There’s a putrid stench still in the air up here in Queensland. “Beautiful one day and perfect the next” the words on the image splashes. Thank goodness there’s no Smell-o-Vision yet! Just make sure you keep the windows of your car wound up tightly while you get the idea of how we’d all like to be seen. You might want to be careful of that first deep breath when you get around to taking it all in – before you have to smell the stink.
What’s on earth is that stench?
That was a rhetorical question really… everyone knows exactly what it is.
Methane is a gas. It stinks. Prepubescents have an fascination with farting competitions, farting jokes, farting games – bottling it, burning it, forcing others to smell it.
It doesn’t belong in business nor in government.
It doesn’t belong in the grown-up world.
It doesn’t belong in Queensland.
Government ‘corruption’ is still alive – it stills stinks.
There’s still pockets of it in most departments.
We have perhaps gotten a bit lazy; and when we hear ‘government’ we just think ‘ministers.’ We forget to think about the engine, and the departments and the bureaucrats who work that engine.
I encountered a lungful of it last week in the Queensland government tourism industry.
I had to shut my mouth for a while – it tasted far worse than a spoonful of ‘bio-dynamic lifter’.
A ‘fat fart’ of the public service ilk decided he wanted to monopolize a particular private business activity and threw his weight around fairly effectively in the short term. He wanted ‘his cut’. His actions drained precious resources, his blackmail affects more than two small businesses and some larger ones too perhaps – if he has his way- in the first instance. The scenario impacts the local area, the region, the state and even Australia by reducing the effectiveness and efficiency of all the affected businesses to do what they do for all of us.
It’s not just the tourism industry.
That fart-gas pervades many departments still.
A quick google search will reveal whistleblower sites covering some of them. These are the good people from within the ranks who have had enough, who found no other way to get people listen, who while doing it alone far far far too often, sometimes despairingly, hoped that there must be at least one grown-up somewhere who will listen. Who might even do something. Anything.
These people are not alone.
They are not lone voices in the night.
And there’s much to be said about the challenging personal consequences of calling attention to an issue. They were and are still very real.. and it is our shame for allowing it to continue.
There’s a plethora of research and a lot of great papers about the rampant pervasive constancy of corruption and not just in Queensland. I dare say there’s even a fair bit of funding happening, and a whole industry is developing around this topic.
Meanwhile, while we are going about our daily lives we are all being impacted by a bunch who seriously need to properly deal with their pockets of bullying, tantrum-throwing, name-calling, back-stabbing, harassing, infantile and demented, extraordinary, ranges of behaviour within their workings that affects everyone.
The Source of the Stench.
When we drive past a sewage plant, a treatment works, or a home where a septic tank is overflowing, we all immediately know for sure and certain what the stench is. That aroma just wafts and drifts and permeates everything near it. It’s called methane.
One of the things that perpetuates this rank pong is that the people who work in those places end up not smelling it. ‘What you talkin’ about?’ they say; ‘i can’t smell it?’. Someone who starts work there sure notices it, but after they’ve been hanging around it for a while, they too get used to it. Then, they might even find that they can get away with a little fart of their own – who’s going to notice it in amongst all of that? Maybe it just slipped out the first time, but after awhile it gets to be a bit of a habit, or at least acceptable…’hey, everyone does it heh heh, nudge nudge. What’s your problem? Who’s going to notice?’.
The fact is that every single passerby KNOWS! The people over the road know. The street around the corner knows. The next suburb often knows. Everyone knows precisely and exactly.
There’s something about an ‘Old Boys’ club. It’s not called a ‘Bunch of Old Farts’ for nothing. And when the doors are closed the gases inside build up and up and up. Like the treatment workers above, the enclave gets ‘used to it’ and are even become a bit fond of it all as it becomes associated with the ‘togetherness’, the camaraderie, the mateship. There comes a time that the stench oozes out. When each one of those members emerges they’re encased in a ball of it that’s so strong you can nearly touch it!. Its in their clothes, in their hair, in their paperwork and briefcases. Eventually it soaks right into their skin.
And everyone around can smell it, knows what it is, instinctively holds their noses tightly, clamps their mouths shut so they don’t get that god-awful taste in the back of the throat, and as they are hastily backing off they are often holding out an arm with a palm upright while they do what they can to avoid it.
It’s time to clean up the crap. It’s time to put a nappy on (they make them your size now people) – oh and be sure to dispose of them in the right place. It’s time to have a shower to wash off the muck…. but the thing is you have to make sure those drains are working or they’ll back up in no time.
Potty time in the throne room.
Big boys and girls are toilet trained. They know how to go to the toilet. They know where it is, what it’s for and how to use it. They know how wipe their bum properly. They know how to wash their hands properly with soap and water.
Then when they are grown-up men and women they might even have kids of their own to toilet train. They know also how to use a toilet brush, and why hygiene is essential for health.
If you want to Lord it over everybody, the throne’s back down the hall on the left. It’s not called the throne room for nothing. You get to sit, relax, and let go. When you’ve finished you rise, clean yourselves up, adjust your clothing, wash your hands, and re-enter the world ready to meet your day with everyone else. And you don’t stink! Everyone gets to use the same room… one at a time each and every person gets to be the king of the world for a moment or three. And then they share.
It’s time to flush that toilet.
It’s time you all got out of your play-pen kids. It’s time you grew up. It’s time you learned that vilification and humiliations, recriminations reprisals and ‘ramifications’ are all spoilt-brat school-yard bullying tactics that everyone can see as immature tantrums. That’s just ‘throwing the crap around’. You are the only ones on the planet who think that’s a normal healthy way of how things work in the grown-up world.
We’ve all lived with your crap for too long. You stink.
There’s only so long that anyone can get away with just whacking on a bit of extra deodorant or a spray of cologne over and around the clothing. After a bit the whole bloody body stinks more than it originally did!
It will be a great day when we don’t have to remind you to wipe your bum and wash your hands, and then tuck your clothes in for you. It will be a great day when you can join us here in our grown-up world as a responsible contributing adult.
What you do with your own life and your own time is your business. And while you’re at work, in case you’ve forgotten, your business IS about all of us. When what you do at your work adversely affects me and those I care about, it becomes MY business. And make no mistake. I attend to my business well and I don’t stop till the job is done. That’s the Aussie way.
Clean up your crap.
Clean yourself up. Fix those blocks in your systems properly, don’t detour around them, or pretend they don’t exist. Make your system work the way it is supposed to – to serve Queensland, not your own arses. Listen to the people who are telling you where the problems are. The day you begin will be the day that marks the start of your history of actually doing some good for Queensland.
Learn how to use the toilet.
Don’t forget to flush it when you are finished.
And here’s a toilet brush.
ps. Just a quick word to that ‘fat fart’ from last week. I AM going to make sure your placement in that job is redundant. If you are really lucky there might just be room for you down at the local treatment plant stirring one of the ponds (you’re already used to the smell) – you might even find bits of your own creation there. . . . . If you are lucky.
© Jo Carey-Bradshaw 2012 All Rights Reserved.