Letter to the editor

Your Management section article titled "Bill targets workforce 'crisis'" [Federal Computer Week, Oct. 29, 2001] calls forth an image of the basketball player under fire and looking for a teammate to pass the ball to, totally overlooking the guy at the net who is waving his arms frantically and yelling, "Pass it! I'm clear, pass it to me."

I am the player under the net who is being overlooked by the labyrinth system of promotion.

I am the midrange administrative employee who is being told that I need a four-year degree before I can be promoted, or that I can only get promoted by taking a demotion from my one-interval position (GS-06) into a two-interval position (GS-05) — regardless of how well I do my job, how confident management is in my skills, what pay grade I held prior to relocating to my current base, and also despite the fact that everyone around me managed to rise to the GS-11 and GS-12 level with little or no college education.

The Air Force, my employer, generously offers an "intern program" which completely ignores current employees and recruits at colleges for those "outstanding scholars" who maintain a 3.45 GPA. In an effort to be fair, they scrupulously avoid any taint of trying to promote the people on their rolls who have proven themselves. While they are out trying to capture 22-year-olds, your studies indicate college graduates aren't looking to the government for jobs.

Well, I am not 22 years old, but I have more than 22 years of solid employment in local and federal government. I am a junior in college with a 3.75 GPA. I've served on active duty in the Air Force, and I've worked for five years under civil service.

Hey, someone pass me the ball.

Wendy deSilva
Air Force Space Command, 30th Logistics Group/Quality Assurance

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