From the You’ve got to be f—ing kidding me file comes this story out of the depths of the Death Star’s satellite office in Sacramento. You might recall that our courts are crumbling and are otherwise falling apart due to a lack of facilities maintenance. In fact, the total unfunded facility maintenance liability to California’s judicial branch and the 500 or so buildings is over 2.5 billion dollars….. just a little more than what the Long Beach Court will cost. A worker in Hayward Hall of Justice recently outlined how when it was raining the facilities management unit was kind enough to distribute buckets and garbage cans to catch the rain water leaking through the roof.
Of course Hayward Hall of Justice just needs a new roof…. and now a new ceiling and major HVAC system repairs as well. And if it keeps on leaking it will exponentially multiply the damages done to this heavily trafficked public building. So it was with some elation that we would learn exactly where the roof money for the Hayward Hall of Justice is going. Of course, the money we’re talking about could be for nearly any court experiencing years of deferred maintenance but we’re going to pick this building because it’s right down the street from this office.
Now if I had 2.5 billion dollars in unfunded deferred maintenance and had 50+ people at my disposal to manage facilities repairs, I would be issuing them tools and telling them to go fix stuff before the peasants in the courts burn our house down with complaints.
But Jerry Pfab is a visionary.
Jerry has learned through all of his years at the AOC that if you want to bamboozle them with bullshit you find a way to get presented an award of excellence for your operations and let the award speak for itself.
It helps blunt the criticisms that you’re one of the worst facilities managers of all time and the balance of your leadership team isn’t much better. After all, quality and excellence is a measure of what you do and how you do it…. not what you don’t do.
Now we all know facilities maintenance isn’t as sexy as new courthouses and flashy architecture so there isn’t a whole lot of awards for this field. Sure, they can issue awards to the visionaries who built CCMS, they can bestow architectural honors for the visionaries that built long beach. But there is not a whole lot of awards out there for spending a thousand dollars to lower a flag to half-mast one day, and another thousand to raise it the next day. There isn’t a whole lot of awards out there for knowingly employing unlicensed contractors from the Oregon border to the Mexican border and paying them $2,000.00 apiece to change light bulbs for more energy efficient ones. As far as we know, there is no awards for getting estimates to pave private parking lots and we’re not too familiar with the award that permits a 4 million dollar building management system to degrade to utter uselessness in a period of 18 months.
So our visionary has to go elsewhere and knows for a fact that (trial court) money can indeed buy him love.
For over two years now, our visionary has spearheaded an effort to essentially buy both an award and recognition for excellence in operations. You might recall the early days of FMU where one had to call the customer support center in Sacramento to compose and approve a computerized work order before any person could be paid a few hundred dollars to empty an ash tray in front of the court? You might also remember the early days where the work orders were blanket with a $2,000.00 limit for even the smallest of things? Well you will all be elated to learn that nearly every member in the facilities management unit is involved in developing policies, procedures and workflow charts to that they can chart the path to continuous quality improvement and excellence in operations.
They’re after a “Baby Baldrige” better known here as a CAPE or California Award for Performance Excellence and even the facilities maintenance rank and file finds it incredulous.
” It’s a strategic planning effort simply for strategic planning sake. They go to seminars, hire consultants, create workflow diagrams and process charts instead of actually working on the work of facilities maintenance. While courthouses crumble they make staff sit through long hours of meetings (even flying people in to Sacramento to sit through them in person) to listen to these workflow processes instead of actually doing work! It’s truly mind blowing. The goal is to be able to say they are among the finest award-winning organizations in the state.
Few recognize its basically an award you subsidize by paying $1,895.00 to participate and dedicating staff and consulting dollars to filling out forms, completing reports, flowcharts and feedback surveys.”
This isn’t the prestigious presidential Malcolm Baldrige award. This is a private company that provides mainly consulting services whose consultants later choose the award recipients.
Sounds like an order from Commander Jahr of the Death Star. The beatings will continue until morale and your tarnished image improves.
Artwork by Alan Ernesto Phillips
Produced by Yen Interactive Media for Judicial Council Watcher
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