Rubber, Meet Road by ProQuest


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           Rubber, Meet Road
                                                                                                 the private sector, and Washington, DC
                                                                                                 is a beehive of new buildings, BMWs and
                                                                                                    At the state and county level, the bud-
                                                           By John McCumber                      getary impact has been crushing. Many
                                                                                                 jurisdictions have had sweeping layoffs
                                                                                                 and middle-aged employees are being hit

              ey guys, it’s conference time! Is this
                                                                                                 with early forced retirement. Furloughs
              your annual career get-together
                                                                                                 and unpaid “vacations” are the order of the
              where you reconnect with your col-
                                                                                                 day. Certainly, many governing bodies were
              leagues around the globe, and hope
                                                                                                 part of the problem that brought us here,
              one of them can hook you up with
                                                                                                 but states and counties are being asked to
a better gig? Is this the one where your boss
                                                                                                 shoulder the burden while Washington con-
grouses about the expense and makes you grovel
to attend, only to have the organizers decide to                                                 tinues to spend us all into penury.
host it in St. Louis rather than Miami? Or is this                                                  No one at this meeting was asking for
the year they finally decide to convene in Hawaii,                                               another “bailout” of federal money that
so your request is met with an unequivocal, “No                                                  doesn’t exist. They were looking at new
&%$# way Ferguson, how stupid do I look?”                                                        and creative ways to provide the services
   Ahh, yes, the annual conference. We all want                                                  their citizens require without the need to
to attend to see all our colleagues, and we need                                                 curtail or simply eliminate them. Times
the continuing education credits. We could also                                                  are hard out here, but this economic pres-
use some time away from office politics, and
indulge in some vendor-supplied booze, heavy
                                                            “For better or                       sure cooker contains a nugget of hope.
                                                                                                    Hard times force organizations to
hors d’oeuvres and those cool stress balls, flash-
ing buttons, pens and other tchochkes dragged
                                                        worse, times have                        reevaluate their spending and encourage
                                                                                                 new ways of doing business. During these
in on pallets for the vendor booths. It all starts
when we check in at the registration booth and
                                                         changed signifi-                        transitional periods, we have a chance
                                                                                                 to literally reinvent the way we interact
are immediately saddled with a shoulder bag
or cheap briefcase festooned with corporate

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