When You Hire A Goof-Off

There are lots of metrics for determining whether a worker is performing adequately. HR experts all over the country can share them. If you have ever been responsible for managing personnel (I have–it was the very least favorite part of my job), you know how frustrating it can be when an employee is goofing off, failing to meet timelines or generally just not doing the job.

Voters “hired” Donald Trump to fill the position of Chief Executive. Forget the corruption, the ignorance and the evident mental illness–what would a basic job evaluation by a dispassionate, politically-neutral observer look like? A few “data points” are instructive.

CNBC looked at a very basic element of the job: assembling a team of middle-and-upper managers.

On his 500th day in office, President Donald Trump tweeted a list of accomplishments that he said “many believe” is longer than any other president.

One list that remains longer than most of his recent predecessors is the number of White House positions that remain unfilled.

After more than 16 months in office, the Trump administration has yet to fill hundreds of key jobs that require Senate confirmation. The delays are longer than for any of the last six administrations.

The most worrisome of those empty positions are at the United States State Department. More than 40 top jobs remain vacant, and dozens of ambassadors who’d been appointed by Obama and fired by Trump on Inauguration Day have yet to be replaced. Given the precipitous drop in the regard in which other countries hold the United States, and the international issues we face, it would be helpful to have people working on such matters.

Meanwhile, the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Energy and Interior,  the Social Security Administration, the U.S. Postal Service and the CIA still have no Inspectors General. Given the almost-daily revelations of  corruption in the Trump Administration, I tend to think this lack of oversight is intentional.

Then there’s this recent report from Raw Story:

An investigation by Politico has found that President Donald Trump’s “executive time” — which is used by the White House as a euphemism for the time he spends watching cable news — absolutely dwarfs the time allotted to doing official work.

Specifically, Politico reports that last Tuesday, “the president was slated for more than nine hours of ‘Executive Time,’ a euphemism for the unstructured time Trump spends tweeting, phoning friends and watching television.” The publication then notes that “official meetings, policy briefings and public appearances — traditionally the daily work of being president — consumed just over three hours of his day.”

Now, this bit of information should probably be considered good news rather than dereliction of duty; God knows how much more harm he’d do if he actually worked at it. That said, it’s one more indication–as if we needed further evidence–that Trump has no  interest in actually governing.

It’s hard to disagree with Michael Cohen, who produces a newsletter called Born in the USA, when he sums up what Trump’s real interests are.

“The thing that Trump seems to enjoy most about being president is going to campaign rallies and looking out into a sea of adoring white faces, who applaud him, laugh at his jokes, and feed his limitless need for validation and approval. So making these people happy is really about making Trump happy.”

Making Trump happy is the last thing I want to do.