It is no secret that I didn’t want the Donald as president, but not necessarily for the same reasons that most others didn’t. As a fellow New Yorker and the mother of a teenage boy, well let’s just say there are times that the lyrics in the songs my kid listens to would make the Donald blush. Many wanted him because he is a businessman and not a politician. I didn’t want him as president precisely because he IS a private industry businessman. I wanted a career bureaucratic to be president. I wanted someone with many years of government experience to govern, hence the name of the organization that person would lead. Has no one told the Donald to take a coffee break? To go to the break room now free of all that smoke since the 90s and just sit and have a soda and a bag of Cheetos and talk about last night’s episode of (fill in the blank) with fellow White House workers? I have no idea what people are watching today on TV and saying Seinfeld is just too cliché.
The breakneck or private industry or just plain New York speed with which he is working is just not good for him or us. We cannot maintain this level of incredulity or downright irritation for much longer. He barks out orders all day and night without a thought to what the heck he is even saying. I worked for the Feds for 38 years and was a manager for most of them. Maybe I can give him some advice here. Relax, Don, take five or ten or the rest of your term. What the heck happened to that nice Camp David? Why don’t we have pictures of you laying poolside with a Mai Tai? Have you already turned Camp David into an AirBnB? Let’s hope not. And no, working in the White House in your robe and slippers, as the recent reports from Crazy Land have posited doesn’t count. When that Friday whistle blows, Donald, we want you grabbing that lunch pail and those golf clubs and heading out. That alone could keep the weekend safe for air travel for everyone and go a damn long way to making America great again.
You know we have a non-government employee as president when he is able to incense Federal government workers to the point of starting their own rogue Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and websites. He has crossed a line of no return there. These very same people who can barely get their official pages to function now have taken on extra, unpaid work. That is an accomplishment of sorts I guess. And what about the way too many hours he is spending at that desk. A government work schedule is not nor should it be the same as private sector. For example, when I worked, my schedule was 6am to 1pm at one point in time. Strolling in around 7:30am was just fine and ensured I wasn’t crabby and sleep deprived on the job. Imagine how we could all breath a sigh of relief if the Donald was late for work a few days a week? It would be a downright public service. You can see by his not so sound governing judgment these past few weeks, why I did not want a private sector, overachieving businessman running our Federal government. I wanted someone who would look at a problem for maybe a few years, then ask a few questions, then send it out to some random committee no one will hear from for a few more months. Then get the report back and have no one like it in the inner sanctum because the president didn’t put him or her on the committee. Then having to figure out whether the committee findings were based on merit, research and careful consideration or the feet stomping jealousy of an insecure three year old. That’s the kind of calm and composed process we need to decide what to do about our collective social and legislative problems. Not the private industry hit the ground running, need that done by yesterday decision making way. The Donald and his cohorts should relax. The issues will be there tomorrow and the next day and most likely even the next decade.
So jobs and not the great Steve Jobs kind are on my mind this week as I head out on a job interview for the first time in 43 years. That traumatic episode with the crossing guard position doesn’t count. I’ll tell you about it another time. It’s been almost five years since I retired from the US Custom Service and it’s time for me to be institutionalized again. I have tried my hand at my own business and I do like that a lot but I’m not making a fortune there. I’m not even making a pittance. I seem to have way too much time on my hands these days and so off I go to apply for a job with the city now. I am pretty sure they will be my kind of bureaucracy. So when they ask me about my, say, typing skills, I will be asking them if I can have March 17 off to go to that St Patrick’s Day gig of my musical friends Andy and Renee in Huntington Beach. Things like that. The important stuff like how much vacation time will I get. Things the Donald should be asking about and then taking as much as he can of during his time as a Federal employee.
I sure hope this interview goes as well as my last one in 1974 with Customs did. It was April of my senior year in High School and my Dad said I could go to Italy for the summer if I had a job when I got back. My interview at Customs consisted of me asking if they could possibly let me start in September and my new boss saying, sure take the summer off, you are an overstaff anyway. It was love at first sight, both with the job and my boss! It worked though cause when I finally did show up for work I stayed for the next 38 years.
Now we certainly don’t want the Donald staying that long. In fact 38 days would be fine at this point, but if he is going to do a stint as a Federal employee then let’s hope he takes the appropriate amount of sick and annual leave like George W. did. Now that will make America great again or at least less nervous.