Mar 24, 2009

A little "friendly" competition.

In my position at work, there is relatively little room for alternate assignments. It’s not such a bad thing. However, when a specialty position opens up, it is up fro grabs. And even the best of friends can get a little sour over the process of assignment, and the disappointment of not being chosen.

I started my current employment nearly seven years ago. I moved from Vacaville, and I was working in Napa. At the time, alternate assignment was nearly non-existent. Without trying to bash people who work in retail, it was a lot like that. You were line staff. And unless you promoted, there was relatively little more than that. And promotions were few and far between. The only saving grace was making a really decent salary.

In the end, that proved to not be enough for me. Making good money is not always enough when you really dislike your working environment and a fairly good portion of the people you work with. I was sent to a month-long training course in Eureka, and I was hooked. I met good people (one of which eventually became my wife), I was introduced to a far superior working environment, and I love the North Coast.

So I made a leap and a change of venue. And seven years later, I am pretty happy with the results. Since then, even as line staff, I have had multiple opportunities to do different things within my department, and all of them to my benefit.

Over the last five years, though, I have held the same position. Change has simply come in the form of working different shifts and working with different people. A lot of us face the same challenge. So when an opportunity arises to do something different there are a lot of people who look to take advantage of it.

The open position: Lead Background Investigator. Those who wish to work in my particular field must go through a series of tests and examinations. There is a written test and an oral interview. Followed by a background investigation, a polygraph, and a psyche exam. Far more than a standard desk job.

This is a position I have wanted for along time. Pretty much since I started working here. But, for whatever reason and a few various odd circumstances, this is the first time I can recall since my employment the position has become open to qualified applicants.

Hence, the “friendly” competition.

Some of my closest friends are vying for this post. It’s a two-year assignment. Civilian clothes, a regular 5-day a week, 8 hours a day job (something I don’t have a lot of experience in since I work a 12 hour shift).

And as I said, some of my closest friends are my competition. The assignment requirements I am qualified to meet. The application process: a memo of interest and a one-page essay describing my understanding of the position and my ideas for improvement and change.

I spent the better portion of the last two days working on my memo. It’s pretty solid, as far as I can tell. In fact, without trying to sound like I am bragging, I think its pretty dang good.

But now I am tasked with writing a one-page essay. It’s going to be a challenge. I understand the post. I understand the requirements. But convincing the Head Boss that I am the right man for job must ooze from every written word.

It’s going to be a task. And in the end, only one person will be chosen. One person will be pretty pleased. A number of people will be disappointed, maybe even unhappy and a little bitter.

But I guess that is the eventual result of any application process.
I have until April 6th, at 1600 hours to have my application in. With any luck, it should be done a few days ahead of that schedule. And in the end, if I am chosen or not, I will at least have the satisfaction of having thrown my hat in the ring and given it my all.


  1. With taking your time and giving it plenty of thought, no matter what the outcome, you should be proud of how you are trying and it will manifest itself in your work. We are proud of you and will be cheering for you. Good luck!

  2. Go for it!!! You'll do great. You have such a great way with words. It's a talent, really.
    Good luck. We'll keep happy thoughts.

  3. You are a great writer if your blog is any indication -- your essay will be great. Who they chose is anyone's guess, but as you said -- at least you put your name in the hat. Janine

  4. Good luck....I will be checking back in to see what happens....

  5. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.


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