Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone…


I’m wasting a couple of weeks attending ‘certification’ classes in stuff I’ve been doing for 20 + years, just so I can get a check in the box, since it’s now been mandated…

So, Monday morning I go into the ‘administration’ office and ask what are the requirements to have the classes waived?  Previous qualifications, experience, recommendations???

I get the usual ‘form’ letter…

So I go back and dig out my original certification from the Navy, my last 8 years worth of job descriptions, etc.

There is a block for ‘professional associations’, ‘continuing education’, e.g. the usual BS…  

So today I go in to talk to them on a break, and guess what; I cannot be ‘grandfathered’ because I don’t meet their ‘minimum’ requirements!!!

So naturally I ask what minimum requirements?

Well, no CE credits in the last 8 years, my certification is too ‘old’, and my job descriptions are not in the ‘proper format’ and don’t list my duties by primary and secondary requirements.

Say WHAT???  

So I’m told with a straight face- Well, if I’d been a member of the ‘organization’ for the past 10 years and taken the CE credits, I’d be fine; as they would have accepted my previous designation. And if I had followed their ‘recommended’ format for job descriptions, it would all be fine.

Soooo… If I had VOLUNTARILY joined your ‘organization’ (e.g. paid you membership money for 10 years) AND paid your ‘organization’ (more money) for CE training it would be all good?

And managed to convince the people that I work for that my job descriptions HAD to be formatted in a specific way (that I had never seen and didn’t know existed),  that would be okay?

So if I want to protest the lack of grandfathering?

Well, our ‘organization’ makes those determinations…

Soooo… Since I didn’t VOLUNTARILY join an ‘organization’ that was not required, and use a format that was not required, and the ‘organization’ has determined that my previous qualification is too old, and there is no protest allowed, and you have managed to weasel your way into this being a mandatory qualification…

I have NO OPTION but to now attend your classes (so you get paid BIG$$)…

Yep, you’ve created the perfect self-licking ice cream cone…

And she wondered why I walked out of there a tad pissed.

And I’ve gotta take ANOTHER @#&* class next week!

The inmates and bean counters have TRULY taken over the asylum… 

Howinthehellhavewecometothis? What happened to actually being ‘qualified’ based on your initial training, ability to do the job, and follow the procedures you were required to use?

If you weren’t doing the job, the result was your ass was fired!

Sigh… I’m getting WAY too old for this BS…


Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone… — 31 Comments

  1. My husband is a union worker because his line of work tends to be a government backed job and they love that. Sooooo he has been in the union for years. The problem is each job can have a different company name even if the same parent company is in charge. So each job he has to spend who knows how long taking weld tests and qualification tests and blah blah blah. His job description isn’t even technically a welder but because they know he is damn talented they have him do all the qualification crap over again. Drives him batty. I sympathize with your pain!!

  2. Sounds to me like they are trying to get you so pissed you’ll tell them to stuff the job!

    Don’t let them get you down!!

  3. I feel your pain NFO. Every year I have to take a 3 hour driving course to be reminded to not drive in to airplanes.

  4. Qualified???

    The only “qualified” required anymore is having the >proper< piece of paper...which has little if anything to do with DOING the job. Q

  5. I looked into the SAE and then not so much the SPE later and found the same racket.
    To me, all it certifies is that you joined their gang, er union, er guild, er organization and paid your dues, with no reflection on true qualification.

  6. Dunno how it happened, but it happened during the previous 10 years I was employed at the dental office. Before that job, I had to just know how to and competently do a job. Then, after I got in school I realized they didn’t give a rat’s ass if you could actually DO the jobs…just if you had paid the proper people to say you could.


  7. Lila- Yep… Thanks

    Robert- Stupidity or GREED?

    WSF- True…

    Ev- Yeah, good point.

    DB- But you NEED that… 🙁 Obviously you can’t be trusted to REMEMBER not to hit the big thing…

    45- who knows, I’m damn sure NOT asking 🙂

    Quiz- Yep..

    Ed- Yeah, same thing here, except I got ‘caught’ not playing their game.

    Snigs- We used to call that ‘certified smart’… Now it’s coming true. 🙁

  8. just another hidden way to shuffle money around from the people that work for a living to the people that are attached to the government’s teat.

  9. The unions took a page from the government. We pay them to “represent our best interests,” but they don’t; they represent the interests of their own bureaucracy.

  10. Don’t forget the lawyers. Part of the CYA game is that certification and Continuing Education is a defense against a negligence or liability claim.

  11. I feel your pain, brother! As you remember, we have our wonderful GMTs in the Navy. Every year, same topics. I have mastered them and can take the smoking cessation test in 2 minutes flat. Of course, that is two minutes I will never get back, you are out 2+ weeks.

  12. Heck I’m a diving instructor, we have to pay annually to stay certified, to private organizations! I have to caugh up to the tune of $200 to remain an instructor. I also have to keep current on updates in the system, but they don’t actually check on me unless a student/collegue reports me. Similarly the CPR and first aid course I’m an instructor in, I have to renew every two years, by paying, and read updates(untested).

  13. Many “professional” organizations exist only to provide “certifications” so that people can put letters after their name. You can attend a few weeks of class and become certified in project management or value engineering and put some letters after your name. But none of these people are Professional Engineers where you have to document experience and take two (count ’em), two 8 hour exams. It’s the way of the world, I’m afraid. Give me the grey beards who have seen the elephant any time.

  14. Yeah, it’s happening in almost all disciplines. And the amazing thing to me is, there is some “first jerk” who feels he/she is expert enough to step forward and say, “I’m better than you at this job so I’m setting myself up to evaluate your performance, and you must allow me to judge you to keep receiving a paycheck.”

    What arrogance.

  15. It seems in this upside down world any more we need to pay a bribe (fee0 to the right organization.Or we are under qualified or over qualified.Or we are under or over educated.

  16. This statement is one of the Key ones

    “If you weren’t doing the job, the result was your ass was fired!”

    I work with a guy who is accident prone and sickly. He has enough sick days from that but he also take the Monday after a long weekend off sick and comes in with fish pictures and a sun burn. Long lunches etc. I guess he knows what he’s doing on his primary systems but when he has worked on small parts of projects for me he has proved worthless.
    On a whole corporations are afraid to fire the $*%# ups because of law suits. Even in a right to work state. So length of employment means nothing in a potential review.

  17. I think you have still missed a step?

    As at no time did I read that you signed up for your certification class certifying that your qualified to take the certification course to get qualified.

    ;-( See missing step,

  18. You said it in the first paragraph:
    “… just so I can get a check in the box, since it’s now been mandated…”

    Knowledge and skill are not requirements. Experience does not matter.

    When I changed careers back in 2001/2002, I could not get hired until I put checks into the proper boxes. What I am doing today is pretty much what I was doing in 1990, except in a different field. The certifications that I had to obtain so that I could work? Never used them…

    I always wonder whose back gets scratched when the certifications become mandatory.

  19. When we were still doing classical high accuracy surveying we had field guys who could do math in their heads that I can’t do on a calculator. They were brilliant at their jobs and could run rings around the college grads coming into the office. But because they didn’t have a degree, they were barred from higher-paying positions that they could do with their eyes closed. Cheesed the heck out of me.

  20. True Story: Back in the Day, I was wondereding why I couldn’t get College Credit in 1982 for my “A” and “C” schools that I took in 1977. So I went upstairs (helps to be Staff at your old School) and asked the Master Chief if there were any major deviations from the Curriculum they were teaching that morning from what they taught 5 years earlier. He looked at some stuff, and said “Nope, Electrons are still Electrons, Ohm’s Law was still in effect, no major changes in what we teach.” So after contacting the Agency who “Certified” the Navy Courses for College Credit, you know why my Classes were declared “Obsolete” while those taught 5 years later weren’t?

    When I took the course, we didn’t have a Lecture written into the Curriculum that spent an Hour telling us that Racial Discrimination was BAD.

    Thank You Jimmy Frackin’ Carter.

  21. I once had an HR hag tell me that I had to have training on a device THAT I INVENTED, DESIGNED and PATENTED, in order to be eligible for promotion.

    I was a Principal Network Design Engineer I up for promotion to II. These were executive level technical positions but if you didn’t have the correct chops on your record, you weren’t capable of doing the job you already held.

    Idiots all.

    No, I didn’t get the promotion either.

  22. I feel your pain. I have to take re-certification exams every year that are open book and you can take them as many times as you need until you pass. If that doesn’t produce qualified competent people I don’t know what does.

  23. Regulations! I hope you didn’t have to pay for the classes out of your own pocket.

  24. You either pay them money now, or your pay them money later. Things like that could be why I have invariably had a relatively dim view of a very large number of professional organizations… too much like unions.

  25. “Self-licking Ice Cream Cones…” There’s a joke in there about suggesting to someone to go fuck oneself, but I can’t think of it at the moment.

    NFO, I think it’s time to turn in your resignation papers. If they really need you in your capacity and IF they’re smart, they’ll call you back, grandfather you in, and everyone will be happy.

    That might be a good time to ask for a raise too.

  26. All, I would respond to each comment, but y’all are all pretty much in agreement, this crap sucks… Thanks for responding, and I appreciate the support! Two more years… that’s ALL I have to last… just TWO more years… sigh