Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Riding a Dead Horse

Has the slow-moving bureaucracy got you down? Here's some entertainment making the rounds on e-mail this week:

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that, "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

However, in government (and in corporate America) more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride horses.

5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.

10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.

11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position

Which of these do you encounter most frequently in your corners of the world?

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Anonymous said...

I became a wounded and limping horse during the economic slowdown around year 2001. No one cut me any slack. Therefore, I see no reason to extend it up the verticle chain - govt or business.

I figured out a while ago that some people are overemployed. If you take employment as an equation, it would look something like this:

overemployment - undermployment = employment

* how to interpret above: when overemployment increases and employment decreases -> underemployment has to increase

Anonymous said...

one more-

metaphorically... someone in their big, heavy, gas guzzling car plowed my bicycle-

Anonymous said...

actually, someone in his or her (not "their")

Anonymous said...

a bunch of dead or weak horses collude with other dead or weak horses to ostracize or damage a strong horse and thus protect the job security of all the pre-existing weak and dead horses.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a union to me...

Anonymous said...

and management sometimes too in addition to unions- palacial parachutes, non-competes, buying silence, etc.

Anonymous said...

palatial not palacial

Anonymous said...

We need to distinguish these by spending money, taking actions, pretending to take actions, saying we will take actions, and changing our viewpoint so no action is required. By this measure, 11 is the superior response, but if we weight our personal benefit in as well, then 4 is best.

dearieme said...

14 Calling for further research into Dead Horses, in particular exploring the difference between Actual Existing Dead Horses and the superior sort of Dead Horses that would have existed if only the teachings of whomsoever had been observed more faithfully.