At least ten people will be off sick on any one day. The departmental record holder is Doreen - she has worked a grand total of eight days in 14 months.
With the five weeks' annual leave plus bank holidays, even the most conscientious worker in my department is easily taking 12 weeks a year off.
There's no point showing any initiative. I once wandered down to the 'Streetcare' department to ask why the hell nobody was answering the phone.
But only two staff had turned up that day and they were both in the prayer room.
Councils love their workshops, training courses and seminars. This week alone I've been invited to attend: A cycle hire and efficiency course; a traffic and pollution briefing; and a training course on offsite health and safety.
Next week there is a two-day course on 'letter writing skills' - I dearly hope that Jackie, our departmental PA, will attend this one. I've given up using her and now type my own correspondence and reports.
The last time she typed a letter for me (to an architect) she misspelt 'accommodation' and 'environment' throughout.
I gently pointed this out to her and asked her to redo the document. But she went sick for two weeks with stress, complaining that she was being bullied.
When my boss called me in to discuss this I, jokingly, said: 'Well I'll just let her misspell everything in future, shall I?' To which he replied: 'Yes, I think that's best for now.'
In the public sector, though, there is no competitive edge; no incentive to cuts costs or improve efficiency. Few genuinely fear for their job security, protected as they are by threats of union action every time the axe looks likely to fall.
Its time to get rid of the unions, then do away with these lazy good-for-nothings. All of them.