The Washington Post had this article today on VA hiring VA Ability to Increase Health Professionals. I read it and recognized the same hurdles my agency experienced over the last several years. Budget reductions kept coming over several fiscal years and salaries were the biggest expense so after cutting other essentials like supplies, travel, training, and recognition, employees had to be cut to stay within the prescribed appropriation levels. We had a high attrition rate so that helped. The article discusses VA’s attrition rate and how most employees leave within 5 years. Another issue is the LENGTHY process to hire in the Federal government. We worked to reduce the hiring process with limited success. The easier part to expedite was the on-boarding. The hiring process is just clogged with bureaucratic steps required for every single hire regardless if applicable. And the staff responsible for hiring had been reduced to the point of being unable to get the work done. Another article from WA Post on the IRS Staff depleted discussed the impacts of budget whacks that leave managers the only option of cutting employees but expectations are not lowered equally if at all.
While I feel the pain the senior managers are experiencing as I lived it, I sure don’t miss it! And to end on a humorous note, I loved this column on updating cliches Trite Stuff. I love a good cliche and these updated ones made me laugh.
“Sending a shiver down one’s spine” or “someone walking over one’s grave” becomes “Getting butt-dialed by God.”
“Heaved a sigh of relief” becomes “Got the ‘text not sent’ message on the hung-over morning after.”
“Covered one’s butt” becomes “ran it by legal.”
“Push the reset button” becomes “wipe the server.”