Saturday, August 18, 2007

Washington's Worst Jobs

I ran across this portion of an article from the City Paper awhile back with an article on Washington's Worst jobs listing the 10 worst jobs in Washington DC. I had one of them at the time and the write up they included was hilarious - I don't think it really was close to actually being one of the worst jobs but I can see why they chose to include it. From the article:

Unlike for instance the Department of Interior, where the drudgery and anonymity of government work could be mitigated by a built-in sense of larger purpose, OPM exists solely to manage the red tape of the federal government employment. It is the bureaucracy of the bureaucracy.
"Some stay longer," says one benefits specialist. "But they're like prisoners who have stayed in jail so long they don't want to leave."
Once the proper documents have been assembled, the benefits specialist figures out what retirement rules apply to the retiree. Since the guidelines are constantly changing, determining what a retiree is owed is often so Byzantine a calculation as to be an open question, a matter of interpretation.
And while they are scurrying to juggle several cases a day, they are getting calls and questions for cash-strapped and confused retirees as well as supervisors who are constantly reviewing and sending back work.
"It's similar to assembly-line work," says one benefits specialists. "It's just one after another. And there's not a lot of camaraderie here, not many friendships. You can come in, do your work all day, never speak to anyone, and then go home."

I thought is was great write up. Not really accurate but funny and with just enough hints of truth - just framed in the way to make the best story not the most accurate one. I remember it also listed a job for city rat exterminator - now that probably is one of the worst jobs. I can't really see sitting in an air conditioned room moving paper from one side of your desk to another and trying to improve processes (well I was - and not getting too much help with that though there were a few people that did) is really that horrible. See what I have done since.

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