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Fighting With the Feds, Advice Needed
Old 11-21-2008, 02:16 PM   #1
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Fighting With the Feds, Advice Needed

I figure some of you have been federal employees, and I need a little perspective.

I grew up poor, and always have something in line to keep the wolf from the door. About a month ago, I took the test to work the 2010 census. They are currently hiring recruiters who in turn hire the door to door folks. I scored 95% on the test, passed the background test and have 5 veterans points. That put me at the top of the list for my county. This county has one position open.

I gave 3 contact numbers on the application, and I followed up by calling the HR department a few days after submitting the paperwork to make sure they had received all the info. They had.

Cell service is very spotty in this area. One of the numbers was my cell, but the other two were home numbers.

I checked my cell messages yesterday and had none, but this morning one came in. I was sent Wednesday late in the afternoon by the census people and informed me I needed to call by 6 PM Thursday to be considered for a job. I called as soon as they opened this morning (Friday). There were no messages left on either of my other numbers.

The person answering the phone asked if I wanted to accept the job offer, and I said I had no information about the job. Said person told me what time the person who called me would arrive, and said he would have that person call me. He also said that if I had until 6 PM, calling first thing should be fine.

When the person who left me the message called, he told me that he had hired someone else yesterday afternoon. That is, he hired someone before the time he told me I had to contact him by. He could give me no good reason as to why he only called the cell number.

I spoke with his supervisor, and the supervisor told me that only one number had been forwarded to them from HR. I told the supervisor that excuse was not good enough. He said he would call me by three today with more details.

I am not sure I want the job, but this method of hiring reeks. Rather than getting the most highly qualified candidate, they are hiring the first person they can contact. I question why they even tested.

I have already contacted federal EEO. Any tips on how I should approach this matter with the supervisor when he calls back? Any tips on how to escalate this matter?
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:30 PM   #2
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Sorry, no help here. IMO it's best to keep the feds from becoming aware of your existence. I doubt you'll get far. They have, to quote the late great Warren Zevon, Lawyers, Guns and Money.
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:51 PM   #3
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True, but I have a computer, all the time in the world, a case of the ass, and a vested interest. I may be biased, but I made a good faith effort, the government paid for a background investigation, I scored high, I am a vet, and some drone just took the easy way out.

The vet part really sticks in my craw. I was drafted, I went and upheld my part of the bargain, and by god they will uphold their part of the bargain.
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:14 PM   #4
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The vet part might do you well, especially if the person hired is not a vet. You'd have to do some leg work, but I believe the Federal Dep't of Labor will take the case up for you as a violation of Veterans' preference.
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:33 PM   #5
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If you want the job, call your state's veterans department and see what they say too.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:24 PM   #6
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Rather than getting the most highly qualified candidate, they are hiring the first person they can contact.
what makes you think they didn't just hire their brother-in-law?
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:30 PM   #7
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d, that too entered my mind.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:08 PM   #8
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This was easier than I thought. The census supervisor just called and told me they were required to offer me the job.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:32 PM   #9
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so what kind of hours will you be working and how much is the pay, if you dont mind
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:37 PM   #10
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There are several different types of census jobs available. The one I applied for pays 13.75 per hour. It is a recruiting position. The recruiter sets up meetings, gives tests, etc.. One pretty much set their own hours by scheduling meetings during which one recruits and then following up with scheduling testing. It is supposed to be about 20 hours a week and last approximately 2 months.

They hire the recruiters by county. This being a rural, low population county, they hired one.
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:43 PM   #11
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Good luck. Sounds like you and the new boss have already established a "relationship."
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:45 PM   #12
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Sometimes they need to be trained.
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limpid lizard View Post
I figure some of you have been federal employees, and I need a little perspective.
I have already contacted federal EEO. Any tips on how I should approach this matter with the supervisor when he calls back? Any tips on how to escalate this matter?
Quote:
Originally Posted by limpid lizard View Post
Sometimes they need to be trained.
Here's a different perspective. Are you sure that you want to work with/for a group of people who treat you this way? Is this battle worth winning?

In a few more months will you be saying "God this sucks, but that $13.75/hour will make it all worth it!" and "Vengeance will be mine!!"... ?
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Old 11-21-2008, 09:37 PM   #14
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My personal theory is get on a payroll, do a good job so as to get great references. Then start looking for the job you really want.

As a former Fed I have also seen the following work: do a good job through the status-pending period (private industry may call this the 'introductory period' or the 'probationary period"), then be a royal PITA to the point that the agency will kiss your toes (write a great review) to get you to leave because it take a whole lot of supervisor/manager energy to terminate you. Then find the job you want and go for it.
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Old 11-21-2008, 10:22 PM   #15
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I have ulterior motives for wanting the job, the 13.75 for two months is not my ultimate goal. It is merely a means to an end. I cringe at the thought of the job lasting longer than two months.
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:58 AM   #16
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I've known workers to take temp civil service positions in order to get their foot in the door, and if they do well (go the extra mile, prove they are willing to meet/exceed all performance elements of the job description) then the supervisor will write them a review that will help them into a permanent position.

If I were rating a GG/GS/WG employee (permanent or temp) who was being a PITA, there's no way I'd give him/her a report that would ease their ability to move somewhere else. It's irresponsible and one step short of fraud. After trying all the normal steps to help the individual perform in that job, and making clear that the coming eval would be an honest one, I would (and did) follow through. Simultaneously, we'd start the long documentation process needed to get the person out. It's the only fair thing to do for the others in the office and even for the bigger system as a whole.

I've been the recipient of "gifts" either from "stopper lists" or trojan horse candidates with fine evals clearly written as an expedient. It's a real shame. This BS happens less in smaller specialties (where people know each other, even if separated by long distances).
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Old 11-22-2008, 01:25 PM   #17
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I agree SamClem. Getting one's foot in the door and earning a glowing review is the smart move and the best way to build a career. I too have been in the position of having to deal with the "gifts" from other offices, it is not right.
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Old 11-22-2008, 03:32 PM   #18
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I once got such a "gift" from another dept (private industry) and found that the guy had great talent but could only perform with direct intervention 2 - 4 times per day (senior software designer). He did great work under those conditions but he hated it as much as I did. As soon as he had an actual achievement he could document, he wanted to transfer back to his old group and I happily let him. They couldn't complain they didn't know what they were getting, and he quickly became a complete non-performer again. Served them right.
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:22 PM   #19
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There is a saying in HR: screen on skills, select on "fit" (aka, behavior, work habits). Skills can be developed, issues not addressed by their Mother can rarely be changed.
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:10 AM   #20
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+1 to the "foot in the door." Fed hiring process is absolutely horrible. Sending in applications is like sending stuff into a black hole.
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