Absolutely spot on! Here's a special case for you - when the rot sets in in government agencies, it only gets worse. The minute I walked into the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital I work for, I felt like I had entered a bloody crime scene that had just been cleaned up. Everything LOOKED ok but I had the sense that some very bad things had gone on before I arrived.

I didn't know the half of it and, in retrospect, I wish I had never taken this job. But at 59, the "golden handcuffs" weigh heavily on my wrists and there is nowhere for me to go to get this kind of pay. . . and suffering.

Basically, when the rot sets in here it infects the entire management corps. If you think you can fix this place by a wholesale decapitation of senior management, you'd be wrong: the middle managers would see the opportunity to commit the same kind of wasteful graft as their former bosses. It will never end here. I have seen things I didn't think were possible even in private industry, and I have worked several non-government jobs. If people only knew how corrupt and purposely inefficient the VA is, well, some of them know. And they know that structurally, it can never be fixed.

I'm in public affairs and I hate my job. I wish I had stayed in journalism - I would have been certainly poorer but happier and with my self-respect intact.

Everything you wrote rings true.

Well, one could say I’m a survivor. Former journalist at five daily newspapers and a stint as a radio talk show host. Not a conservative one either.