Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The more things change....

I've been putting off blogging about this, 'cause I'm superstitious just like everyone else in the Fire/EMS/LEO service. I've been wanting to wait until things were final, but it looks like 'final' might be a while off yet. This situation has had me down for a while.

I'm changing jobs, and not because I want to. Well maybe because I want to. It's really confusing.

A while back our department had asked for volunteers to go to the Prevention Division to be Arson Investigators. That would mean going to the police academy and being a sworn law enforcement officer in Texas, same any police officer or sheriffs deputy. After thinking about it for a day or so and talking it over with my wife,I volunteered for the job. What that would have meant is that I would maintain my fire certification, and also attain and keep LEO certification.

The change would have meant an officer(Captain) coming out of city hall, and me (lieutenant) going back to city hall. All in all, I think it made sense. But we know how that goes. Seems I was one of 2 officers to apply for 2 positions. Looking good, no? Well, it seems the Fire Chiefs good friend was only a fireman (the lowest rank in the department). And when has rank or seniority ever gotten in the way of a good friend and a good 'ol boy?

So, I didn't get the Arson Investigator job.

Then a few months later, I get notified that I am being transfered to Prevention. But not as an investigator as I wanted, as an building inspector. Not at all a job I want. In fact, most of the people in the department consider inspector to be the worst job we have.

There is much discussion and filing of grievances over the situation. I am not the only one being transferred to inspection against our will. There are many questions such as why did the Chief allow a firefighter to take a position over an officer? Was he qualified? Why was I denied my choice and then forced into a job I didn't want?

And the final answer is still not in. But as it stands now, in a little over a month I will be assigned to 8 hour days at City Hall, as an inspector.

Yeah Me.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry for your situation. I've an excellent career firefighter amigo here who suffered similar issues (and is now out of the Dept. I believe - and doing fine). This person also was "transferred" to the Bldg Dept, and told they were slated to become a pretty big mucka-mucka in the safety/environmental area - then was passed over for a non-qualified, non-trained person to take the administrative leadership of the whole thing. I will let you fill in the blanks for gender and race. No need to guess.

Texas Ghostrider said...

Sounds like you need to start at the businesses of the mayor, city council memebers, city buildings and go down the list. I am sure they will transfer you back after all of the red tags and closures......

I feel your pain brother, I have been down that road, hold you head up and plan for a great offense.

TOTWTYTR said...

Sounds disturbingly like my place, even though I don't work in a fire department. Friend's of the boss with no qualifications get preference to non friends who have every qualification on the job posting. And more.

As Bill Clinton was wont to say, "I feel your pain."

Good luck with the grievance.

The Old Man said...

I'm with the 'Rider. Make the power structure feel your pain. You obviously are on the pschidt list, so go out with the main batteries firin' and the colors nailed to the mast.
Workin' for a BIG bureaucracy myself, I know how a little judicious stupidity goes a LONG way. Work it.