrained – both are factual statements, neither specifically asks for resources or regulatory changes, but the second one will get me a nasty note from the boss.

  • #98763
    Profile photo of Michaela Holmberg
    Michaela Holmberg
    Participant

    SNL makes fun of everyone, that’s what they do. Yes this skit is making fun of government employees but other skits make fun of celebrities, other skits make fun of bank CFO’s, etc. We can’t take it personally if they choose to make one skit about Gov’t employees.
    On the bright side, I do think this stereo type is disappearing. I live in Washington State and the DMV (we call it DOL) has improved ten-fold since I moved to the state. They’ve automated many services and you can even go online to check the local wait time to see if it’s worth going to that day. I’m not a DOL employee and I’ve had more than one bad experience there, but I can say that in the recent past, I’ve noticed drastic improvements. I say we take this skit and use it as motivation to find even more efficiencies.

  • #98761
    Profile photo of Joey White
    Joey White
    Participant

    As others have noted, I don’t see how this differs from any other skit playing off of any other industry stereotype. I work in the private sector. Skits about the private sector revolve around how money-hungry it is and how we’ll do anything to make a buck. Is that true of all of us? Of course not! But it’s true of some – enough that a stereotype has been developed that we can laugh at.

    As for the DMV, I’ve had mixed interactions. My first interaction in Minnesota was awful. Others since then haven’t been so bad. One was good enough that I wrote a letter letting them know how good the customer service was.

    The only way to really effect change with poor customer service is to speak up. If you have an exceptionally good or bad experience, report it. Unions or not, enough reports about someone do have an impact on one’s employment.

  • #98759
    Profile photo of Philip L. Hoffman
    Philip L. Hoffman
    Participant

    Yeah, I miss how easy DOL made everything – once you were in the system you could almost do all your business virtually.

  • #98757
    Profile photo of Eric Melton
    Eric Melton
    Participant

    We all have free medical, no co-pays, etc.? Who knew?
    It did make me chuckle as I remembered it walking through the line of Corvettes in the handicapped row outside…

  • #98755
    Profile photo of Charles Smith
    Charles Smith
    Participant

    I actually think the DMV, at least in my state, makes it easy to do business with them. I think what people find distasteful about the DMV is having to mix in public with people they don’t know, since just about everyone has business with the DMV, and so it is a generally uncomfortable experience even before they get to the counter.

    The skit shows how much work there is to do to explain what government workers do besides being judged for how they handle, or mishandle, consumer relations. Ironically, unless you are in public safety, there are few “award” programs for public employees, outside of reasonable pay, benefits and work rules created to minimize corruption that raged in some jurisdictions prior to the development of the merit system.

  • #98753
    Profile photo of Robert
    Robert
    Participant

    I thought the skit was excruciatingly and painfully unfunny. SNL should perhaps do a skit about how unfunny SNL has become.

    As far as the cartoonish stereotypes in their unfunny skit, perhaps they could have thrown in a line like “You get what you pay for.” In other words, if people don’t want to pay for government services, and want to slam public employees, then perhaps they should take responsibility for expecting service levels on a par with minimum-wage drive-thru attendants.

  • #98751
    Profile photo of Carol Davison
    Carol Davison
    Participant

    So lets are produce rsults and add value to demostrate that this is not accurate today and for the rest of our careers.

  • #98749
    Profile photo of Joey White
    Joey White
    Participant

    If they were being paid minimum wage, that would be understandable, but they’re not. That’s the point of the skit. Whether it’s actually true or not (and it will vary from state to state anyway with the DMV), people feel like they’re paying for cushy jobs that deliver low customer satisfaction.

    The perception is there and our job isn’t to complain about the perception but to change it.

  • #98747
    Profile photo of Carol Davison
    Carol Davison
    Participant

    Make that “Let’s all produce results and add value today and for the rest of our careers to demonstrate that this is not true.”

  • #98745
    Profile photo of Robert
    Robert
    Participant

    On your point of change, actions speak louder than words.

    My point is that the skit was thoroughly unfunny and seemed cartoonish and amateurish.

    Try looking at it this way: If this is the best a national network can produce on an established alleged comedy program, what in the world are they doing mocking public employees for? They can’t even perform basic comedy!

  • #98743
    Profile photo of Joey White
    Joey White
    Participant

    “…the skit was thoroughly unfunny and seemed cartoonish and amateurish.”

    Yep, and that’s a comment that could be used on any forum discussing pretty much any SNL skit for the last 10-15 years. :-)

  • #98741
    Profile photo of Patricia Hall
    Patricia Hall
    Participant

    As some of you have already said, SNL makes fun of everyone and everything. There is good and bad customer service no matter what the industry. It is always good for a laugh. As Joey said, if you have a good or bad experience, report it. At worst, if we lower our expectations there isn’t a problem right? Seriously though, I think it’s truly important not to take these things personally and be able to laugh.

  • #98739
    Profile photo of Mark Hammer
    Mark Hammer
    Participant

    You make a very fair point. And as others have noted in this thread, you can find the same broad spectrum of employee dis/engagement in the private sector as well. The work and service motivation of public employees is a function not only of what they bring with them to the job and organization, but what the organization inculcates and keeps alive in them. I still think the notion that the kinds of work motivation one finds in public employees can vary by job-type and level.

    On a very tangentially-related note, a pleasant counter-example to the skit…..

    Last year, after changes had come into effect and those crossing the Canada/U.S. border were required to have a passport, I finally knuckled under and applied for my Canadian passport so I could attend a conference (I don’t really travel except for work). In response to the huge demand in the months leading up to the imminent change in policy, Passport Canada hired tons of new workers and had them working in night shifts to address the backlog of requests. By the time I went to get mine, much of the backlog and demand had dissipated.

    Foolishly expecting a lineup, on the morning I went to the Passport office, I was the lineup. Their system was that you bring all your documents and forms to the first wicket, where someone checks to make sure you have all the necessary documentation before sending you to the second wicket to complete the application process. The first clerk informed me that they would call my number shortly, and issued me my ticket with my number on it. I began hastily gathering up my papers, but before I could finish, my number was called. I scrambled to collate everything into a pile and dashed over to the second wicket. I smiled at the young woman working there and said “I never thought I’d be saying this at the Passport office, but ‘Sorry to have kept you waiting.’ “. :-)

  • #98737
    Profile photo of Dan Gephart
    Dan Gephart
    Participant

    Finally caught up with my TIVO and saw the skit last night. Just to echo a few comments already made. Basically I can winnow it down to two words: Unfair and Unfunny. The skit played into inaccurate stereotypes and I’m very disappointed in the unfair portrayal government employees seem to get in the mainstream media. It pained me to watch the skit. It probably also pained me because it was so unfunny. A bad skit. That said, whenever somebody puts down SNL, they always say: “That show hasn’t been funny in years.” That’s not true. They have a very talented cast and it’s actually a decent show.

  • #98735
    Profile photo of Mario Rosales
    Mario Rosales
    Participant

    Agree about SNL being unfunny last Saturday. I have to say that the whole show was unfunny. Even weekend update, my favorite part of SNL, was not as funny.
    I suppose that every body and thing is entitled to a bad show once in a while.
    That’s what I chalk it up to.

  • #98733
    Profile photo of Carla Steinborn
    Carla Steinborn
    Participant

    It’s offensive. The skit is pretty much an extended Polack joke, only about another group, and in equally bad taste. But then, SNL hasn’t been funny for a long time.

    And by the way, my last two experiences at the DMV, one of which was on the busiest day of the month, were very positive, and the employees there went out of their way to help me with two very unusual problems.

    The fact is that public employment generally has gotten a lot better and today it is easier to get rid of people who don’t pull their weight. As to Feds, it’s important to recognize that before Civil Service we had the spoils system, which was so bad that it even got one President assassinated. Today I think there are more hiring abuses at the top, where political appointees are allowed to “burrow in” despite having no real expertise in their area of employment. I’d like to see SNL do a skit about that. Unfortunately, that could only happen if they knew what they were talking about.

  • #98731
    Profile photo of Carla Steinborn
    Carla Steinborn
    Participant

    Yes, the statement is an exaggeration. Occasionally the show has some funny segments. But it’s no longer worth watching to find them.

  • #98729
    Profile photo of Sterling Whitehead
    Sterling Whitehead
    Participant

    Everyone. Relax. It’s a skit. If you took offense to it, my message to you is this — quickly develop a thicker skin.

    Laugh. Deal with it. Move on.

  • #98727
    Profile photo of Carla Steinborn
    Carla Steinborn
    Participant

    I think you are over-reacting to our comments. We were asked for our thoughts on the skit, and we provided them. No one has said anything inappropriate. And in case you didn’t know, skits that stereotype groups in negative ways can do real harm.

  • #98725
    Profile photo of Keith Moore
    Keith Moore
    Participant

    As one who worked both in NJ, and as a political appointee, there is no question that workers who fail to commit to a mission, and leadership that fails to establish a mission can easily promote this type of negative characterizations about government workers. and yes it’s government workers across the board who have to take the biggest hit. The constant hits turn into employee low morale and mediocrity where workers become numb to responsibility or accountability. (not every worker of course, but the attitude can be pervasive).

    There is a lot of talk about re-inventing government in today’s marketplace, but until there is a brand strategy that effectively communicates and then realistically delivers the new brand so the brand begins to positively impact the public, then it is a challenge to change perceptions. The Open Government Directive is like the FDR Social Security program when we needed it most. Time will only tell if the Directive will have such a sustainable and favorable impact.

  • #98723
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    Robert
    Participant

    So you are saying that over 10-15 years the employees at NBC who work on SNL — writers, editors, producers, actors — have been getting away with incompetent performance?

    By the way, I generally agree with your observation. SNL has been thoroughly unfunny for many years, with a few notable exceptions such as Tina Fey.

  • #98721
    Profile photo of Joey White
    Joey White
    Participant

    Well, when you put it that way, it seems like a stretch.

    There’s talent there, I just haven’t felt like there’s been the comedic chemistry that has existed in the past. There’s an occasional hit and even an episode or two each year that I wind up watching on Hulu, but I’m rarely compelled to turn the TV to NBC on Saturday nights.

  • #98719
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    Amanda Blount
    Participant

    I too get tired of everyone using Government employees as fodder, but we are the easiest go to group. There are so many of us, and as I read here, even we get tired of Government Customer Service sometimes. But, with that said, I went to the DMV and so did my daughter and even though the lines were long, and the parking lot full, the employees were nice and helpful.

    Plus, I also understnad that 5 DMVs have been closed down around our area and all customers must come to our town. BUT, there was only one more person hired for our DMV!!! Cut-backs hurt everyone, and the employees must be feeling the pressure. I am sure they are tired and worn out handling all the towns around us making the same pay as they did before. Also, I am sure they are saddened when they were told more people would be doing their business online so closing 5 offices would not affect our office too badly. Yeah right. Ours is always backed up and the employees always look completely worn out. So, I do have some mercy for them, and I hate that they keep getting picked on too.

  • #98717
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    Kathleen Smith
    Participant

    I would really like to know how the various agencies or departments who were profiled in this skit responded?

  • #98715
    Profile photo of Ari Herzog
    Ari Herzog
    Participant

    I haven’t sat in front of a full night of SNL in several years; or at least not since the weekly Sarah Palin skits. I just watched that Hulu video…and stopped at 3:53 when I couldn’t keep focused any longer. It was stupid and boring, and I feel sad for the schmoes who wrote that drivel.

  • #98713
    Profile photo of Kevin Carter
    Kevin Carter
    Participant

    Want to show the world how hard you work?

    Make a video response to the SNL sketch that attacked public employees and you could win an expenses paid trip to ICMA’s Annual Conference in San Jose! http://www.govloop.com/forum/topics/2010-icma-video-contest-win-a

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