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My own personal Office Space - need insight

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My own personal Office Space - need insight

Postby Sticky Spice » Sat Mar 05, 2005 7:38 am

I'll try not to make this too long - I appreciate any insights you guys might have.

I work as a non-sworn employee at a police department where there are very few opportunities for civilians. I have worked there for five years.

In fact, above me the only opportunities for civilians are Records Supervisor and what equates to the Chief's Secretary. About two years ago the Chief's Secretary position came available and for some reason it was never announced in-house, and I never had an opportunity to apply.

The person he hired didn't work out. The position is now available again and I applied. In fact, I am the only person inside the department that did. The field has been narrowed to six, and I am not one of them. Six outside people are being considered including the wife of one of the county commissioners (who decide our budget) and the wife of a chief of police from a nearby small town.

In other words, I am so not being considered that I will not even be getting an interview. When the position came up last time one female in my unit did apply and she got an interview.

This essentially is telling me that I cannot even aspire to be promoted. I'm just not sure what to do next. I can file a grievance, but all that would come of that is trouble for me and a lame effort at giving me an interview. This reeks of reverse sexual harrassment, although I never would go there.

Having 5 years of experience at this police departtment really would give me a leg up on the competition, but I am not even being considered. Another thing that's bothered me is that they haven't even told me yet. I had to find out through the Citizens Police Academy newsletter (they knew before me?!) and through the grapevine. My supervisor knew and didn't tell me, just as the two guys in hiring still haven't had the balls to even respond to my email inquiring on the matter.

I wish I could just find another job, but I've truly been working at it for awhile. I just have so few contacts here since I moved here five years ago that it's hard to get an "in" anywhere. It seems like the only jobs worth having are through an employment agency, and I feel like that's a big risk as they're usually "temp to hire" and I cannot let my insurance go for any amount of time.

Any opinions on how you'd handle this situation? Any job-hunting tips?
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” --Henry David Thoreau
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Postby Pacman » Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:26 am

Forgive me if this seems a silly question, but it popped into my head as I was reading: Have you directly TOLD your supervisors that you are interested in the position? Is it possible that for some reason they don't think you want the job?

Another thought (assuming that, yes, they ARE aware that you are interested). Have you requested a sit-down with your supervisor to express your disappointment in being overlooked? I'm not talking about a show-down, negative meeting.... just a positive, constructive, informational session in which you politely ask if there are problems with your performance that have thusfar left you overlooked.

Sometimes you have to be a squeaky wheel... to get the grease. And you CAN do that without burning any bridges.


I'd hate to think you're missing out on an opportunity because you didn't step up and make yourself heard.


Just a thought or two.



Good luck.




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Postby Sticky Spice » Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:29 am

Really it's the chief's call. He is essentially the king. Talking to my direct supervisor accomplishes nothing, and she would not back me for fear of losing me.

To "put in" for this job I had to actually turn in an application for it with personnel, just as if I were someone off the street. The guys that do the hiring at our dept then delivered to me a packet which included many forms to fill out. I did that and had it notarized then turned it in.
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Postby acsguitar » Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:29 am

I agree you should sit down with one of the managers and talk to them about the position... that shows you have balls and althought they appear like they want to hire someone without "balls" it might put you in for a future promotion.
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Postby Mookie4ever » Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:35 pm

If you're talking about filing a grievance you are probably unionized. Have you discussed this with your shop steward?
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Postby stomperrob » Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:19 pm

Since you haven't been where you're at all that long and don't have any contacts - why not move to a bigger city and bigger police department where there are more opprotunities?
Or try becoming a sworn member - all kinds of different types of work within the larger forces - ya might like the excitement (I did it for 26 years and enjoyed it and I know several non-sworn members who made the switch and were happy they did - for one thing, you would probably get to retire a lot earlier). I also know a couple sworn members who switched over to non-sworn so you can always go back to non-sworn if ya don't like it and you'll have a better resume than any of the other non-sworn members.
Good luck in whatever you chose to do and keep your chin up!!!
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Postby Sticky Spice » Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:35 pm

Mookie4ever wrote:If you're talking about filing a grievance you are probably unionized. Have you discussed this with your shop steward?


Nope, not a union. I think we have this system in place to at least appear that things are fair.

Maybe that's why nobody is telling me anything is so that by the time I realize what the deal is it would be too late (the position would be filled) for a grievance to be worth anything.

About moving to a bigger city - I would love to move home to Seattle, but my wife won't move out there. I do live near a very large city so I suppose I should start looking there - I just dread the commute.

About becoming a police officer - no way, at least not here. All we deal with every day are the same rednecks again and again. I just couldn't stand that. And for the added stress and drama, the pay just isn't worth it! I was shocked how little these guys make.

I will definitely say something to someone. I'd like to speak with the chief and ask him what I could do to be considered the next time. I'd also like to tape the conversation }:-)

Thanks for the input, guys! ;-D
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