My supervisor is a surly bastard.
The past two years have been the worst two years in my working life. Recently, I've sought professional services. I'm a mess and my boss is making my
life a living hell. Can I ask for a transfer? Is there such a thing?
Dear On the Edge,
The trick is to keep yourself outside of a room with padded walls - a place I fear you'll end up if your present situation continues. Take a deep breath, have a shot of vodka, and get an even keel: this can be over soon.
Concern about poor supervisors appears to be a recurring theme from many of my readers and may be a result
of the the government's incestuous hiring practices. It takes one to know one right? Well multiply that by tens of thousands of times and you'll have a sense of how these bosses become so pervasive. Of course, crappy bosses are no stranger to the private sector as well. Just ask GM, Chrysler, Ford, AIG, and Fannie Mae employees. I'm sure they'll have lot to say. But I digress...
bastard supervisors like yours can make the best of the best
miserable. The question for you is: do you fight or run away. I recommend you run away and don't look back!
can either start looking for jobs within government or you can seek a
transfer at your agency. Both will require work on your part, but fortunately you have a government job and can likely do most of it in your cube. However, it's important to
know the transfer option is available as one of the benefits you enjoy
as a federal employee.
Regarding transfers, if you meet job
qualifications and job requirements for the position you are seeking, you can usually transfer from
location to location (i.e. withing your own agency) or from agency to agency without competing as long as the position is at the
same or lower grade level. It's called a lateral move.
To apply for a
transfer you must first conduct your own job search. If applicable, contact past supervisors that you respected and would enjoy working for. Ask if there are any open positions and make them aware of your availability and eagerness to transfer. Alternatively, you can bypass your boss and ask his/her supervisor to transfer you out of your boss's crypt.
The more proper process is to apply in response to vacancies announced under the
merit promotion program. Some agencies accept applications only when
they have an appropriate open merit promotion announcement, while
others accept applications at any time.
Be warned, if you are seeking a
higher grade or a position with more promotion potential or supervisory experience than you have
previously held, generally you must apply under a merit promotion
announcement and rank among the best-qualified applicants to be
selected. This is not your goal. Your goal is to find a new ship and sail away as fast as possible. Don't let greed or career ambitions get in your way.
Remember, transfer eligibility does not guarantee you a job
offer. Hiring agencies and their officials have the discretion to determine the sources of
applicants they will consider, so get on the phone and work it!
If needed, consult
with your human resource office if you have any questions. And if you're
up to the challenge, help remove this surly bastard from the federal system and save us all from his/her abuse!
Yours in Gov,
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