Sunday, 6 September 2009

My Interview

I did a job interview this week. As most of you know....I'm in the "must-leave" Germany situation although I've got probably six months before the final day. This contractor-to-GS employee game puts me a lose-lose situation because of the stupid German work-visa. I have to leave for at least twelve months before I can apply for any GS job in Germany.

So this week....the Forestry Service folks called up and said they'd like to do an interview for a Santa Fe job.

My reference in the office actually got a questionnaire (the Forestry guys didn't even say anything to me about it).....and had to turn it into Ranger Jill.

So the interview comes with Jim and Joaquin. They both seemed to be HR guys.....which didn't bother me although I wondered why the boss didn't do the interviews....and that came to light real quick.

Joaquine did the entire interview, with Jim sitting in the background and taking notes. There was this long introduction to the job.....which kinda hinted more than the typical folks would ever mention....some things were not enticing.

So then Joaquin comes to this uneasy moment....and you can almost hear Jim half-laughing in the background. I would have to work for two bosses. Yep....one boss in one national forest and one boss at a second national forest about seventy miles away. Apparently, with Jim still half-laughing.....these two bosses conflict and have issues. Joaquin didn't really want to say alot but obviously he wanted to scare you a bit that this might not be the best of situations.

Then Joaquin goes into the very first question....how would I handle two difficult bosses in constant conflict? Jim....I'm pretty sure....was grinning from ear to ear.

I paused here....in traditional Bama fashion....maybe a good 15-second pause.....with a "hmmmm".

Then I said that currently at Ramstein.....I have around fifteen bosses, so you folks are actually giving me a vacation of sorts.

Jim and Joaquin took to laughing for a good 15 seconds. Then I just kept going. I didn't really say that I was like Daniel and the Lion....but I tend to take the difficult, disruptive, challenging, demanding, irritating, troublesome, and unyielding folks...and work things out. The answer was like a 80-pound hammer whacking a 10-penny nail.

At that point, I owned the interview. It was my only five-star interview ever.

By the end, Joaquin went on into detail...with more details would have made me worry about taking such a job.

The forestry guys up at Taos apparently have a staff meeting each week and I need to drive up to attend it. It's around sixty to seventy miles away. So you can count out four hours of travel, two hours for a meeting and your lunch hour....so pretty much this entire day is wasted....each and every week.

I sat there....thinking....what the heck do forestry guys chat about for two hours in some staff meeting? Bear reports, camper havoc, freaked out locals reporting Bigfoot, snakebites, etc? I've spent my whole career with military folks of the logistical, civil engineering, intelligence, flight operations and communications fields. I've seen some staff meetings that made you want to cry and weep over. I've been to meetings where the AC broke and it was 90 degrees in the room with some character wanting a detailed explanation of how we can better organize the summer picnic.

I was wondering if Joaquin was doing this to see if I'd just withdraw or fall into temptation. The truth was....I was awful damn tempted.

I see management potential....changes....taming of difficult folks.....improvements.

Heck, I can even see a book coming out of this experience in Santa Fe....."How I saved Timmy and Lassie, and Tamed the Ranger and the Bear".

I can imagine that both my Dad and my brother would beg for a job like this. My dad....in a National Forest....with a $800 chain saw.....could cut trees all day long. After mowing grass and cutting hay....cutting trees is number three on his thrill list. And my brother? He'd probably find that most of these ranger gals aren't into NASCAR, or any of the 44 natural Bama filters that he uses to prevent bad relationships. Other than these ranger gals probably being into camping and firearms....he'd probably overlook those "weaknesses".

So I have to wait a week and see what the Forestry folks say. I'm pretty sure Jim underlined the "fifteen bosses" comments. This is probably the craziest option that anyone could ever dream up for me.....but you know....if I could just save "Timmy and Lassie"....it'd make this all worth the effort.

Besides....is there anything that a guy from Bama can't do?

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