Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Let's get some perspective here..

The Chronicle Herald is running a story here about how the navy can't afford to sail on exercises but can send a couple of it's people to Vegas on a junket for 10K.

"If they don’t have money for the operational side, which provides the security of our nation, then where, all of a sudden, did they get the money to offer two people almost $10,000 (to spend) on a three-day course in Vegas of all places?" Sackville-Eastern Shore MP Peter Stoffer said Monday.

"I think the Canadian public would question that."

The East Coast navy’s $25-million shortfall forced it to scrap exercises planned for early February with the NATO squadron."

The Herald headline makes it sound like the Navy is sending a couple of people down on a lark to Vegas while it can't afford to sail ships. Typical attention grabbing headline I suppose, but as usual there is a lot more to the story, take the headline: Navy struggling to sail but will send techs to Sin City, now whats your first impression here? I read the article, and I call it a slow news day if they need to embellish a story like this.

First off, a lot of technical conferences are held in Vegas simply because they have the facilities and the accommodation capacity. Hotels and conference centers are always in close proximity to each other, and they likely get a good deal as Vegas survives on people visiting it. Flights to Vegas are typically bargain basement as well so companies will keep that in mind when deciding how many people will attend said conferences.

Second, 10K is NOT a bad price for two people to spend three days at a technical conference. My company sends me on a 5 day conference on a yearly basis, and it is closer to $8,000 for them to send me to that every year. So $9700 total for two people is not excessive spending by any means.

Third, with the technical world changing at such a pace, if you are a specialist in this area (as I am) then you have to stay current or you are left behind. And nothing can take the place of an environment where you are conversing with and networking with peers that work in the same profession.

Fourth, they are not being given "almost $10,000 to spend" Mr. Stoffer, that is the COST of sending them. That old adage again, think before you talk!


if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, shoot it and eat it - Ted Nugent



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the newspaper could find nothing else going on in the world that they thought was worthy of ink?

But if that's the case, they should just make stuff up like the Toronto Star - great fiction.

11:00 PM  

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