Friday, March 27, 2009

Annual Employment Review

Employee Name: Federal Government
Date of Hire: July 4, 1776
Review Date: March 27, 2009
Next Review: November 2010

It’s important for employers and employees to communicate and to measure performance. This annual review is designed to provide positive re-enforcement and to identify key areas for improvement.

We will be reviewing your performance in the following areas:

Quality of Work
Problem Solving Skills
Attention to Detail

Each area will be evaluated on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being excellent and 5 being unsatisfactory. When appropriate, we will include comments detailing the reasons for the particular score.

Quality of Work
Overall Rating: 5/ Unsatisfactory
It should be noted that after your initial hire in 1776, your work was the envy of the world. You maintained an excellent quality of work for over 200 years. The past several decades or so have brought about a significant decline, which is of growing concern to us.

Budget management is of key concern. Accounting reports you are consistently over-budget and that your deficits continue to grow. Revenue projections are over-inflated and do not achieve promised projections

You appear to be more focused on drawing attention to yourself, rather than problem solving. Political hearings on everything from the budget process to steroids in baseball, while worthy topics, have achieved no measurable results.

Overall Rating: 5/ Unsatisfactory
This area has been especially disappointing to us. Several employees within your departments have been convicted of various crimes, including graft, corruption, and misuse of budget funds. Several recent hires in the budget departments were made, despite the fact that these employees did not pay their taxes, which could account for some of the revenue shortfalls you have incurred.

One recent promise made on your part last fall, to cut earmarks, was totally ignored with the recent signing (behind closed doors) of a legislative package that included over 8,000 earmarked projects. One example was the $200,000 study to find out why pigs stink.

You promise one thing then do something completely different.

Overall Rating: 5/ Unsatisfactory
Speaking again of your initial years of employment, while there were two distinct divisions (Republicans and Democrats), you always managed to put the best interests of your employers first, and set political differences aside for the overall good.

Frankly, in recent years, you have behaved more like spoiled children used to getting their way. No one appears to be working with a positive team spirit. The result is a dysfunctional organization. This is of growing concern to us and an area we will be paying close attention to as we prepare for your 2010 review.

Problem Solving Skills
Overall Rating: 5/ Unsatisfactory
Problem solving skills is another area of serious concern. Key issues facing the organization remain the economy, employment, the flow of credit to responsible borrowers and financially viable incentives for investment and growth.

Your solutions seem to take the proverbial “back-asswards” approach. You are investing funds in failing institutions and processes. We have several examples, but for the purpose of brevity, we’ll just mention AIG and housing.

AIG has been issued $180 billion, which has resulted in an 80 percent stake of ownership on our part. Yet, as majority stakeholders, you have put no control systems in place to account for and protect our investment. The recent decision by AIG to pay out $165 million in bonuses for failure is a perfect example. Several key managers within the government organization have expressed outrage, but in this case, the horse has already left the barn. No sense in closing the gate now.

As for housing, people were lent huge amounts of money for homes they could not afford to pay back. This was based on ill-advised rule processes and lax oversight. Your solution is to make the 93 percent of your shareholders, who are responsible and pay their bills on time, pay for your mistakes. A far more acceptable approach would be to free up credit for those who have proven track records of managing their bills and personal budgets.

Attention to Detail
Overall Rating: 5/ Unsatisfactory
Your most recent budget calls for approximately $3 trillion to be spent ($10 trillion over the next three years) with a promise of cutting the existing budget deficit in half during the same time period.

This is what’s called “fuzzy math” and unsustainable in execution.

Another example is that there is no accounting for $350 billion in TARP funds issued last fall. We don’t know where the money went and what it was spent on, other than a few lavish corporate retreats.

Overall Rating: 5/ Unsatisfactory

Based on past performance during the previously mentioned 200 years of employment, we have decided that there remains hope that you can turn this situation around in a positive manner. As a result, we expect the following action items to be instituted prior to your November 2010 review.

Accountability: You will respond to constituent comments and inquiries in a prompt and timely manner, not with pre-packaged generic e-mails. This will require extra hours on your part and certainly more work, but we feel this can be a positive move on your part to maintain employment. You will also read all bills before voting on any of them. Your direction will come from your constituents as to how to vote, not lobbyists and party hacks.

Budgeting: Moving forward, expenditures must not exceed revenue. This will require no small amount of fiscal discipline. But, the balance sheets must be just that, balanced. We will give you through the next scheduled review to develop a plan to adjust expenses, and also project realistic revenue numbers.

Teamwork: All of you must begin to work together. As an example, use this as a guideline before making any decisions: “Is this good for the citizens of this nation, the people who ultimately pay the bills? Do we reward success or continue to reward failure instead?”

Integrity: Please stop lying to us. Just tell the truth. Honesty is a good policy and served you well after your initial hire in 1776. We know it can move forward.

We will be closely monitoring the above action items through this next review period and will make our decisions as to your continued employment in November of 2010.

We hope that you have found this to be positive input, with constructive and workable solutions to ensure your continued employment. We have good ideas to help you succeed. But, you have to listen.

Supervisor Name:
John W. Scherer, on behalf of the American taxpayer.
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at

Monday, March 16, 2009

Memo to: Jay Cutler, QB1-Denver Broncos From: John W. Scherer, Football Fan

Dear Jay,

It’s come to my attention that you’re not happy. I haven’t been happy either. Last year’s 8-8 record was disappointing to say the least. Like many of the previous seasons.

Before I continue, please note that you have a 17-20 record as the Broncos QB and have never been in a playoff game, either in college or professional football. Don’t let the Pro Bowl thing go to your head. No one watches that game anyway.

Apparently, you’re miffed that the team considered a possible trade. The keywords being “considered” and “possible.” It didn’t happen. Since then, you’ve pouted.

Football is a game on the field. It’s big business off the field. Pat Bowlen, who pays your annual $14 million a year salary, brought in a new coach, Josh McDaniels, from the New England Patriots.

The Patriots have a history of winning. The Broncos don’t.

Job #1 for Coach McDaniels is to change that. Otherwise, he doesn’t get a paycheck.

You make more money than the coach, but he has more authority. It’s the way the system works. He’s in charge. You know, the boss. The head dude. The “Decider.”

The team has made several private and public assurances to you that they want you to remain on the team. Yet, you continue to stomp your highly paid feet, and some reports now have you wanting a trade. That is what upset you in the first place.

Word is you might not show up for spring conditioning drills.

Jay, you’re 25 years old and a multimillionaire. There are men and women younger than you leading troops into combat at this very minute who make a fraction of the money you do. Let’s face it: Getting shot at 24/7 is far more dangerous than being sacked on Sundays.

They’re not whining. Why are you?

There are people standing in unemployment lines, or hoping to make their next mortgage payment or just trying to put food on the table for their families.

None of them make $14 million a year. They don’t feel your pain. Frankly, they think you’re a pain.

Back to the business side of pro football, it involves trades. Even you. Your job is to lead your team on the field. Pat Bowlen and John McDaniels’ job is the bottom line, both financially and in the win-loss column.

Part of being QB1 of a an NFL franchise, earning millions of dollars a year and being 25 years old includes leadership and maturity. (Google both.)

Jay, it’s time to man up.

Yours truly,
John W. Scherer is CEO & Founder of Video Professor.
You can reach him to talk football or anything else at

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


It’s a tough job being president of the United States. At any one time, you have about half the country mad at you. It comes with the job.

Everything the president does is scrutinized. Everything.

So, when President Obama took in an NBA game this week and ordered a beer, the outrage began.

More than a few folks complained that he shouldn’t be having fun while so many people are having a tough time of things in this economy. Others complained that his job is 24/7, and he shouldn’t drink on the job.

Most folks are still able to catch sporting events, pay their mortgages and generally live their lives. Some even enjoy a beer or a cocktail once in a while.

So, why begrudge the POTUS for having a cold one? He does have a designated driver.

Franklin Roosevelt enjoyed a Martini (or two) during the Depression. Harry Truman was known to enjoy a Bourbon and Branch while we fought in Korea. John F. Kennedy partied with Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra during the Cold War. President Reagan was known to have a “Weak Orange Blossom” on rare occasions, and he won the Cold War.

Yes, we’re in the middle of some tough times. Having a beer won’t change that. But, it certainly won’t make it any worse

If I had any advice for the president, however, it would be to make sure that beer was a domestic brand!

Of course, always, everything in moderation.

John W. Scherer
John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.
You can reach him at