Tuesday, 24 August 2010

My Day

It was one of those days at work. The Pentagon is always a world of entertainment.

I have this requirement that is floating via the military organization...for furniture for an area we designed and rebuilt. The folks running this episode got three quotes and all the drawings done by early May.

Step by step, this mess has moved barely an inch at a time. We had to fight to get permission to proceed just on the project. Then came the budget fight. Then came the final step now where the contractor team would award this to one of the three folks we have quotes with.

This entire process should have taken about six weeks. We are well into twelve weeks.

Well...today, the idiots at the contractor team have come back to say that the quotes we got....aren't any good now. They are past the 60-day point.

We are at this critical junction now of using the money or losing the money. Hours and days matter. If they force the issue, which I think they must....then it could take a week to get vendors to complete a fresh new quote. You can imagine the hostile nature of folks on our side.

Almost everyday, there's this episode to unfold and you look at the massive and complex way that things must work in the DOD circle...and then you wonder how things don't fall apart.

I had a refrigerator to fail three months ago. The boss actually agreed on funding a new refrigerator. So I arranged the selection process. There were three different groups in on the approval process: pro-ice crusher, anti-ice crusher, and the plain-old refrigerator with nothing fancy. I eventually sold everyone on this refrigerator, with a hidden ice maker (it's inside)...and so off we go to order this model.

Then I move to turn the old one in. The turn-in guys get all hyper....paperwork to attest the non-toxic nature is required. I eventually prove that's not really an issue.

Then when they come to remove it...there's this tube permanently attached to it (it used to make ice....long, long, long ago) from the wall, and no faucet. So nothing can move unless you can turn the water off.

So we search for an hour or so...no faucet under the sink. No faucet above the ceiling. Nothing.

So we call the building guys. They waste an hour and finally tell us that the faucet is actually sixty feet away in the men's bathroom. We stood there puzzled...what idiot would do something like this? The Pentagon maintenance guy couldn't answer.

Then we continue onto the next step of getting the new refrigerator into place. There's a totally different water hose required for this one compared to the old one....so we now go back through the requirements process to find one.

If I tried to run a business this way....the military way...it'd fail in a month. That's the sad thing about these episodes. Thank God all we have to do in life is fight wars and save folks in New Orleans after hurricanes.

The Swamp City Update

There was a decent news article from the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, going into detail over New Orleans and it's growing situation.

Up until Hurricane Katrina, the Latino population of New Orleans stood between two and three percent. It wasn't moving much.

After Hurricane Katrina, as alot of folks packed up and left the town completely....the Latinos suddenly found that day employment was great and there was a high demand for cheap labor. They stayed, and they built up their numbers. Today....they control around six to seven percent of the population. And some folks think the real Latino population (normally hidden for good reasons) is probably nearer to nine to ten percent.

Naturally, this growing population has some folks in New Orleans worried. It was a ethnically black city for the past one hundred years or more. The political power of the city was generally always leaning toward the black vote. So there's anxiety now over what might happen in ten years.

If the growth trend were to continue, I could easily imagine a twenty percent Latino population in the future. Imagine an election period when you as a candidate had to pick the right population to appease or upset....and you were guessing over who would stand by you in November.

This is a new New Orleans.....and it's not even Bush's fault.