A fellow stopped at a rural gas station and, after filling his tank, paid the bill and bought a soft drink. As he stood by his car to drink his cola, he watched a couple of men working along the roadside. One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep, then move on. The other man came along behind and filled in the hole.While one was digging a new hole, the other was about 25 feet behind, filling in the old. The men worked right past the fellow with the soft drink and went on down the road.”I can’t understand this,” said the man, tossing the soda can in a trash container and heading down the road toward the men.”Hold it, hold it,” he said to the men. “Can you tell me what’s going on here with this digging?””Well, we work for the county,” one of the men said.”But one of you is digging a hole and the other fills it up. You’re not accomplishing anything. Aren’t you wasting the county’s money?””You don’t understand, Mister,” one of the men said, leaning on his shovel and wiping his brow. “Actually we are three … me, Rodney and Mike. I dig the hole, Rodney sticks the plant in the hole and Mike here puts the mud back. Now just because Rodney’s sick, that don’t mean that Mike and me can’t work.”
Many a time ‘government work’ or ‘public works’ function this way. The only rationale behind the whole operation is just ‘employment;’ whether it benefits the community any way or not is not of any relevance. “Work for work’s sake;” what a colossal waste.