Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Live and Let Die

As I prepare to leave Vermont for NYC it is time for a discussion of how the hiring practices work in the federal government. Positions are graded by expeience and a questionere. Your questions are graded according to your answers.

I was rejected for the job I currently work because I was less than a week short of experience when the job was posted. The government is inflexible with arbitrary dates, but that is government. I accepted a job in NYC as a 9 but now I am an 11. I will be graded as a 9 step 5 and lose almost zero money in six pay periods I resume being an 11 again. I also get credit for the time served as an 11 deducted from my advance In this case six pay periods. Thus after my 90 day penalty I would be an 11 with only 40 weeks to serve until my 12 grade is reached instead of 52. I also must wait an extra three months to get an extra hour a week vacation.

My peers who made the 11 grade are home free. They are exempt from tests and will almost be hired to the last person. Those who were nine and below must pass a written test. I passed that test a while back and was eligible for hire. However as the candidates have not even been scheduled to take the exam there is a possibility they can be terminated when their terms expire. My application can not even be evaluated until all others are tested and graded. It does not look like this will be done before the terms end. The employees may be extended again but this is not a way to live month to month.

Meanwhile I made my own destiny and applied to NYC which had far and away the most openings. Even so it is rare that a nine will get hired at this time. I am off the up and down cycle
largely due to the help of author Mark Alexander. Alexander's basic style is adaptable and perfect for high pressure timed exams. To his credit, Alexander was quite amused by my creative use of his book. Two other people have passed using Alexander's style as a guide.

The moral of the story is do not wait for destiny to decide your fate, take matters into your own hand. When faced with a task try to use every tool at your disposal to improve your odds in a pool that is often stacked against you.

Beamish in 08


Justin said...

Beak I wish you only the best and you are right the best destiny is to decide your own fate. I can relate to your delima having served at the pleasure of two Presidents and two Governors. It turly is a roller coaster ride.

Good luck in your future.

Anonymous said...

That's what America is all about beak, taking advantage of opportunities... and what makes this country great is that there are so many!

Happy 4th, beak!

Urban Infidel said...

Welcome back to Fun City, beak. Glad to have you home.

Hope you are having a good 4th of July. It's raining and cool here so there goes the BBQ.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Fate only happens to victims of circumstance.

beakerkin said...


Eight weeks will go by quickly.

Mr B

That is hysterical.

z said...

If anybody can follow that line of steps and deductions and credits, they DESERVE a great job! (GeeZ)

GOod luck, Beak....I guess you're looking forward to being in NYC..does the cat go, too?

Happy Fourth to everyone here.......and God Bless America.

beakerkin said...


Thank you for your kind words. A chill has gone down my spine knowing that if I took the official advice I would be unemployed.

However a person who is a GS-11 has some options and would land somewhere. The difference between a
9 and an eleven is vast.

I feel for those workers whose lives are up in the air.

Anonymous said...

This reminds of a Homeless person I heard on the radio a few weeks ago, complaining about how no one helps the homeless, and how he was waiting for his next break. I could not help but think to myself, that if you are waiting for someone pick you up, you may have to wait a long time, this life is about making things happen, instead of waiting for something to happen.

Beak, I'm sure you will be fine, because you have the right attitude about making things happen for yourself.