Social standing and public sector work

v1ru5 28 September 2008 42

Is there some social divide going on here that I’m not aware of?

Last week I had 3 separate shop assistants complain to me that the rude person served before me expected special treatment because he/she was in the public service.

After one of these, the public service worker started spouting off names (‘I work for Senator Blahblah…). They then blocked me from view with their body whilst their colleagues emptied the outside eating area with their cigar smoking. I guess the thing that annoyed me the most about that person is listening to them butcher some of the better parts of the English language in an attempt to sound smart.

Now I’m not from this state. I work with the public service here, but have found them to be generally as inept as back in QLD. Back home, working for the public service is more of a ‘job for life’ thing than a ‘holy crap I’m awesome’ thing.

By what standards do these retards think that they’re good? Is it just the assistants to the politicians?


What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
42 Responses to Social standing and public sector work
BusyButBored BusyButBored 11:32 am 30 Sep 08

I found working to Macfarlane’s office was great as opposed to Bailey’s office – which was not great. Macfarlane’s staff actually seemed happy though which probably had a lot to do with it. You’re less affected by the long hours when the boss is a decent bloke.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 11:01 am 30 Sep 08

“I say I’m a Govt high school teacher and their response is “Oh so your THAT type of Public Servant”.”

Sits so well with the “I’m a teacher” bit…

Overheard Overheard 10:37 am 30 Sep 08

Sorry if I’m covering ground already covered; I’m just a little time-poor (great phrase — not) and have barely skimmed last 39 posts.

It’s like this: if any member of the public service(s) tries to use their title, office, employer etc. to receive a benefit they are not otherwise entitled to, they’re in breach of about 27 parts of the conditions of their employment.

Ask for ID, ask for a business card and then either you (if you’re empowered/comfortable) or your boss or whoever in your own organisation should get medieval on the perp’s ar$e.

To save possible hypocrisy, once earlier this year I did actually with a big smile and full disclosure, and one side of my body that was almost not functioning, I approached the check-in staff at Sydney airport for an airline that rhymes with ‘Quantass’ and asked that if because of two associations and a medical condition I could by-pass the cattle lining up on the left and scoot through the Business Class section.

I did them about two-three minutes of stand-up (which was a stretch on two fronts) while they processed my boarding pass. By the end of it, everyone was smiling as the farewelled me with these sub-titles running under their fetching red neck-kerchiefs: “GET OFF THE STAGE!”

johnboy johnboy 10:26 am 30 Sep 08

Skidbladnir, can you do me a favour and re-post this as a new story?


Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 10:11 am 30 Sep 08

(Another benefit is there’s more chance you’ll want to go back at time you -don’t- have Government id, so will pay standard pricing on future books)

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 9:59 am 30 Sep 08

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

discount on retail books

Wait – what discount?

This is going to be one of those ‘seeing through walls’ moments, like knowing which places sell under the table cigarettes…

Canberra A&R’s do pretty routine discounts for anyone showing Govt id (and knows they can score a discount), Dymocks & QBD I think do as well, that bookshop below the cinema in Civic definitely do (theres a sign next to the entry door).

And no, they don’t need to be work-related books.
Basically the idea is that price comes down but volume goes up, and the margin means there’s more total profit.

ant ant 9:41 am 30 Sep 08

Maybe he means those books they leave in tea rooms for sale? Only many APS depts don’t have these any more because the bookseller can’t get into the building and there’s no tearooms anyway! A law firm I worked for had them though.

Woody Mann-Caruso Woody Mann-Caruso 9:16 am 30 Sep 08

discount on retail books

Wait – what discount?

poptop poptop 9:10 am 30 Sep 08

The idea that having wall to wall Labor governments was stretching their talent pool a bit thin.

I guess we’ll soon see if there is an influx of WA Advisors . . .

ant ant 9:16 pm 29 Sep 08

It was noteable that when the new gov’t went on their rushed recruitment drive after the election, they wanted youngies. Mind you, with what they’re paying, maybe they thought they’d get less complaints. I was fortunate enough to deal with the nice ones, but perhaps they’ve become arrogant and bumptious by now. Well, offended sales assistants can console themselves with the thought that, in many cases, they’re working MUCH shorter hours than the government staffers, and they’re being paid more.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 8:59 am 29 Sep 08

Apart from answering “So, what do you do?” questions, the only time claiming to be a public servant comes in really handy in this town is for the discount on retail books and on otherwise-empty hotel rooms.

Otherwise, you really are just one of a big herd.
Some people might higher-paid arts of that herd than others, but they’re not special to the degree they think they are.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 8:47 am 29 Sep 08

As a suit wearer, I’ve copped my share of unfair attitude from back dock workers, tradies and the like and I’ve overheard comments about “there a PS out there wanting service” etc. I think there n an assumption that if you wear a suit, and have a swipe card around your neck, then you’re a “pube”, and a lazy one at that. Doesn’t seem to cross their minds that I work for a private company, treat everyone the way I like to be treated, and it was the same when I actually worked in the Public Service. There has been ridiculous stereotyping about suit wearers, and indeed all Canberran’s for years. Funny that you see less comments about Canberra being a “dull town full of pubes” now that people are mobbing here from the bigger cities because our town rules and they’ve finally realised the gems of Canberra.

When I used to work in retail years ago, I worked for a popular but pretentious Men & Womens clothing and housewares store in the Canberra Centre (I’ll let you all work this one out…it’s not hard), you should have seen how sad and pathetic it was to see the behavior of several members of Canberra’s rugby league team. They’d waltz in, expect the attention of ALL staff members, would interrupt staff that were assisting other customers and make it clear that everyone knew they were in the store. Often they’d opt to use the open store area to change their shirts, and take their time while doing it. `Still make me cringe thinking about it? Can’t suppose I can blame them. The rest of the staff I was working with would lap it up, and do more than encourage it.

Thumper Thumper 8:14 am 29 Sep 08

Both Ms Thumper and myself work in government departments and both of us would say that the staffers currently running the show have absolutely no idea what they are on about, or have been bullied into a position where they won’t make a decision and instead promote what appears to be endless rounds of consultation, reviews, meetings, etc, with absolutely no outcomes whatsoever, except to have more meetings further down the track.

Having said that I think JC is correct. They are simply full of their own self importance. No difference to the previous governments staffers.

johnboy johnboy 7:56 am 29 Sep 08

Any government is going to take some time to whip it’s new young yahoos back into line.

Having said that Rudd does seem to be hiring some real little toads.

madocci madocci 7:42 am 29 Sep 08

I find that the more pressured and stressed people are, the less patience they have with people wasting their time. From my experience, the demands being placed on advisers and the like is phenominal. They start work before 7am, finish later that 8pm, travel all the time and work on weekends. They literally have no life.

This doesnt excuse rude behaviour but I know I can be a little rude when under extreme time pressure.

simbo simbo 7:41 am 29 Sep 08

I think it’s mroe a case of “the old mob had got used to us, and we’d got used to them, and so rudeness lowered a bit – the new mob is still finding out exactly how far they can push us before we snap back….”

JC JC 2:27 am 29 Sep 08

poptop said :

Are the staffers of either party noticably worse?

My experience is the staff of the current Governments are much ruder than the previous sets.

It’s a bit sad when we seem to vote for them so consistently.

I find them pretty much the same. All full of their own self (un)importance.

poptop poptop 12:50 am 29 Sep 08

Are the staffers of either party noticably worse?

My experience is the staff of the current Governments are much ruder than the previous sets.

It’s a bit sad when we seem to vote for them so consistently.

GottaLoveCanberra GottaLoveCanberra 10:38 pm 28 Sep 08

“Not unusual for any particular person to try that, worked in retail for many years. So many people personally knew the CEO of the large australian company or local member of parliament and were going to call them and complain. It was normally greated with “OK you do that, cya!””

I am almost guaranteed to get this everyday. My reply almost always echoes yours. ^_^

jakez jakez 10:00 pm 28 Sep 08

I think if you have to say “Don’t you know who I am?”, you clearly aren’t important enough to claim whatever you are attempting to claim.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site