Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Public Service 2.0

"[Clerk of the Privy Council Wayne] Wouters called GCPEDIA ‘one of my priorities’ that he wants bureaucrats to use. It’s a massive wiki....where public servants can share information, post reports, publish work or collaborate on projects that could affect a slew of departments."
- The Ottawa Citizen - April 11, 2010

Coffee break
A coffee break is a midmorning or midafternoon break from the work routine lasting anywhere from fifteen to fifty minutes. Not to be confused with ‘lunch break’ which is a midday break generally lasting twice as long as allotted.

Coffee specials
Depending on where you work, a variety of coffee specials are available to public servants. For example, if you work in or near the Meadowview Shopping Complex, Bob’s Deli has a large coffee for $1 before 9 A.M. Those stationed in the Government Centre at Duflin and Byer Streets can get a medium coffee and a muffin for $1.50 after 2 P.M.

Early exit
An early exit means leaving one’s workplace prior to the scheduled time of departure. If you don’t have a scheduled time of departure, feel free to improvise and leave when you want. If, however, you do have set hours of work, be careful not to leave too early too often.

Early exit - Desjardins
For those new to the Desjardins Building wishing to sneak out early, take note of the rear stairwell. Although the exit door on each floor is marked "Emergency Exit Only", if you open the door very slowly, you can escape without tripping any alarms. Perfect for those who need to leave before 3 P.M.

Hockey playoff pool
Most government offices will have at least one playoff hockey pool. Each participant pays an entry fee and gets to select a certain number of players for the duration of the playoffs. Enquire of your co-workers and you will likely find one individual in charge of running the pool whose name is usually Bob, Mike or Ted.

Interdepartmental hockey playoff pool
You can stick to your interoffice hockey pool if you like. But if you want a real challenge and a shot at some serious money, sign up below. But be sure to use a pseudonym. No point in irritating management. E-mail Ted at BobMikeorTed@ic.gc.ca.

Memo boilerplate
Most memos follow a standard form. If you’re stuck for wording for your latest missive, check out the searchable database for the perfect phrase. Just enter your search terms like "saying no nicely", "saying nothing nicely" or "current favorite catch-phrases" and you’ll be provided with a wealth of helpful options.

Nap time
Nap time is any time of the workday when you feel the need to catch a bit of shuteye in order to better serve the public. Those lucky souls who have an enclosed office can simply close the door and nap for up to one hour. Those working in an open office will have to improvise or find a private getaway or retreat.

Nap time - Trudeau Complex
For those suffering from the afternoon fade in the Trudeau Complex, help is at hand. Check out the room at the end of the south hall on the fifth floor. Formerly part of a disbanded nurse’s station, the room has two cots and various donated reading matter. The combination for the door lock is 3-2-5. Remember though; mum’s the word.

Performance appraisal
A performance appraisal is an annual or semi-annual assessment of an employee’s performance based on whether he met certain predetermined goals. Ostensibly used in evaluating employees for promotion or reassignment although there is no recorded instance of such ever having been done.

360-degree feedback
This is an evaluation process which includes assessments of a supervisor by her employees. If you are an employee who is asked to participate in such an exercise, politely decline unless you are prepared to lie (see suck up).

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