Monday, March 16, 2009

$126,000 Phones

There is a serious disconnect in the military between us and the rest of planet earth. Despite the recession we're spending more than ever, and on rediculous things. I've been ordered to buy an entirely new phone system for our new hangar in Norfolk. Even though we already have phones that no one expects us to leave behind, we're not allowed to take them with us, because somebody already promised a contractor this job. I should mention this job includes 700 hours of labor billed straight to the government. What's worse is that the 700 hours includes troubleshooting and fixing errors. When did it become okay to bill for warranty work? We're also being billed over $20 per phone to set up generic voice mail. First off, no Navy mechanic needs voice mail on his shop phone. Second, that price is outrageous. We're required to get this new system because it's digital and digital is wonderful. Even though multi-line analog phones work perfectly well on digital networks, we're required to pay over $35,000 for the new phones alone.

What's frutstrating is that my job isn't to make the call on this contract, it's to fund it. So my name goes all over this terrible idea that I can't impact. I can't even save money if I wanted to. The government can't fairly be self-righteous with AIG if we can't get our own house in order. We haven't changed the way we do business at all with the new economic climate.