My experience (with the feds) was more with the political appointees. They'd come in, change everything around to 'enhance productivity' then disappear after a few months to a fat private industry offer leaving us to deal with the mess he created. The very worst of them came from the private sector which made them totally ignorant of how things were done. And the government IS different in many ways. We would actually take bets on how long these clowns would stay. It was NEVER as much as a year.
We get these all the time. A new manager arrives and we all go into the conference room to listen to how exited he is to be here and how he's heard nothing but great things about all of us. We're the superstars, he's just going to stay out of our way and let us continue our excellent work.
Then we go around the room, each giving a 5-minute intro of ourselves while he nods and takes notes (or doodles). You sit there and listen as everyone hypes their accomplishments and brags about how they're so critical to the team, as if they're interviewing for their jub, until it's finally your turn. No fluff, no rambling. You succinctly state your job description. Then comes the big question: "Great, I'm glad you're on the team. And I'm here to support you. If there's just one headhurter that you need me to assist you with now that I'm here, what is it?"
Therein lies the dilemma:
1. You have no problems, everything is under control: Obviously you aren't working hard enough.
2. You actually let him in on the big issue that needs resolving: You have just condemned yourself to months of status briefs and updates to fill him in on everything. Endless meeting and teleconferences to get him caught up. He looks busy and involved, while you get nothing done.
5 months later: He's gone, and you're 5 months further behind.
@Dilbert: Standing in the hall with your arm out looking stupid for 5 minutes is far better than 5 months.
@Scott: By my rambling response, can you tell you hit close to home on this one? We just had this meeting the other day.
I have had a few of those, they usually show up just before the layoffs, with platitudes and euphemisms of encouragement, lightly flavored with "inaccuracies".
Last time I asked point blank, who is getting laid off. Sure enough a month later the contract was halted. Restated, and then ended. ..
A rare moment when PHB gets to call dilbert stupid!
Good managers are ephemeral cz of the PHBs and these good managers quitting just as the engineers start hoping things will get any better, will make the engineers look stupid in the end!