It’s kind of funny, when I think about it -- an entire state agency in a kerfuffle over my little blog with a readership of perhaps fifteen people, many of them relatives and friends who know my opinions anyway without my having to blog about them.
So yesterday’s post apparently drew the attention to the desk jockeys in Richmond, who called down to another layer of VDOT management, who called the next layer of VDOT management, all having time to peruse the blog, which I only noticed because all of a sudden my numbers have jumped. Apparently there is nothing better to do when you are a VDOT employee in Richmond.
The result of this is that yesterday afternoon a VDOT supervisor (the working kind, not the desk kind) showed up at my front door.
Let me just state a few things for the record: I in no way believe it’s possible to remain totally anonymous on the web without coming off as really paranoid. So I try to be as honest as I can be and, like Billie’s father says in Born Yesterday: “Never do nothing you wouldn't want printed on the front page of The New York Times.” If someone wants to find me, I know there is nothing I can do about it and still live a normal life. So here I am – I live with four large dogs and Gaspode (frankly, worry more about Gaspode…).
Secondly, I have this annoying habit of automatically assuming I’m wrong. I begin apologizing for things I didn’t do before anyone actually accuses me of doing anything or, when I know I have every right to believe what I believe or do what I’m doing, I try to find some common ground with my accuser.
I would say VDOT was sending out its muscle to intimidate me, but the man at my door was a very polite – if beleaguered – gentleman who had just been bawled out by his upper management, none of whom, apparently, could read. Because, if they had been able to read they would have known I was not chuckling over the VDOT workers, so much as them – the guys sitting behind the desks, glibly issuing orders to “save money” that actually cost more in the long run.
To his credit, the gentleman took one for the team, so to speak, and insisted that his project on Monday was necessary, and I suppose road conditions are subjective. But I drive the road quite a bit and its deterioration was unremarkable. I’ve also lived on VDOT-maintained gravel roads that needed far more attention and need it now. I’m no geological engineer, but I know when a road is screwing up my car’s alignment – even if I am a girl.
Anyway, the VDOT workers I observed Monday were doing the only thing they could do, given the screwy, if predictable, orders they were given.
I am fully aware this is common practice in every governmental agency, local, state or federal. Who cares about $80,000 when your budget is in the millions? It’s really small potatoes – just a number on the ledger.
I also know that our personal situation makes some people think we’ve no right to an opinion on any financial matter. Sorry. It’s my blog. I may be living in a rental house and my finances devastated but, if I treated my personal budget like the pencil pusher in government, I’d be living out my retirement in a cardboard box.
So, NO, I have NO gripe against our local VDOT workers, which was the point I was making in the original post. They’re obviously patient, tolerant people. But my aforementioned assumption of guilt requires me to apologize to them for stirring up the people who somehow managed to fumble their way out of high school without achieving abilities in reading comprehension: I’m sorry your upper management can’t read.
Ironically, in making such a fuss over this entry, they have, in fact, caused it to be viewed by more people than if they had just let it alone. One has to wonder what level of the VDOT bureaucracy has so much time on their hands that they can cause my site traffic to triple in one day – all of it from the Richmond VDOT server.
While I appreciate the attention, controversy is not what this blog is about and tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled domestic blathering.