Saturday, April 7, 2007

Update Madness - 7 April 2007

I apologize for the extreme lack of content recently, but I have been bogged down with a the combination of finals, job hunting and an impending round of negotiations with representatives from Japan's Technical Research and Development Institute (don't both clicking the 'English' link, a new English website hasn't been put up since they moved to the address). I do have a few things to report that my readers might find interesting:

PMF Job Fair

The Presidential Management Fellows Job Fair was last week. It was fun. I spent most of the day in interviews with State and Defense Department offices.

The highpoint of the day was when I did an interview in the chair storage room adjacent to the main ballroom floor with guy from the Bureau for Intelligence and Research (INR). Apparently after he came back from his lunch break to find some other State Department office squatting in INR interview booth. The worst interview had to be with the Japan desk at East Asia and Pacific Affairs. The interviewer showed up to the convention center 20 minutes late and the office didn't even arranged for booth space!

The "That's our government" award goes to the Missile Defense Agency. Their description of the PMF job included "Graham cracker duty" -- ensuring that three-star general in charge of the Joint Staff/Service Integration Cell receives his daily ration of junk food. I would have been more surprised if I didn't already have to carry out "Popsicle duty" for my boss when he gets back from his mid-day workout at the Pentagon gym.

"teh funney" and Disruptive Technology

Although the Dresden Files is turning out to be a very watchable show, is the show filling the void until Battlestar Galactica starts up again in January 2008. The concept is really amazing -- five shorts are aired on VH1 and on the web then the viewers vote for their favorite online. The two shorts with the most votes are invited to make another episode for the next week.

It is amazing how YouTube has evolved into a media format capable of supporting an entire show in just two short years. If takes off, the YouTube concept will have fully matured into a disruptive technology. Here is Operation Kitten Calendar, a twist on The Apprentice that has survived two weeks of voting:

I promise to put some more analysis on the blog once I get finals wrapped up in a few weeks.


Anonymous said...

Okay, I really do think you're a smart guy, so I'm going to do you a favor. I'm going to let you and your readers in on a secret. I understand that the PMF has a sort of prestige to it. I understand that PMFs get some fairly neat-o keen opportunities. However, you really need to discover how much you're worth! A GS/GG job with DoD/IC/State whatever is going to pay NOTHING!!! You're going to start out as some GS-13/14 or something and have limited upward mobility as far as salary is concerned. You really are going to be the "Graham Cracker Guy" for some SES/Appointee whose ass you'll need to kiss to make sure that the next POM cycle keeps your shop in business. Sure, you may one day get appointed Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Command and Control in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Defense Research & Engineering - Advanced Systems and Concepts - but is it really worth it???

Why not pick an office that would hire you as a PMF and then seek work with their primary contractor. You should be making $100,000.00. You're worth it. You have the background to make it happen.

Don't get mired in the bureaucratic nightmare that is the Government Service. Contrary to popular belief, you can serve you're country as a contractor. You can make a difference as a contractor. You can change the world as a contractor. You can manage and mitigate the fuck ups that these useless, incompetent, unionized, nearly-illiterate, ignorant government service civilians perpetrate on a daily basis. You can even make a buck or two.

Don't fall for the trickery - save the world, have some fun, and make money doing it! Join the world of the contractors!

Robot Economist said...

If this is the same grumpy gus from earlier, I am way ahead of you.

I'm already a contractor working for the government and I make some serious money (not even close to 6 figures, but much better than the average 24 year old). Landing a PMF job is going to be a pay cut, but it will also only commit me to two years of civil service work.

To be honest, I plan on either going to go back to school or bury myself in the intelligence community after completing the PMF program. For me, being a PMF is all about access and work experience, not a career per se.

I work in the Army secretariat and I know what it is like to have to deal with political appointees regularly. Its pretty lame.