Thursday, April 6, 2006

Maybe I'm the Crazy One

OK, read this today:

How UMDNJ became a 'patronage pit'
The harshly critical findings, in a report released yesterday by the federal monitor overseeing the university, also found a top administrator systematically abused his expense account, including the freewheeling use of hotel rooms after "late-night meetings" that never occurred, and the rental of an Alfa Romeo for a business trip.
I read the whole thing, I promise. What I got out of it was that people with personal recommendations from politicians got a number assigned to them, a "rank", if you will. The article also alleges that there were instances where powerful patrons intervened to keep people from getting fired. There's not any actual examples of that cited in the paper, so I'm going on their word, there.

Other than that, I see a lot of people who had their resumes forwarded to UMDNJ by politicians. That's not actually a crime, in my eyes. I guess, if there was a lot of winking an nodding going on like, "Of course we'll hire your guy, Bob!" then yes, this is indeed favoritism, but not anywhere near as appalling to me as the guy who rented an Alpha Romeo on the company's dime. That's obvious abuse that I understand. The hiring thing, well, I'm probably wrong, but it just doesn't read as all that bad to me.
A resume for another individual seeking an operations manager position forwarded by Menendez, then a congressman, was similarly marked with a priority number. The candidate barely met the technical requirements of the job, according to the university's own internal memos.
"...Barely met the technical requirements"? Like no one ever applies for a job that they don't meet the requirements for? Jeez, the last job I applied for required knowledge of a programming language that I've never written in. I went for it anyway, because the department seemed like a good fit for me, and I figured if they liked me, they wouldn't mind waiting for me to pick up that particular skill.

In my mind, the phrase "barely met the technical requirements" reads a lot like "almost late". Instead of "almost late", I like to use the phrase "on time".

As I said before, I'm probably wrong, and I'm probably just coming away with this impression because of the way that the article is written. I know enough about human nature to know that most of the time, where there's smoke, there's fire. If that's not it, though, and these cases of patronage are just in fact politicians recommending people for jobs, why is it the main thing focused on in the title of the article? Why not just dedicate yourself to talking about the slam-dunk topic, the wide-spread misuse of funds? Am I, in fact, the crazy one for thinking this?

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