So you've published a book and nobody's reading it and you haven't made any money?You're writing the wrong things! You should be writing reports for the government. Nobody reads those, either, but the money is great.
You should be writing reports for the government. Nobody reads those, either, but the money is great.
Case in point: According to the Washington Post, the Department of Homeland Security commissioned a report on why morale is so low. The report cost $1 million. It went into a drawer. A second report was commissioned, duplicating the first. It also went into a drawer. Last year DHS commissioned two more studies. One of them cost $420,000.
The article describes another study, this one done 3 years ago:
"A committee of 11 experts visited about 25 DHS locations in Texas, New York and the Washington area. It produced a 268-page report under a contract, which allocated $588,000 for the work. About $500,000 in additional funds for the study came out of another line item in the contract, according to contracting documents and a source familiar with them."
The result: virtually nothing.
'It was not a very good light to shine on any of us, so we just hid it,' said one DHS employee familiar with the report, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fear of retaliation by supervisors."
Cool! You get almost $600,000 and then you charge an additional half million, and you don't even need to worry about grammar or spelling because nobody is going to read it anyway. DHS, call me! I can crank out a 268-page report for half that much.
The DHS says they did take action as a result of the study--embarking on further research! And drafting a five-year strategic plan that was supposed to be presented by May 2014. The Post got a copy and reports that it's a draft full of phrases like "add introduction," "add conclusion" and "insert photos."
Guys, I can give you a nice 500 pages with "insert report" on each page, for $250,000. You can tell Congress you've cut your research expenses by more than 50%!
By the way, the draft does identify one source of low morale: survey fatigue.
The rest of the reasons for low morale are not that mysterious. The article says, "Many DHS employees have said in the annual government 'viewpoint' survey of federal employees that their senior leaders are ineffective; that the department discourages innovation, and that promotions and raises are not based on merit. Others have described in interviews how a stifling bureaucracy and relentless congressional criticism makes DHS an exhausting, even infuriating, place to work."
Homeland Security, here's my final offer: for only $100,000 I will give you a lengthy study, which may at times coincidentally resemble random pages from the novel I'm writing, and a four-point action plan to improve morale. I'll even give you a hint as to one of the points: Friday afternoons...free pizzas.