Having a job where there is public scrutiny

Having a job where there is public scrutiny

This is a discussion on Having a job where there is public scrutiny within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This is really addressed to the LEs here, but it certainly applies to others as well. Many people hold jobs where their words and actions ...

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Thread: Having a job where there is public scrutiny

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    Having a job where there is public scrutiny

    This is really addressed to the LEs here, but it certainly applies to others as well.

    Many people hold jobs where their words and actions are open to public scrutiny and where the general public can not place themselves into the shoes of the individual doing the job. This is the case with judges whose every word is public record; it is the case with many Federal positions where every word written or spoken in public is in the public domain and subject to scrutiny--second guessing, criticism, complaint.

    Grumbling that others "can't understand" is fair enough, understandable enough, but at the same time there needs to be a realistic acceptance that it is part of the job.

    When I was still working for Uncle I was in a position where every word I wrote, every word I spoke was public property. I once got quite an upset when I and a co-worker were publicly accused of certain inappropriate actions. Animal rights folks insisted that we did not need to use live animals to obtain certain information. For awhile, I feared picking up my mail and answering my door.

    The lesson learned is that you need a certain thick skin, maybe a layer of mental teflon, and an acceptance that the scrutiny and second guessing goes with the job. Also when in a job where public scrutiny is routine, you need to be open to the possibility that the critics might not be mere cranks, and might have something worthwhile to say.


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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Rather like posting on a public forum eh?

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    Exactly.

    and there is also the possibility that some have no clue of which they speak, they just like to hear themselves talk.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    School administrators need thick skin to remain useful......and you are certainly held accountable for every word.

    Every time someone would ask me if I had read the article about the school, I would think..."OK, here we go again!" Then before reading the article, I would go get my bottle of 'skin thickener lotion', apply it generously, and prepare to read the criticisms for any one of many decisions.

    It is important that those in the public scrutiny remain 'above board' in all things said and done. It is true that one must "keep friends close and enemies even closer". It is important to remain honest, but beyond that is the importance of having even the 'appearance' of honesty at all times. Good communication is a must as what people don't know, they will make up...although they pretty much do that anyway.

    I survived for five years in the same job prior to retirement...and I was offered another 4-year contract to stay. It was a great Board of Ed, and after 10 years I am still friends with many of my 'bosses'. I have great memories of dealing with budget cuts, negotiations, expulsions, arbitrations, and 'high maintenance' parents/tax payers.

    After retirement, my skin was so thick, I had to shower with steel wool and scrub brushes...
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    re: Retsupt

    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    School administrators need thick skin to remain useful......and you are certainly held accountable for every word.


    After retirement, my skin was so thick, I had to shower with steel wool and scrub brushes...
    I can't imagine.

    Funny though, I have lived in the same community for 34 years. We have two different public school systems here, with two separately elected school boards, superintendents, and an army of principals and assistant principals. It seems that through the years some have done a much better job of staying out of the lime-light and out of trouble than others.

    Same with the school boards. Sometimes all is quiet and you hardly ever hear anything controversial going on and other times the world seems to be coming to an end.

    From watching your posts over several years, I am going to guess that you have the primary personal characteristic needed to survive it all and even thrive--- a great sense of humor.

    Another characteristic which helps is an ability to know the difference between little deals and big deals; and to not over-react. Some folks are great at this, and others (like myself) not so cool.

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    Senior Member Array threefeathers's Avatar
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    thick Skin. High School Coaches. I actually voluntered to spend 6 months in Korea as a 19D to keep from going back to one school.

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    Senior Member Array Jmac00's Avatar
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    Try being in the service industry, like Plumber, electrician or Heating contractor.

    Your reputation is EVERYTHING!!! if people get word that you are not trustworthy you might as well disconnect the phone. Because it is not going to be ringing.

    It takes YEARS to get a good reputation, if you do a great job the customer will tell 'maybe' 3 or 4 people, you screw up, they will tell 30
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    Distinguished Member Array Guardian's Avatar
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    Working for the city is no different. We all know how that goes. The public can be a different animal each day and unpredictable, but that's what makes it fun LOL.
    "I dislike death, however, there are some things I dislike more than death. Therefore, there are times when I will not avoid danger" Mencius"

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    I can't relate.

    I'm a pastor. EVERYbody likes and agrees with EVERYthing I do, say, think, wear, write, etc.

    No need for thick skin here.


    NOT!!!!
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    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    high school athletic official...

    bad call? good call? death threats... I'm just saying...

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    Death threats

    Quote Originally Posted by MR D View Post
    high school athletic official...

    bad call? good call? death threats... I'm just saying...
    Yeah, that's the part that really stretches faith in humanity. How folks can distort the importance of a game to a life/death matter is beyond me.

    I've seen a fist fight at soccer for 4 and 5 year olds; it wasn't the kids fighting. Some folks just don't know what is and what isn't important.

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    Mr D...I'm with ya....

    I'm a cop and I officiate high school and college basketball


    excuse me, I have to get the cheese grater after my calluses again

    and Hopyard, you're exactly right, some people these days have lost every bit of common sense with their kids
    its a freakin game
    but sometimes the behavior makes it obvious to me why the kids act like they do
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    Hopyard, I agree the general public can be annoying at times but if anyone has a job that is paid for out of the public coffers, you should expect a higher level of scrutiny.

    My tax dollars pay for teachers, cops, fireman, soldiers, judges, principals, mailmen, civil servants, congressmen, DMV workers and a whole host of other positions. Frequently, citizens don't have an option to "take their business elsewhere." As such, they have the prerogative to expect a certain standard....even if it's an unreasonable standard, the citizen pays the bill.

    I work for DoD, so I fall under the same category. If "the public" is pissed, sometimes we just need to suck it up.

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