Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mind-Bending at the RWMC

There is such a thing as a time tesseract.

Had the thought this morning as I went over a conversation I had with a co-worker the day before.

Here’s the story: We have an arcane process (imagine that: an arcane process in government work) we have to follow in order to ensure that the hazards workers would encounter when doing work are adequately identified and mitigated. It’s a flawed process, but one that is universally recognized as the best solution we can have right now that doesn’t need money to make it better. (In the best world, of course, that money would be there, but it ain’t, so we go with the best solution available to us.) I suggested a few days ago that rather than fight the system, this co-worker simply game within the system to his advantage, combining procedures that have similar hazard sets into one go-through of this arcane system, thus saving time and money.

But no. He and his customer spent two days looking for any loophole possible in order to avoid the arcane process, including going to the head of our health and safety org to find a way through the mess.

I get a call from the head of the health and safety org, and we talk about the arcane process and how it could be used to follow the letter of the law but at the same time save time the others don’t want to spend.

Still today I’m not sure I’ve convinced them that this is the way to go in order to avoid any audit fodder in the future.

Enter the tesseract.

Basically, I was offering them a way to enter a tesseract in the system to accomplish their work in the shortest amount of time possible. I guess, however, they decided they wanted to continue finding their own route. I may finally win them over yet, showing them that the best way is to fold that string so the ant can walk from one finger to the other.

I sound pompous here. It’s because I am pompous. But at least I can see the shortcuts – legal ones – that present themselves. That’s a government tesseract.

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