Thursday, July 8, 2010

Free Agency: GS Scale Style

This one goes out to the ones I blog....after a fierce Tweebate yesterday regarding #thedecision (if you have not heard, he's not my favorite), I thought a little tongue-in-cheek bureaucrat post was necessary. 

I figure that DC now has a Real World, Desperate Housewives, and a Top Chef. And LeBron has clearly made free agency a reality TV show. So, why not the DC version of free agency?

For those of you in the civilian rank and file (I hope the non-government sector readers out there have fun with this too), a General Schedule free agency timeline for your enjoyment...

Sun., Sept. 5, 2010
12:01 AM: Debon Ames' three-year honors attorney program commitment with HUD expires - his free agency begins.

12:02 AM: Executive agencies, recognizing the legal talent and previous Supreme Court clerkship experience (footnote 1), consider their budgets and potential shift to SEC pay scale or early retirement initiative to fit in generous new attorney contract for Ames - really, this all began several months back, but now such can be done with 'transparency in government'.

(footnote 1) Yes, this is unrealistic; a SCOTUS clerk would never go to a government agency; they go for the big bucks. But, this made my timeline a little more fun.

Mon., Sept. 6, 2010
Obviously, no action on the contract negotiations today - it's a federal holiday for goodness' sake.

Tues., Sept. 7, 2010
7:32 AM: DOT gets in the game early, touting new office space as enticement; also creates SES position, with no management obligations, specifically for Ames.

7:48 AM: FEMA (New Orleans office) posting opens up on, again targeted towards Ames. Offer includes payment of moving expenses. FEMA also offers to lobby OPM to annex San Franscisco as part of New Orleans P.O.D. in order to manipulate locality pay adjustment.

9:31 AM: Frenzy continues as State wants in on the action. Though there is no maternity leave available for federal employees, Hilary Clinton calls up her good friends in the Senate to see if she can get a paternity leave bill (specifically for employees of the State Dep't) quietly through committee.

11:00 AM - 2:00 PM: Ames is confused and a little shaken by lack of offers in this time period and then remembers that obligatory government lunch hours must occur between 11 and 2.

6:15 PM: Last minute offer from a firm, hoping to catch agency execs off guard as they have most certainly headed home for the night.

Wed., Sept. 8, 2010
6:23 AM: As his secretary, who arrives at 5:30 AM (to beat traffic), notified her boss of overnight activities, Treasury Secretary Geitner arrives at office to sway Obama to sign off on whopping 4% inflationary increase for FY2011 for purposes of recruiting Ames. After consideration, Geitner decides to retract this request in fear that Congress will veto. Instead, he thinks perhaps some Wall Street executives may 'sponsor' Ames' salary.

Fri., Sept. 10, 2010
8:13 AM: After allowing a sufficient cooling off period, Commerce offers full time work from home and metro subsidy for life 'perks' for Ames.

9:00 PM: With leaks from top-level staffers at Commerce that they are confident Ames will be matriculating (based on Secretarial swap negotiated in the meantime in order to get Kathleen Sebelius on board), Vegas lights up with wagers on additional GAO funding being siphoned to Commerce.

Mon., Sept. 13, 2010

3:31 PM: After Ames, because of restrictive internet usage policies at work, uses his personal iPhone to create a facebook account for purposes of announcing his choice, White House decides to get in the game. Offers to hire House's Olivia Wilde to work alongside Ames and unlimited rides aboard Marine One for commuting purposes.

October 2010 through February 2011
** Jeopardy theme music **

After two telephone screening interviews, and three call backs, Ames is invited to the White House to meet his prospective boss, President Obama, for a final in-person panel.

Mon., March 7, 2011
11:36 AM: At the conclusion of the final interview Obama reminds Ames that he really has an obligation to serve the nation because he's been taking advantage of the much-lauded federal government health insurance for the last three years. Ames decides immediately that Obama is right, and awaits offer.

Fri., April 15, 2011
4:30 PM: White House human resources director telephones Ames to notify him that he has been selected for the position and his 3 year clearance process will begin immediately. (Simultaneously, Joe Biden requisitions a hacker to infiltrate all .gov email accounts to announce Ames' hiring.)

4:34 PM: Ames cannot pass up the offer - in his excitement, he quits HUD effective immediately.

4:36 PM: Government-wide hiring freeze. Game over. Please try again.