Twice in the last week, I have heard from (or about) people interested in working for the State of Ohio. Even after the news that we’re supposed to eat two weeks’ pay during the life of the next contract, there are folks out there so desperate for seemingly stable employment that they want to work for the State of Ohio.
One is a guy who works the night shift at the little market/convenience store a couple blocks north from our house. I’m there frequently, buying Ben and Jerry’s and Diet Coke. Unlike most people who shed their work IDs and name badges the instant they get home, I’m often in the habit of forgetting I have it on, and find myself unclipping my badge from my shirt as I’m getting undressed to go to bed. The cashier noticed my badge, and started asking about getting a state job. So, I sent him the URL for beginning the Bataan Death March of Ohio civil service. (Just in case someone who reads this blog wants to know, here is where it all starts: http://www.careers.ohio.gov. It’s pretty straightforward from there.
The other person who asked is a piano student of Steph’s. I haven’t met her–I’m usually in self-imposed exile in my basement office or at the library when Steph has her lessons, so Steph gave me the student’s email address, and I sent her the above link from work.
I was able to obtain Federal employment in the 1990s, before the Internet, when applying for Federal service involved lots of mailing, lots of waiting, and sheer luck to learn of openings. That was when typing and crafting a perfect SF-171 was considered as much an art form as Shakespeare’s sonnets or painting "Starry Night." Now, http://www.usajobs.gov makes it much more easy in terms of one-stop shopping.
Applying for and working for the government is one reason why I am so amused by the paranoids among us who think the government is an omnipresent Big Brother privy to every secret and every misdeed, done or undone. The whole time I was applying for work with the Federal government, I passed many sleepless nights worrying that they would find a letter I sent Selective Service when I was 18, right after I registered for the draft. In this letter, I said if I was ever drafted, I’d give classified information to the USSR. I was sure that letter would come back to haunt me, and I’m sure it’s on file somewhere, but I never heard word one about it.
I’m at Panera, after seeing Susie off for the 9 a.m. service and her Our Whole Lives class at church. I’m going to go to the 11 a.m. service, so I’m blogging and Twittering in the meantime. Steph’s birthday is today, but we celebrated last week. She and the Columbus Women’s Chorus are singing at the Governor’s Mansion later this afternoon–she should carry a tin cup and wear a sign that says, "ALMS FOR STATE WORKER’S FAMILY." I’m typing while listening to Everything Must Go, a 2003 Steely Dan album which is really not grabbing me. Messrs. Fagen and Becker usually turn anything they touch to gold.