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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Bush and I have in common:

Four year terms of federal service from 2004 - 2008.
He was elected for a 4-year term and I was hired for a 4-year term in 2004.

I wonder how my time working for the National Park Service would have been different if Kerry had won the election.

The National Park Service was/is going through a crisis in staffing. The agency doesn't have enough permanently dedicated funds to hire enough permanent people so parks are forced hire people for finite chunks of time. They are generally four-year term positions, which can't be renewed (sometimes they are extended for a year or two). Most of the time, parks are able to scrap together enough money every four years to hire another term, but they can't just keep the same person who was doing the job. They have to go though the convoluted federal hiring process all over again which doesn't guaranty the qualified incumbent anything. So the person who has dedicated four years of their life to the Park Service often gets kicked out on their butt and a newbie revolves in. Most of these dumped NPS employees are so dedicated they just get up, dust themselves off, and reincarnate into another term position hoping to ultimately land in the nirvana of the permanent position. Its no way to treat good employees.

In my case, the park wasn't able to scrape together the cash for another four years. (Which is OK for me personally because I have decided to pursue other career goals, but it sucks for the park because they are loosing a person.)

Would Kerry have better funded the NPS? Would he have prioritized energy and environmental issues? Avoided war and used federal money in other places? Its kinda funny to think about this, like another dimension life I could have led.

On a totally unrelated note I got stung by a bee today for the first time ever! I learned I'm not allergic; which is good, because my dad is allergic and I have always wondered if I inherited that or not.


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