Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Saturday, February 19, 2011

TODDN'T (Teaching Old, Dumb Dogs New Tricks)

The other day I went to the CGS and got myself a BF to take home for the family. But when I got home, I discovered the MDW wasn't working and we ended up spending the evening working on the CFN and trying to figure out how to use our SSS without ruining the WHM in the process. We finally gave up and called the AFG.
     If you're wondering what the heck I just said, you're not alone. But you'll totally understand how I felt when I attended my first few Management meetings at City Hall when I started my job there in 2009. It's a whole new language called Acronyms, and it's spoken fluently. Although they use English letters, I had no idea what those letters stood for. To top it all off, I was there expressly for the purpose of taking minutes.
     As they discussed the OPS department and how GAC had a problem at the WTP, I wrote furiously, just hoping I was getting letters down in the right order. I heard things thrown around like AMM and FCM and TAC and PIC and MMEBP. Then it was P-SAB, pronounced like two complete words, and PUB, which is not nearly as fun as it sounds. L-VAC and HTB got thrown around, as did FIPPA, MCCI, and RCMP. Oh wait, I knew that one.
     Still. I was really ready to say TGIF, even though it was only Tuesday.
     I'd return to my computer to type up my notes, sometimes looking up the acronyms on the internet to see if I could figure out what they meant, sometimes digging through previous minutes or files to find the answer; sometimes swallowing my pride and asking a co-worker; and sometimes just typing it wrong and having the boss correct me with a snicker. Really, how could I be so silly as to not know that WPCF is our Water Pollution Control Facility, formerly known as the sewer plant? Doesn't everyone?
     I'm coming up on two years in this municipal world, and I still notice the way acronyms are thrown around. I also use them. I can tell you that OPS is short for our Operations Department, and that GAC stands for Granular Activated Carbon. The Association of Manitoba Municipalities has their office right here in Portage, while the Federation of Canadian Municipalities holds a conference somewhere in the country each year. Our Tourism Advisory Committee and Portage Immigration Committee are run by local volunteers, while the Manitoba Municipal Employees Benefits Program is mostly the concern of our Human Resources Officer. I learned about the Public Sector Accounting Board, the Public Utilities Board, the Land Value Appraisal Commission, and the Highway Traffic Board. Then there's the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Manitoba Council Conflict of Interest Act. It's enough to make you wish they'd pass the Federal Commission for the Prevention of Acronyms Act.
     And as for that opening paragraph, that was just an R.A.A. - a Random Act of Acronyms. Interpretation: I went to the Co-op Grocery Store for a Bag of Food. The Maytag Dishwasher wasn't working, so we worked on the Clogged Filters and Nozzles awhile, then resorted to the Stainless Steel Sink without ruining the Wife's Happy Mood. We then called the Appliance Fixer Guy.
     I think I'm catching on to this, don't you? TTFN!

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