Working for the Yukon government is no cake walk

Working for the Yukon government is no cake-walk Re: Kyle Carruthers' Feb. 3 column, "In battle for talent, it's hard for businesses to compete with Yukon government's perks." I have heard this argument many times before. I have worked for the Yukon gove

Re: Kyle Carruthers’ Feb. 3 column, “In battle for talent, it’s hard for businesses to compete with Yukon government’s perks.”

I have heard this argument many times before. I have worked for the Yukon government, but no longer. It is a tough gig.

Daniel Pink, an author and motivational speaker/lecturer (see his TED Talks) defines motivation as autonomy, mastery and purpose. When working for the Yukon government I found that autonomy was the first to be taken away from me. Everything had to be decided at higher levels and had to be signed and countersigned in blood before decisions could be made. What I was trained for, what I was hired for, was taken from me.

The second to go was mastery. What Pink refers to here is that you need to be challenged each day in your work in order to get better. With my athletes in cross-country skiing and biathlon I always told them, “If you are not falling (read: failing) you are not trying hard enough.” They improved each day. Mastery was taken from me because each day was like the one before it, and everything became mundane. There was no way I could improve or find meaning in my work by continued employment with the Yukon government.

The third to go was purpose. I discovered one day that if I hadn’t shown up for work I don’t think anyone would miss me and nothing would stall. No one would notice. Lack of purpose makes us all automatons.

I am not the only one who could not find meaning and fulfilment under the Yukon government’s tent despite all of the money and benefits. (I actually have made much more money working in the private sector – in fact, I took a cut in pay in order to work for the mother ship.) For nine years and 328 days I was employed by the government, and I couldn’t take a day more.

If you think a government gig is easy, let me tell you it is tough slogging into work to a job that has no future, working for bottom-end management that has no idea how to manage people.

I am no longer a union member, but I know and have seen companies and governments sign contracts that they could not live up to, then complain about the unions. That is irresponsible. It is nothing but bad management looking for a scapegoat.

One point about wages. Government is the one place where the disparity between the highest and the lowest paid is at least reasonable.

I take my hat off to those who are employed by Yukon government. They have an extremely demanding boss: us. Many of them work hard under difficult conditions with great stress. I know many and I couldn’t take it. They are tougher than I am and I suspect, Mr. Carruthers, you too.

Tim Pyke

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (yfned.ca)
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read