I figured Iíd ask around on some of the forums I visit to see if anyone had a similar experience. And, who better to ask than good gun folks.
I am contemplating a career move to a large public works utility (I already checked and they wonít let me carry on the job :hand1:). Previously I have only worked for very small companiesóright now, the company I work for is only four full-time workers, including me.
The public works utility is city owned and I have previously applied for a different position with the same city. I interviewed yesterday with the public works utility. In both my interviews with this city, in two separate departments, with two separate sets of interviewers, there was one common thread:
The supervisors in charge of the worker bees (for lack of a better description) acted as if they were at the mercy of the worker bees. One person made a comment that once employed for a year, there was nothing one could do to get fired. I was given to believe that all the supervisors were resigned to the fact that they could do nothing to improve the workerís productivity and they had to accept whatever level of production they got. When I asked, I was told that all of these workers had been with the city a long time and as such were entrenched. I was really surprised by this and the look on the faces of these supervisors, all professional people, told me every word was true. I mean I literally saw it in their faces, in their expressions.
It was the same way when I interview with this city several years back. I was offered the position back then and I turned it down because in essence, what I was being asked to do was supervise people who would refuse to do better, would refuse to work harder if I deemed they were not working hard enough already and would do so because they were entrenched and therefore un-firable. I admit, despite all of that, I have kicked myself several times for not taking the job because I would have been well on my way to a nice government pension instead of having absolutely zero after decades of working for small companies.
Now, I am at that age where I have one last shot at that cozy government pension (if our politicians donít completely ruin this country which they almost have).
The problem is, I am a very hard worker. And, in the private sector, I would not tolerate the above behavior for more than a month (in which time I would try to turn these people around). After a month, anyone slacking would be asked to leave to save face or fired if they refused; because youíre no good to me or the organization if your oar isnít in the water.
I am seriously considering the position, if offered to me, because I have for too long not been challenging myself. My motto has been for the last several years: I love a challenge, as long as itís easy and success is assured. I want to break that habit and test myself. But this looks to be an extremely uphill battle, an unwinable war, if you will. In essence, in the interview, I was told the position I was applying for would step in and take this burden off of the current supervisor so that he could concentrate on his real duties.
So, I came Ďround here to see if anyone had a similar experience. Are all government employees in these types of worker bee positions like this? All thinking they are untouchable? (Don't get me wrong, I consider myself a worker bee, too).
Has anyone had to deal with these types or supervise them and what have you done to turn them around, if anything?
My wife has several motivational cds from her job (a relatively large regional bank) and I am going to start listening to them again to see if I can get any pointers in case they do offer the position to me.
I want to take the job. And I would like to turn around these poor souls, as that would be something of an accomplishment.
Any insights or anecdotes would be appreciated. Thanks guys.