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Thread: In praise of public servants

  1. #1
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    Default In praise of public servants

    Very recently one of my employees partner died. In the weeks before he died they were trying to get married – there were lots of complications and it wasn’t straightforward. I helped a little with the paper work. I was in contact with many public servants – registrars, court officials, nursing staff. They were to a man and woman wonderful, kind, efficient and caring. They went beyond their job descriptions on many occasions and were very understanding of difficulties – not once did I come against the ‘jobsworth’ attitude. Yet the never bent a law. The really bent over backwards when there was no gain for themselves.
    It set me thinking about how often I’ve met or seen public servants who were just very kind and thoughtful. I’ll give two further examples:
    Recently one of my children failed to return a DVD to the library on time – when I returned it I discovered that it had incurred a €2.10 fine. The librarian looked around to see if anyone was looking and in a very quiet voice said ‘don’t worry if you can’t afford to pay it all off today’. I looked at her and thought to myself ‘I spill more of that when I open a decent bottle of wine’. But I really appreciated this kindness in case I was struggling (and I was in the past so I know what that means).
    Finally I have never been into the passport office without witnessing someone trying to get a passport at the last minute – usually a young fella on the post leaving cert bash who didn’t realise he needed one! – but also people desperate to travel to be by the bedside of a sick relative. They have always been treated with courtesy and the utmost flexibility and I think always got to travel.
    I’ve been reflecting since the first incidence outlined above how all these kindnesses by public servants civilises us all and without these small kindnesses Ireland would be a far worse place to live. If you’ve ever had cause to meet the bureaucracy in other countries you might recognise that not all countries have such a professional but flexible public service.
    I do realise that not all Irish public servants/services are like this (indeed I could have done a thread on jumped up jobsworths myself) but enough of them are that I want to say a public thank you.
    Please feel free to post good public servants stories below – if you want to public service bash please do it elsewhere – there are plenty of p.ie threads that do just that.

  2. #2
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    I think you must be having a laugh. Or you're some sort of sick troll.

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    Quote Originally Posted by titmouse View Post
    I think you must be having a laugh. Or you're some sort of sick troll.
    No - public servants, in my experience, are generally courteous and helpful and discharge their functions with a good deal more humanity and understanding than is found elsewhere. The problems with the PS lie with the more senior ranks who are highly resistant to change.

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    Politics.ie Member Howya's Avatar
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    I think what you have discovered is that there are many genuine people - the fact that they are public service or private sector is irrelevant.
    “Still paying, still to owe. Eternal woe! ” ― Paradise Lost, John Milton

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    Politics.ie Member odlum's Avatar
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    35% pay cuts across public sector. End "job for life" culture. Ban trade unions. 45% compulsory dismissal reduction in staff numbers. Economic problem solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by odlum View Post
    35% pay cuts across public sector. End "job for life" culture. 45% compulsory dismissal reduction in staff numbers. Economic problem solved.
    Which services do you want cut by 45%?

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    Politics.ie Member livingstone's Avatar
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    Uh oh. OP clearly forgot to leave nuance and rational thinking at the door before starting a thread on the public service.

    You must not have got the memo - the public sector is an amorphous blob of lazy, ineffective, indifferent and bitter folks overpaid for jobs we don't need. You're clearly a troll for thinking that, in fact, like every body of workers, public sector workers are people and therefore will, like anyone, approach their jobs with different attitudes etc, and that the myth of every public sector worker being unnecessary cost is is just a myth. Get with the programme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howya View Post
    I think what you have discovered is that there are many genuine people - the fact that they are public service or private sector is irrelevant.
    I agree! only sometimes what the public service is providing is more fundamental to human well being and therefore more critical that they are human.

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    Quote Originally Posted by odlum View Post
    35% pay cuts across public sector. End "job for life" culture. Ban trade unions. 45% compulsory dismissal reduction in staff numbers. Economic problem solved.
    Just remind us which party stuffed the PS full of extra bodies in the hope that they'd vote for them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by odlum View Post
    35% pay cuts across public sector. End "job for life" culture. Ban trade unions. 45% compulsory dismissal reduction in staff numbers. Economic problem solved.
    i have no intention of keeping a job or working for life.
    “Les cons, ça ose tout, c’est même à ça qu’on les reconnaît.”

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