January 19, 2009

There's The Exit

I once worked with a guy I didn't like. When he came on I figured I'd give him a chance. He talked a good game. He seemed like a screw up in some ways, but he was friendly (except for when he was angry and paranoid). He did a couple of things right, but eventually he screwed so many things up that he made life difficult for his coworkers. Things were getting to be a mess and it was going to be some work to clean up.

One day, my manager asked me how I felt about the guy. He was considering letting the guy go. I unintentionally damned him with faint praise. I was on my way out on vacation. When I came back, he was gone.

I didn't feel happy, because we were left with a mess and I had to clean it up. I guess I was somewhat relieved, but the removal of this thorn in my side (in the side of our organization) was not a cause of elation.

That's close to how I am feeling about this administration change. I'm happy about a lot of the differences between Bush and Obama. I'm happy when I hear people who have sat down with Obama and later said that this is a man who cares deeply about motivating people to work together to keep this country great and solve its problems, in contrast to our current president who cared about people agreeing with him more than hearing their opinion.

But Bush's exit was inevitable. It was always on the calendar. And as things have gotten worse, he's left us with so much garbage that it's like having your incompetent coworker fired. You're just sorry the whole thing happened, sorry the damage has been done. It's great when they hire a bright new guy to help get things back on track, but you just want to forget about the numskull who did more harm than good.

Posted by James at January 19, 2009 11:51 PM
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I had a coworker like that once, and when he was fired, I felt a little bit elated. Yes, he had left a mess and I had to clean it up, but the point was, he wasn't going to be making messes any more, so all I had to do was finish cleaning up the existing mess and then I could get on with my life.

Also, he would no longer park himself in each coworker's cube for an hour at a time trying to make small talk instead of working. I used to wonder when he found the time to do such a lousy job. (This is not the same coworker that I felt sorry for because I didn't discover the mess he had left behind until later.)

I did feel badly for his family, wondering how they would get by, but the guy was seriously incompetent AND annoying and occasionally creepy.

Bush screwed up much worse than this ex-coworker did, and the dude's rich so I don't even have to worry about his family. Of course I'm not elated about the mess he made, but I am elated that we can begin putting the pieces back together now.

Posted by: Julie at January 20, 2009 2:39 AM

Bush's departure is very much a cause for elation for me. The fact that we've known the date for more than four years makes no difference. "Screw up" doesn't begin to cover him.

Posted by: Barry Leiba at January 20, 2009 8:13 AM

I work with someone who, I think, is on the fast track out the door, though this person can't see it. This person:

*is a complainer.
*swears about our boss in the middle of the office in a loud voice.
*has paranoid thoughts/persecution complex--it's never this person's fault, everyone is out to sabbotage/get this person, including the boss.
*is a distraction.

Still, I wonder, if this person is let go right now, who will pick up all the work? We're all buried as it is. But, to Julie's point, if it comes to pass, we'll just have to dig in, get it done, and move on.

This is how I feel about the end of Bush the Unready. Dig in, clean it up, and move on. And that means we all lend a hand, we don't wait for Obama to do it all--he can't. No one person can.

That and I feel a huge sense of relief that Obama is taking the helm.

Posted by: Patti M. at January 20, 2009 8:34 AM

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