Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Deadlines and repercussions

We were all children once. And as we got older, our parents gave us chores. Well, mine did at least.

To be honest with you, though, I didn’t have many chores. On a regular basis, the only things I recall having to do was mow the lawn, stack wood and bring wood into the house. Other than that, mom took care of most of the stuff. Thanks, mom.

My daughters don’t have it so lucky. They have things they have to do.

And if they don’t, they get punished in some way or another. You can most likely recall having a conversation with your parents similar to the type I’ve had numerous times with my girls. It goes something like, “Just make sure you have X done before X time.” Maybe it’s cleaning their rooms. Maybe it’s making their lunches. Maybe it’s bringing wood into the house. Whatever it may be, there’s a duty and a time.

It’s not all that dissimilar from work. Your boss gives you a task and tells you to have it “on my desk by noon Friday.”

Right now my main time-based duty is this one, where I have to have my column written and sent into the editors by a certain time on a certain day each week. I usually procrastinate ... in order to have the freshest topic possible when you read your paper on Tuesday. Or maybe I’m just a procrastinator. But I get it done and I get it in on time. Each and every week.

What do you think the paper would do if I didn’t? You’d have to imagine there would be repercussions, right? Maybe they’d politely tell me they didn’t need my services. Maybe it wouldn’t be so polite. Either way, there would be some sort of fallout.

And what do you think I would do if my kids didn’t do the things they were supposed to on time? More repercussions. Just like when we were young. If we didn’t get that wood stacked when mom or dad said to, there would be no TV that day. Or we wouldn’t be able to go to the field day. Or something.

Point being, there are repercussions to not doing what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to have it done.

Unless, of course, you’re the New York State Senate and Assembly.

They’re now more than three months late with the one job they have to do: the state budget.

Thursday night, they packed their bags and headed to their homes, not having the budget process completed.

And to make matters worse, not only don’t they seem to care, they appear to think they’re doing a bang-up job.

“I want to congratulate all of my colleagues for a very exhaustive legislative session,” Senate majority leader John Sampson said after they wrapped their session up.

Know what’s exhaustive? Having to put up with what comes out of Albany year after year.

Where are the repercussions? They’re supposed to come in November when we replace our elected officials with people who might actually do the job.

Unfortunately, that’s our responsibility. And we fail to get that job done. So we will have to deal with the repercussions; having to watch this circus again next year.