I’m just home from taking the entrance exam for my promotion. The test was relatively straight-forward. Sixty multiple choice questions asking basically silly answers. Most were easy to guess even with no knowledge whatsoever. There were only 3 that I wasn’t 100% of the best possible answer. Regardless, I am confident I did well. This was step 1. Step 2 is the oral interview. Step 1 & 2 determines where I rank on the list of candidates. Ranking high is good but not necessarily a guarantee. The current position is ‘rule of the list’ which means the department can pick and choose from anyone on the list, regardless of where they rank, to fill vacant positions.
There is a dirty rumor circulating that the dept really wants me to promote. Promotion would effectively eliminate one of their biggest opponents during disciplinary hearings. As the Chief Steward for our local union chapter, I am often called to rep/defend employees up for discipline/suspension. Not to sound arrogant, but I am very good at what I do. A dept with a history of inept management has had to step up their game considerably since I came along. lol If I were to promote, it would mean I’d have to resign my post as it would represent too much of a conflict of interest. I think I could handle the two jobs objectively but even the appearance of partiality is not good. It would be better for me to step aside. Frankly, I’m a bit tired of it anyway. I’ve been doing it for almost 7 years now and I’m more than a little burned out.
While I’m flattered by the rumor, I don’t much stock in it. I think more astutely the department thru our interactions has come to respect and accept my abilities. I think this, more than anything, would be their reasoning for choosing me (if chosen). I am tenacious and thorough but I’m also fair-minded. I am a big believer that the punishment (if any) should fit the offense. Many civil service agencies follow the rule of progressive discipline. I am not a big fan of such a rule because some offenses can be worse than others and the idea that every offense has to be meted with continually severe punishment is retarded. You cannot manage people as a resource the same way you’d manage objects.
I’m still a bit ambivalent on the whole process. I’m committed to seeing it thru, regardless of the outcome though. Worst case, I can demote back to my position within 12 months w/no loss of seniority.