Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

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The apps in the mail

I spent most of last night getting my 2 job applications done. I hadn't filled one out in a few years. It used to be that with the gov't it was an SF-171 or nothing. Now with the relaxed requirements, you can submit a 171, the replacement OF-612, or a standard resume. I asked my supervisor (who will most likely be choosing the candidate) what has she seen before and if she has a preference. She basically told me that now almost anything goes. This makes things a little tough. For instance, for the ABQ job, I can actually fax my app. to the regional office. For the Yakima job, it says it has to be mailed.

The worst part of the application is the KSA's or "Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities." This is the equivilent to the essay portion of a test. It's not good enough that you list all of your duties on the application itself. These are specific questions about specific qualifications. Sometimes there is no wiggle room such as "When have you done THIS task?" If you have never done THAT task, you're kinda screwed. So you have to come as close as possible. Sometimes there is lots of wiggle room such as, "Do you have knowledge of THIS task." Ummmm. Yes. I attended a conference where THAT was discussed and therefore I have a knowledge about it.

So last night I sat at my computer and listed specific examples of when I did certain things. I bullshitted as much as possible like any good applicant would. Once again, it was a little tough with the position here since my supervisor knows what I do. On the other paw, she knows me, so if there are a bunch of goofballs as other candidates, she has a known quantity in me.

I should relay the story of how I got my present job. I know I have told this to a few of you. Back in 1998-99 I was desperately trying to get the hell out of Yuma. I made it perfectly clear that I hated my job. I literally posted all of the job announcements that I had applied for on my office wall with a little sign that read, "Wall of Hope." I was finally contacted by someone here in ABQ. Now I didn't realize that the person I was going to be interviewed by was a strange character in his own right. My sister and I had spent the afternoon down in Mexico drinking cervesas and margaritas. We came back home and popped open a few more beers. Finally she fired up a joint and I took a few hits. Then the phone rang. It was the person in ABQ wanting to give me an interview. And so I interviewed. I was all mellow and relaxed. I answered all of the questions in a truthful and straightforward manner. It was a great interview. He asked me, "What would you do if there was an employee in the office who was a real troublemaker, someone who was always deriding your work, someone who was unpleasant to you. What would you do?" My response was, "Have you seen the movie 'Jackie Brown'? There was a quote in there that fits. 'AK47! When you absolutely positively have to kill every muthah fuckah in the room! Accept no substitute!'" He laughed. And then I gave the proper answer.

And so it is a comforting to be able to apply for a job and really not care one way or another. I like my current job. I like my house. I don't mind living in ABQ. And if I get the promotion, hardly any of that will change, just more money. The WA job is a different story. If I have a choice between the SW and the NW, the NW definitely wins. And as I mentioned yesterday, I would get experience in a totally new type of watershed with all new issues and challenges. It is a goal of mine to work in all of the great river basins of the West. So, 5 years on the Yakima, 5 years on the Truckee, 5 years on the Sacramento, 5 years on the Upper Colorado, 5 years on the Snake, and poof! Retire as the Guru of Western Water!
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