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  1. #21
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    That doesn't sound like the dept I am in at all. I do work in a dept that has a high turnover though and lots of young people.

    Quote Originally Posted by eMBe View Post
    I'm not even sure... It's just so different. I hate to say it but it seems very old-school and unprofessional. Many people here have been in their job for 30+ years and still do it the same way.

    People are so familiar with each other that it feels very isolating for a new person, who is openly scrutinised in a way that 'we have no secrets here'. Don't get me wrong I love that the employees are down-to-earth characters as it's quite refreshing!

    However, the lack of tact and professionalism (the way things are dealt with, jokes that are offensive and not nice, bad language and openly expressing opinions of other employees/managers in the office space). Dykwim?

  2. #22
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    I've had two government jobs since being here. One was exactly how you are describing op. incredibly unprofessional, one staff member wore thongs in summer and matching track suits in winter, no staff ever dressed professinally. I felt so out of place in my business suit. Nastiness, backstabbing, favouritism was rife. I would come home I tears every day because of how I was treated because I wasn't a sheep. It was awful. My current job is completely different and much better.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeyMissA View Post

    I think comparing all the 'government' is like comparing all private organisations - is working at McDonalds the same as working at Westpac the same as working at your local family run small business?
    Never a truer word spoken MissA.

    I worked with public sector health care for over 10 years. Major tertiary hospital in capital city = cutting edge technology, best specialists in the country in their fields, strictest confidentiality and professionalism, massive commitment from staff to patient care.

    However, given that I've spent the last five years running my own private practice I would also say that my staff/workplace still have all those qualities now in the private sector (ha ha not that I'm biased or think my practice is totally awesome or anything! )

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  5. #24
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    I think there is an element of "all workplaces are different", but I think the big difference in government is the level of job security for some people that simply doesn't exist in private sector. I've seen staff members wandering the halls everday for years on end, with nobody knowing what their job actually is. Having worked in both numerous government roles and in private sector, this is something I only ever saw in the big government departments.

    I don't think this applies to professional roles like lawyers, teachers, nurses, doctors, business analysts, planners, etc. but is a problem more the 'old schoolers' who would get a generic public service traineeship as a teenager back in the 60s, and then pretty much stay at what their comfort level was for the next 40 years. I cant think of any parallel like that in the private sector. Even KPIs and annual performance reviews aren't mandatory in a lot of NSW departments because of union issues so there is the potential for very little accountability.

    That said, as I commented previously- I've worked with some amazing and inspiring colleagues in government who absolutely work their arses off and produce incredible work.

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by eMBe View Post
    I'm not even sure... It's just so different. I hate to say it but it seems very old-school and unprofessional. Many people here have been in their job for 30+ years and still do it the same way.

    People are so familiar with each other that it feels very isolating for a new person, who is openly scrutinised in a way that 'we have no secrets here'. Don't get me wrong I love that the employees are down-to-earth characters as it's quite refreshing!

    However, the lack of tact and professionalism (the way things are dealt with, jokes that are offensive and not nice, bad language and openly expressing opinions of other employees/managers in the office space). Dykwim?
    Are you my husband? He went from a position in private firm to a public one and he is shocked at the behaviour of his colleagues. He says that over a quarter, and possibly half, of the people he works with could not turn up tomorrow and no one would notice because they are in totally made up, unnecessary jobs. He cannot believe that the Government recently offered voluntary redundancy packages, of which all were taken up, and still the office is left with people who have been there for ever that absolutely refuse to change the way they do things.

    Welcome to the public service. Hope you are not in a management position because I suspect you will be pulling your hair out soon.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlsRock View Post
    Are you my husband? He went from a position in private firm to a public one and he is shocked at the behaviour of his colleagues. He says that over a quarter, and possibly half, of the people he works with could not turn up tomorrow and no one would notice because they are in totally made up, unnecessary jobs. He cannot believe that the Government recently offered voluntary redundancy packages, of which all were taken up, and still the office is left with people who have been there for ever that absolutely refuse to change the way they do things.
    I wish that I could say the same for my Govt Department. We are so understaffed it's ridiculous.

    OP, I think it comes down to individual departments. I work in a Govt position and find it to be pretty good.

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  9. #27
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    I've had great experiences working in both the Commonwealth and State Governments. I've spent time working for the JET program, then involved with AusAid for DFAT, then moved into the legal sector with AGs Department and the courts. Everyone I work with is professional and extremely skilled...to much is at stake for people to be casual or incompetent. The workload gets bigger each year, and the Courts are constantly subjected to criticism for long waiting times for court dates, while the Government abolish positions, close courts and constantly make everyone do more with less.

    To be honest, I get a bit tired of people bagging the public sector. A politician is usually on a pretty good bet to win public support when he starts talking "We're going to get rid of 'x' public servants"...but the same people who cheer that news are the ones complaining because of how long they have to wait on hold to talk to someone in Government.

    DH works for Tax, and his job is highly technical and he works very hard at it. He has to deal with a lot of people who don't think the tax laws should apply to them...don't envy him at all.

    The areas in the PS I have worked have certainly defied the stereotypes.

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  11. #28
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    I have been working for the commonwealth public service for almost 15 years and across 4 departments. I am yet to work anywhere that has little to no workload and is unprofessional. The current efficiency dividends that the government expect departments to meet means most areas are running slightly understaffed or at capacity. I know I work long hours and even though I am part-time I pretty much work a full-time job.

    I think clicky workplaces exist everywhere, public or private. The public service has really strong anti-harassment policies and all employees are bound by the APS Code of Conduct. If things are that bad talk to the local harassment contact officer or HR.

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    beebs  (28-06-2013)

  13. #29
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    Where are these cruisey depts where no one works? I want to work there. At the moment our section is very understaffed, they are expecting almost impossibe workloads from everyone, and we are all subject to performance reviews.

    I hate the bagging out too, I am on Mat leave at the moment, but when I was at work I felt I was constantly drowning under the work load and they were constantly laying off people. So it was a vicious cycle. A person I worked with was a bit up himself - used to go on about how cruisey the APS was compared with when he was in the private sector and then set out to prove how he wasn't "lazy" like normal public servants. He ended up getting such severe RSI in both hands that he could no longer work, and they had to find a special job for him to do that didn't require using hands

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  15. #30
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    Remember years ago when the public perception was that public servants bludged and did nothing?!? I can't say I ever experienced that.


 

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