Mark Hammer

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.’ “. 🙂