Some time back I was giving a presentation to about 80 people who worked for a large state agency. I was asking them about problems they saw in their routine work, problems that wasted their time and state resources.
One employee wanted me to understand how frustrating it could be working in government and told the group the following story that went something like this:
A department meeting was underway and the team was discussing a problem that was causing a lot of extra work. An employee enthusiastically started firing off ideas for the group to consider for fixing the problem. The employee was visibly engaged and enthusiastic.
Another employee, a long timer in the department, looked in dismay at the enthusiastic employee and said, “Oh, you’re the new guy. You obviously haven’t died inside yet.”