You would think that in a county of 10 million people, there would be one or two that are competent. Apparently not.
Granny and I live in Los Angeles County. More than one-quarter of the residents of the State of California live here with us. Most of those 10 million spend a considerable amount of time thinking up ways to annoy me, but the ones I am particularly upset with at the moment are the ones who are County employees. I am not a conservative “reduce the size of the government” disciple, but I am at the point where I would like to give wedgies to every single County executive as well as the idiots who helped them develop their employment policies.
Nearly a year ago, Granny was switching jobs from one airline to another. She would have been working in the same airport with roughly the same duties, but with better pay. She even had a two-week break between quitting the first job and beginning the second. But then, of course, the world decided to get crazy.
Just after Granny quit her first airline job, fuel prices were peaking and the economy was down on one knee. Most airlines, including the one that offered Granny her new job, established hiring freezes. Suddenly, she had no old job and no new job. But having no job means that you can stop paying bills, right? Wrong.
Granny started up a job search. She looked into every possibility. She sent out resumes by the truckload. She sat through more interviews than Barbara Walters. No luck.
Along the way, she discovered that Los Angeles County had a number of job openings. The County, however, because it enjoys messing with you, has a long, convoluted process to go through before they will even consider you. It included a series of skills tests. Granny dutifully took these tests and did very well. She was in the top rank. The entire process took at least a month, but the County said they would now forward their list of qualified applicants to departments who were hiring.
Another month or so passed. Eventually, Granny got a great job at a private company with excellent benefits and a wonderful working environment. Even more time passed. Finally, someone from the County left a message on our answering machine. “Granny, we’d like you to interview for a position.” That first call came at least three months after Granny began her job search. And that was just the beginning.
In the six months since that first call, Granny has received about four to eight calls and letters every single week from one County agency or another asking her to interview. I do not exaggerate. She has received more than 100 interview requests from Los Angeles County after she found a new job somewhere else.
The County’s long process guarantees they will get the bottom-of-the-barrel employees because the best candidates will find jobs well before the 2-month-long testing process is complete. The only people still available for a County job will be the ones who couldn’t already find work. Arrrgh!
Every evening when I come home and listen to the answering machine or sort the mail, I curse the idiots who run the Los Angeles County bureaucracy. I curse their children. I curse their pets. And someday, when they least expect it, they are all going to get really big wedgies.