Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On federal employees...

I have to admit something to you. I often carry on about what criteria should be expected of those wanting to work within the federal government. As in they should be intelligent, motivated, hard-working, honorable, self-reliant but capable of working well within a team atmosphere.

I may be projecting a bit there, for those are qualities that one looks for in a good military prospect. One who is willing to serve one's country, not one's own interests.

What government entities such as the Canada Revenue Agency, or Human Resources and Social Development Canada, or Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or Fisheries and Oceans Canada / Canadian Coast Guard look for in their prospective employees, I haven't a clue. What I can tell you is that in the main, I have seen proven as fact, every single negative, derogatory stereotype ever attributed to civil servants. Far too many are soulless, uninspired, dreary automatons, simply marking time in an effort to claim that final pension, doing the absolute minimum required by their terms of reference, if that. They are masters of apathy and ineptitude, led by an equally unskilled pool of 'superiors'.

Many federal employees exist in what is called a 'poisoned work environment'. These workplaces are rife with croneyism, prejudice, mistrust and harrassment of every type. There are of course rigid rules of conduct which exist to prevent such occurences in the federal workplace... but woe betide anyone who seeks to have these rules and regulations enforced, in an effort to protect their rights. They will quickly find themselves persecuted, ostracized and eventually hounded out of their job.

This particular malaise reaches right up to the very top echelons of every federal department. I say this only because without their approval, tacit or otherwise, this situation could not continue as it has for all these years. Oh sure, there are legions of 'directors' and 'managers' who are all too pleased to accept the nomination for the post and the title that accompanies it. Most of these people are not fit or qualified to hold such a title, though. They are patently unschooled in any field of leadership. These individuals lack the will, the skill and the fortitude to 'rock the boat', by challenging the status quo. And so nothing changes.

For those of you who wish to catapult yourselves into this brand of federal employment, be my guest. Although the perks (time off, salary, health benefits and pension) are really quite good, I personally have yet to find a position which would make the trade-off worthwhile. Me? I still look forward to coming into work every day and bring home nothing negative at the end of it. I'll pass for now...

In closing, most military members do not consider themselves as 'federal employees'. They are military. The military does not have any political allegiances. True, the same cannot always be said about those who haunt the higher echelons of 'Disney on the Rideau' (NDHQ), but in the main the military is apolitical. They serve, regardless of what Party is in power. And many times, in spite of the Party in power.

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