Interesting Job Interview

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by NorCal, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    For the naive, it can be easy to confuse succession planning with cronyism.
  2. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Absolutey. Which is why the County Clerk in Morehead, KY, passed the position (albeit through subsequent election) on to her daughter - um, succession planning. And that is why we are, today, so entertained by Kim Davis. :biglaugh:

    But seriously, I'm rather enjoying the pissing contest between Major56 and Rich. Now, that's entertainment, especially since both of them seem to have a proclivity toward pissing contests.

    (For what it's worth, I've got to give the edge to the guy with two doctorates. Granted, the USAF guy has an agenda, but so, obviously, does the gentleman from the Army. I've never been one for agendas, so it's easy to laugh at both the left wing and the right wing.)
  3. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Addressing the naiveté /confusion logic you offer—so succession planning should surely be considered as being conducted ethically above board… the prospective for cronyism, nepotism, office politics, etc., subverting a succession planning process, is naïve (?)—instead, these potential decision risks should simply be disregarded. E.g., consider that the chosen successor may not have been selected through an open merit-based, fair and equitable process (imagine that). Consider too the further complication should the wrong person be identified for succession (whatever the reason, motive and/or agenda)—can be a destructive for other staff, other candidates, shareholders and clients. To discount that nepotism, cronyism, and/or politics cannot /do not infiltrate succession planning processes is naïve IMO. Such influences have no real boundaries…
  4. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Just to set the record straight Steve: I served my first military tour as an officer of Marines (four years). Interservice transferred to the Army, and then served an additional eight years as an Army officer.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Actually, the voters did that. But Davis DOES employ her son, which fits the Major's thesis quite well.
    Oh, I don't know about that. First, we're reasonably respectful towards each other. Also, it's an extremely asymmetric dynamic when word count and number of posts are considered.
    So far, doctorates have not been relevant to the things that press the Major's buttons, so I don't see that as an "edge." Nor do I see what agendas have to do with anything. But it is certainly true that I have season tickets to the liberal wing. Always have.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Unlike your first comments about the extremes, we're now in agreement with everything except the magnitude of the problem.

    As a military officer (and commander), I managed federal civilians. I also served longer than you did, FWIW. (However, a significant portion of my experience was as an enlisted member.)

    As a GS-15 for more than 7 years, I've run enterprises and have been a hiring manager. I've conducted many hiring actions along the way. Again, FWIW.

    I also spent a handful of years as a consultant in the federal space, all with GS-15s and/or members of the SES as my clients.

    These experiences don't prove I'm right. But they inform my judgment about this question. IMHO, the issues around cronyism and nepotism in the federal workplace is negligent, with observers almost never having insight into the actual processes, dynamics, and competitions during the hiring process. So they sometimes assume the worst, especially if they were under consideration. Finally, having a dozen years of work in the private sector, the lack of rules there almost guarantees a larger presence of such occurrences. In the federal space, there are very tight rules against it.

    Perhaps there has been some research into this topic. I don't know. But absent that, I'd be hard-pressed to agree with an opinion so utterly contrary to my own experiences.
  7. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Okay, gentlemen, unzip and whip ‘em out.

    Now, somebody get a ruler…

    (Okay, I grant you, it’s a crude illustration, but the cocksmanship in this thread is hysterical.) :stooges:
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Guilty as charged. I was even thinking that very thing as I typed it. But certain experiences are relevant to the question at hand. It has been my experience that the people who allege that such things are rampant usually do so from outside the system, not within.
  9. major56

    major56 Active Member

    For the sake of accuracy, please see my complete posting (re #16-17), which was intended in straight response to Rich’s question (re #15) to me in re to my own experience in connection to the discussion with reference to my witnessing corrupt and defective hiring practice via nepotism, cronyism, politics, faulty succession plans, etc. within several K-12 public school systems and municipal /county government education services. My answer was provided exclusively for the purpose to offer a relevant abstract of my own direct personal familiarity as to the extensive and entrenched nepotism employed in the overall hiring practices within specific industries I had been associated—nothing more. My guess being that the inquiry by Rich per se was to self-assess /-measure and/or make public my credibility, if any, regarding the topic. A reasonable request and probe on his part...

    In contrast, Steve Levicoff’s Wrap
  10. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

  11. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    That's how I was hired too. Never met anyone face-to-face until my first day on the job. I thought I would show up and they would say "Who the heck are you?"

    As impersonal and bureaucratic as the process was, I thought it was very fair compared to my experience in private industry. All they had to evaluate me with was my resume and how I answered the interview questions. There was no judging based on looks, age, marriage status, or perceived disability.

    I have come across offices where there are relatives working together. I think this is more because having a relative makes them aware of the process (how to apply, what agencies are out there, etc) rather than straight nepotism. However, my experience with the federal government is still limited. I'm just a lowly GS-12 with about 5 years in.
  12. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    In the 1950s, a German Shepherd named Ludwig was 'adopted' by one of the fraternities at UC Berkeley. Members took his exams and wrote his papers, and he actually did earn a Bachelor's degree. I have also read that they then applied for jobs on behalf of Ludwig, and that some were offered without a face-to-muzzle interview. It's fun to visualize Ludwig's first appearance at his new employer.
  13. back2thebooks

    back2thebooks New Member

    I started to apply

    I have "attempted" to apply for a career in the federal government; however, I did not submit everything that was required. I believe I lacked motivation for it or else I would have completed the process. Or maybe I listened to people saying the process is long and tiring and then you may never be called for an interview. One or the other, I don't remember. I was much younger then. :smile:
  14. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    It can be very long, depending the position and the security clearance required. it was over a year from the time I applied to the day I started. All that waiting gave me time to finish my dissertation.
  15. davefranco

    davefranco New Member

    You are lucky one who heard their conversation. I haven't experience something like this.
  16. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I applied for a few federal jobs. I think I was taken aback by the differences in hiring procedures between agencies.

    I applied for a handful of jobs at the IRS (hey, they had postings). Two required some pretty obnoxious tests, a grading system and a lengthy waiting list from which I never emerged. A third resulted in my receiving a phone call from a blocked cell phone number a half hour after I submitted my application. That phone call was followed up by a panel interview (six people) and a stenographer. It felt an awful lot like a deposition. Still, I interviewed well (in my obviously biased opinion) but I never heard from them again.

    Another time I applied for a job with Social Security and arrived at the interview to discover the interviewer was obsessed with the high school both of us had attended. His office was a shrine to my old high school's football team. There was no interview. When I asked him about, you know, asking me questions he just waved it off and said "This job is cake, I'm sure you can do it." He handed me a fingerprint card which I FedExed back and he made me an offer the day after it arrived. I didn't take it because a private sector employer was offering substantially more money and the job was in my chosen field.

    So, I am quite skeptical of anyone who claims to know how "the federal government" operates as if it operates in a uniform fashion. You follow the instructions. You use the phrasing from the job post. Sometimes you get an interview and sometimes you don't. The guy at SSA liked me because of where I went to high school (interestingly, he was also a graduate of Penn State but didn't seem to feel any special connection to the place). So, clearly nepotism and favoritism can exist in the federal government. But the IRS processes (for most of their postings) were so disconnected from any form of humanity it would be impossible to shuffle a family member (or, you know, a guy who went to your favorite high school) into a job there.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    While there are some broad consistencies--and laws about Federal hiring, I have to agree that it's all over the place. What frustrates me is to see the number of useless barriers put up by hiring managers and HR--they don't have a clue in many cases, not realizing how they chase away or fail to recognize good candidates. They really lose out. Also, they think they're being more precise, but it has the opposite effect.

    Not much nepotism, but a lot of inside dealing, highly favoring inside applicants over outside ones. But know that they treat existing Federal employees from other agencies just as badly. It's a mess, but not for the reasons non-Feds think.
  18. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member

    Yes. This.

    There is a definite misperception out there to take any GS job because "once you're in the system, you can transfer elsewhere".
  19. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Holly piss DegreeInfo, only you folks could take a thread like this and take in such a direction.

    If everyone could have their pissing contest elsewhere, the rest of us would appreciate it a great deal.

  20. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Times like this, I recall the time that twelve employees in a single department got together and applied for the Edinburgh Business School MBA, intending to study as a cohort group. Their HR manager said it would not be accepted or paid for. The 12 people asked me to come and meet with the HR person (I was doing work for EBS at the time). We had a short talk, then he looked up and down the hall and closed his door and said, "I worked my tail off for two years doing my residential MBA at Rice University. If those people think I'm going to approve a hoity-toity spare time degree, they've got another think coming." He also said he'd deny that the conversation ever took place.

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