I guess I've been doing a lot of work blogging lately, but lately it seems that the subject has been ripe for the picking. So here's a story that I've just got to tell because it amuses me so mightily.
To start at the beginning, when I was first hired, our department had two supervisors. Eventually, one of them was moved to another department. The true motives behind this move are still unknown but rumors are rife, but that's not what this story is about. More time went by, and the remaining supervisor applied for and got a position in another department, so the other supervisor was brought back. So we still had only one supervisor. But then the big water company took over the little water company, which brought all of their meter readers into our department and put our total of employees up to about 50. So they decided we needed to go back to two supervisors.
There were a lot of applications for this position. Both of the guys who were our "lead meter readers" applied. One of them didn't even make it through the H.R. gantlet and wasn't interviewed. He immediately quit. The other one did get interviewed, but wasn't chosen. The guy who did get the job had no supervisory experience, but then the lead meter readers didn't either. The guy who did get the job had less seniority than the other lead meter reader--however he did have previous meter reading experience. In spite of being continually told that our company is merit-based--that is, you get raises and promotions based on your performance, not on your seniority--everyone still thinks that EVERYTHING SHOULD BE BASED ON SENIORITY, regardless of actual competence.
Well, the lead meter reader who didn't get the job filed a grievance because he didn't get the job. So, since this company is made up of such a bunch of spineless managerial types, they created a third supervisor position, even though it isn't needed and there isn't really much of anything for a third supervisor to do. This third position was created solely to give that lead meter reader the opportunity of applying for and possibly getting a supervisor position.
So once again, there were a lot of applicants. Out of them all, only three survived to be interviewed. We'll call them 1, 2 and 3. 1 was from another department, has no supervisory nor any meter reading experience, and didn't really want the job but only applied because he was being pressured to apply for a higher position by management. 2 is the lead meter reader, who has no supervisory experience but does have meter reading experience. 3 is someone who has been a supervisor on two previous jobs, so he has supervisory experience. He also has about five years meter reading experience (partly electric & gas, partly water). However, he has the lowest seniority of the three. This position is supposed to be primarily a field position, responsible for training and various other out-in-the-field supervisor requirements. One of 3's previous jobs was as a field supervisor for electric & gas meter readers.
So who got the job? 3 did, of course. Which means that the position that was created only so 2 could have a shot at a supervisor position went to someone other than 2.
This whole situation still makes me smile every time I think about it. And, full confession, the guy who got the job was my supervisor in both of those previous jobs, and in one of them I was his assistant supervisor. I've known him for about 20 years now, and count him as a friend because we've seen so much stuff together.