Federal Bytes

An enviable position

Charles Rossotti, the new Internal Revenue Service commissioner, said recently that his wife came up with an interesting theory as to why he would want to leave his private-sector job and take on a post at the much-maligned IRS.

Apparently Rossotti and Paul Tagliabue, commissioner of the National Football League, were students together at Georgetown and are now friends.

Rossotti said his wife's theory's is that he had "commissioner envy" and wanted to be a commissioner like his friend. So far, Rossotti said, Tagliabue has not indicated any "reverse envy."

The defense guy

Defense Department types who missed commencement ceremonies at North Carolina State University on May 16— and we're guessing that's most of you— may find delight in knowing that the brassiest of the brass has a sense of humor.

The commencement speaker, Gen. Henry Shelton— chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a graduate in textile technology from N.C. State— expressed bittersweet, tongue-in-cheek feelings at being asked to address the 3,000 or so graduates.

"I can't tell you how much I've looked forward to speaking to the class of 1998," he said. "At least I was looking forward to speaking— until the chancellor confessed to me this morning that I was not your first choice for a commencement speaker. So I only hope I'm a suitable replacement for Bill Nye the Science Guy."

An N.C. State spokeswoman told us that Shelton was only joking and that Nye, who hosts a PBS science show for kids, was not the first choice. (Tough break, Bill. Maybe next year.)

Great expectations

It would appear that federal contractor Performance Engineering Corp., a Fairfax, Va.-based IT services firm, has set itself up for disappointment with its recent job listing in the Washington Post's employment section.

According to the listing, PEC wants applicants with three or more years of "substantive, recent" experience in testing software code for Year 2000 compliance. Given widespread reports of many organizations still months away from even beginning to test code, it is hard to imagine where PEC expects to find people with three years of experience.

Maybe the company thinks there are a few old-timers left from the turn of the last century who can boast of that extra experience. But of course, that might not qualify as "recent."

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