OPINION

Unfair criticism?

Many of us «faultless» and «infallible» individuals have grown accustomed to making sweeping judgments and mercilessly criticizing civil servants. In fact, many adopt an embittered expression – as if they were biting into a lemon – when they talk about the need for mass redundancies or major cutbacks in salaries for those «countless idlers» who «fill public service offices and, despite offering zero productivity, make demand after demand…» Instances of arrogance, indifference, laziness and bad behavior toward the citizen-customer do, of course, exist. But it is one thing to focus on specific cases and quite another to simply condemn all public servants as a «bad lot.» Moreover, there are some negative aspects to working for the civil service that we overlook. Some of the buildings that house our various public services are in a terrible state. In such places, staff and customers alike are forced to function in the worse possible environs. Here, employees are «heroes» on the rare occasions when they manage to maintain their good humor when handling citizens’ demands. Here, the citizen feels exactly the way that the government sees him: like a scrap of trash in an open and illegally operating landfill. And there is no shortage of such examples. But I have not heard the self-styled prosecutors of the mass media criticize them nearly as frequently as they as they do our civil servants.