stupid civil servants?

It is an established fact that all civil servants are stupid, lazy, and do nothing all day but play solitaire. I don’t know who established this fact. But it is a well known, oft repeated fact, mentioned in editorials, even reports, conversations, until it has permeated the national consciousness.
I have never seen a civil servant play a game of solitaire while at work, but I never questioned the assumption that they are all lazy and stupid, for some odd reason. Let’s say I never gave much thought to why I believed in this long propagated ‘fact of life’. I guess this is what they call stereotype.
How are stereotypes established? If I had read an article explicitly saying the above, I would probably have rejected the opinion as a bad piece of work. But such statements do not have a whole article dedicated to them so that you can sit and ponder on it. These ideas are propagated by small sentences. An allusion here, a mention there, persistently, over the years. That is how stereotypes are formed.
Let me tell you how I decided to break this old opinion. I met a smart civil servant. I am sure he does not play solitaire during office hours, whatever else he may do. Solitaire is just too boring.
Anyway, I am glad for this myth buster. I am going to be more careful from now on while reading articles especially coloumns. And think over not only the main issue but also the little things they state as ‘facts’.


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