Perfect Inefficiency

I dropped by the local branch of Bank of America last week to do some banking. While I was waiting for them to open at 9 AM, I sat in my car and listened to music and watched the road crew continue to work along side Satellite Blvd.

They’ve been digging up the side of the road for a while now, either laying some new cable or preparing to widen the road or something, I’m not sure. So there is a crew of six guys there. Five of the men are literally leaning on their shovels, while the sixth man operating a mini-backhoe is thrashing around trying to align himself correctly in order to use this machine to put dirt into a two foot hole. It took him over thirty minutes to complete the task… a task which the five guys with shovels could have completed in under two minutes.

I just don’t understand why people would want to deliberately work so inefficiently. The gasoline alone that it must have taken to operate that thing for over a half hour… It hurts to see my tax dollars wasted.


  1. Because of the lack of rain we have had it would have been faster for him to fill the hole with the backhoe. Or he might have even been digging the hole out and it just looked like he was filling it in. And I don’t think it was state workers. Most jobs are contracted out to other companies. Besides if it was the state, there would be one guy digging with a shovel, one guy watching him and four other standing around six trucks, that are blocking two lanes, talking. Plus as hot as it’s been, I don’t blame them for letting the backhoe do the work. Don’t get me wrong. I see your point. But I used to be outside doing that kind of work, and sometimes I still am if they need me to help out, and it’s a whole lot easier to let a machine do it. Cause believe me,pushing a shove filling in a 500 foot trench is no fun in 90+ degree heat. There are a lot more wasteful things going on around here than that.

  2. You may be right, there may have been a perfectly good reason for it. It just didn’t look like there was one. He was definitely filling in the hole because he was dropping dirt in it, and when he was done he didn’t even pack down the dirt. Had it been a 500 foot trench I’d not have thought twice, but it was a two foot hole, and the workers had just shown up for the day.

    Honestly, thinking back, it looked like maybe their supervisor hadn’t shown up yet and they were just screwing around.

  3. But they’re laborers! They should be laboring. That’s what they get for not having an education.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *