Inexplicable Inefficiencies

Updated: 5 days ago

Example 1 The tree in our front yard died. It happened to be in our County's right-of-way. We had to depend on the County to remove and replace it. When I contacted the relevant department in the county, I got a standard email response saying that they have noted the case and it will be addressed within "30 to 260 days". After several weeks, I saw a red paint on my tree and picked a note from the county in my mail box. It said the they have identified the tree as needing removal and replacement, and the tree has been targeted for removal within "30 to 260 days". Again, after several weeks and repeated calls to the county, the tree was removed and a note was left in my mail box saying that it was removed and a replacement tree will be planted within "30 to 260 days". It has been nearly two years since my first reporting. The replacement tree has not been planted. The Covid-19 had come, peaked, and receded. Three major public relief bills with huge sums of federal grant and aid money to local governments had been passed. People are masked, semi-masked and unmasked. I see major construction and repair projects all over the place. Yet a simple request for a dead tree replacement is lost within the bureaucratic shuffle and a gaping hole in our front yard remains. Example 2 During the Covid-19 period and later, our family and friends experienced several disturbing hospital discharge experiences with poor results. There were a couple of incidents in our family, when we felt, the patients were discharged too early. One resulted in the patient being readmitted and eventually die in the hospital. The second, when the patient was discharged straight from Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to home care without advance notice, or patient preparation. Subsequently, she needed readmission to emergency room twice and faced continued challenges. Apparently hospitals, being keen on reducing the Length of stay (LOS), do not pay much attention to patient's readiness for home care. On many occasions, the patients and families are not properly prepared and ready for home care after hospital discharge. In another incident, surgery of one of our friends was not performed properly so she had to be readmitted for a corrective surgery the second time. Aggressive hospital policies, inefficiencies in patient discharge, and general mismanagement of the whole process have resulted in pain and anguish for the families and, in some instances, even mortality of patients. Example 3 Recently, when we moved from one section in the Washington metropolitan area to another, our experience with the moving company was horrendous. We had moved within the metropolitan area several times over the past 40+ years. Except for some minor inconveniences, I don't remember any major problems with those moves. This time, the company promised that they will spread the move over two days. Each time they will move half of the total load. We prepared so that, except for two bedrooms and kitchen, all other furniture and contents will be moved the first day. The company suddenly changed the plan stating that they will load all the furniture first day and move the next day. We had to scramble in the last minute to accommodate them. Then we found they were short of staff for the move. At the middle of the second day, the crew took a big time out and the move was completed late on the second day. We experienced problems with the reassembly of many of the furniture. Couple of glass tops were broken. In short, the moving crew just did not know what they were doing. Our complaints with the management did not yield any positive results. Example 4 It happens often in the Capital Beltway in Washington, D.C. During morning and evening peak hours, the Beltway experiences traffic jams. Some of this is caused by sweeping crew cleaning the roads during rush hours. We all want our highways properly maintained. But can this not be done during non-rush hours? We are fast approaching a period when "Busy Work" has overtaken "Productive Work". Government, businesses and service industries are gradually becoming top heavy with more managers than workers. "Doing things by the book" seems to have become more important than "doing the right thing". As management Guru Peter Drucker said, " So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work."


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