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FCW Insider: Cynicism rules the day in FCW's caption contest

It's often the case that humor is the perfect vehicle for truth, making it possible to speak unpleasant truths without really offending anyone. Something like that appears to be at work again in FCW's Caption Contest.


As we've done in the past, we asked FCW cartoonist John Klossner to draw a humorous-looking cartoon minus the dialogue/punch line and then invited readers to finish the job. As happened in the past, many readers used the contest as an opportunity to vent about their jobs, their agencies or the state of the federal government.


Here is the cartoon:



The easiest target, given the image, is the current fascination with everything "green" technology:



  • "I am not certain that this is what they meant about 'going green.' Seems as if the idea was good though the practicality of it leaves a little to be determined."

  • “Our new 'Green Power' program has reduced our electricity bills by 8.5 percent.”

  • "I think management is taking this 'green' thing a little too far. Have them turn the power back on."


Management is an even more popular target of the caption contest. FCW readers clearly identify with the unseen workers in the cube -- and see the situation as just another ridiculous product of some manager's misguided good intentions.



  • “They say it came out of a Lean Six Sigma downstream process improvement.”

  • "It's not enough I have to sit in this cube and work all day -- now I have to EXERCISE here too!"

  • "So, agreed...Never let the boss attend another motivational off-site."


Or perhaps a manager's not-so-good intentions:



  • "Give them a challenge: Take away the paddles on the left side!!"


Another recurring theme -- clearly something top of mind -- was the Office of Management and Budget and its Federal Desktop Core Configuration:



  • "Isn't OMB taking infrastructure standardization a bit too far?"

  • "OMB is still working out some of the kinks on the Federal Desktop Configuration."

  • "Uh Karen, we thought you said federal desktop "oar" configuration."


And finally, one reader simply summed up the cynicism that seemed to pervade many of the contest entries:


"This is the Government, Jane. Don't confuse motion with progress."


We are taking entries until the close of business of Tuesday. The winning entry will be published in FCW's September 15 issue.

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Sep 08, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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