I have yet to deal with a government agency that comes close to receiving a passing grade from me. For some reason, many of our government offices (if not all) seem to consider being efficient and giving excellent service such an unbecoming act by a public servant.
Case in point: phone manners
Call them up for something that does not even require a technical expertise, and it would take you at least three days before your phone call gets answered (in many agencies, this is not an exaggeration). And if, for some miracle, someone does pick up your call, that person would tell you the one who could answer your query or concern is not in the office. He or she would then proceed to tell you to call the next day, or the following week, without even trying to understand what your problem is (as he or she would cut you while you are explaining your predicament), and without even pausing to reflect if your problem is something he or someone else in the office could actually attend to.
This has happened to me many times, and it has just happened a few minutes ago. It’s just so annoying.
I’ve worked in different private offices for almost a decade (eight years to be exact), and while I’ve seen some weaknesses in their systems as well, they’re nothing compared to what we experience from government offices. For one, calls you make to private offices are almost always answered. Missed calls are returned. And, people who take calls, even if they are not the one in charged (of whatever your concern is), would always listen to you and see if someone else can come to your aide. If the person you are looking for is away (and you really need to talk to that particular person), they would take your number and would ask the person to make a return call.
Sadly, I have yet to experience being afforded that kind of courtesy from any government office. To think that I am among the millions of taxpayers who are paying for their salaries.