Saturday, June 26, 2010

Beakerkin as Mentor

I find myself in the unlikely role of being a mentor for junior officers for two weeks. I really do not
see myself in the role and do not like doing this. One of the reasons I prefer not to is that I learned
somewhere else. Many of the skills and techniques I learned there allow me to do certain parts of the job too quickly for trainees.

The first part is to love your job and being a civil servant. We are working in an important job and placing a smile with service even when we say no is important. We also need to lose the kick the can down the block mentality. If you love your job and serving the public it shows in your work and is infectious.

One of the things the younger workers spotted was my relationships with the attorney. I really do not believe in adversarial roles. Our job is to convey what we need with a smile. If we can not provide what they seek explain why. Then if the attorneys have a point we listen and weigh the factors. In most cases our interests are common and the attorneys are happy to provide what we

I am also mindful that I am a member of a local union and am amazingly considered a Union activist. I remind the junior officers that one can easily find themselves in crazy situations where
fake or dubious charges are made up. Do not expect help from your peers and the Union will be the only ones in your corner.

I also point out that peers who self promote are in fact not as good as many of the quieter peers.
When my peers come down we good naturedly joke that the other one is a better officer.

I spent time with one of the junior officers on system checks. Before, I knew it I had a crowd of
junior officers learning some basics that had never been covered. We spend too much time on rote memory in general and not enough time on learning how to use available tools and solve problems.

When I was a junior officer I was blessed with a few good mentors. I never saw myself in that role and am amazingly in it now. Time goes by quickly.

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