As I grew up, there were several jobs in several organizations that had standards.
The military and police agencies had qualities that you had to have to be accepted--even for training.
Once you had presented yourself, and passed all those requirements, you had to pass the training, then more field training, then there were procedures that you could work toward a better place in your status.
Let's compare: To become a a Highway Patrol Officer, I had to be between 5'8" and 6'4". I had to pass an interview, a written exam, an agility test, a physical, and an extensive background check. Anything other than a traffic ticket would disqualify me.
The Academy starts. We had a black guy, three Hispanics, and most men (No women yet) were either just back from Vietnam or a prior police agency
Tests were pass mandatory . Fail one--on probation. Fail two--gone .
Do something that embarrassed the Patrol, you were gone
Driving was up to the Instructors. If one decided you could not cut it--you were gone.
Fast forward to around 1990
First, this article could have been written, I think, about almost any large agency in the
To Deflect and to Swerve: Inside the not-so-elite ranks of the LAPD's Officers Club.
When I first went on the CHP, 85% or more of the agency was former Marines.
Our first blow was Affirmative Action. One Chief who just retired started his ascent as a Cadet, when he went in to the Captain's Office (Head at the Academy) and complained that the instructors at the Range had just told a Hispanic joke, and he was offended. The Instructors were sent back to the field with no hope of ever getting a promotion.
Next, Jerry Brown in his first time as Governor made Gays a protected species, just like Minorities. Piss off a Gay, or get a EEOC complaint, and you will never get an Office Job or a promotion.
The sequence now goes like this:
Minorities (Black, Hispanic, Female, Gay) are passed through the Academy. The only way you get ejected is poor driving skills (Liability is larger than Affirmative Action)
You get assigned to an office. Your FTO will not want to flunk you, because your FTO probably wants to climb that ladder and his promotion ladder will be busted if you complain that he/she failed you for prejudicial reasons.
You get "On the Road". Reports about you are verbally passed, and Sergeant MUST ride with you once per quarter for an 8 hour shift.
Not too long before the verdict is in: This person is incompetent. He/she will get someone killed or get us sued.
You get moved into an office job to protect the community and yourself.
In the Office, you get to hob-nob with the Brass.
In two years, you are eligible to take the promotion test. Your office brass urges you to promote. The test is now a written multiple choice test like Jack Dunphy (Above) writes about, with questions just as inconsequential, and an Oral Board. A Review of you is sent to the Oral Board by your office Brass.
An Oral Board, from my personal experience, wants you to verbally, and maybe with a few exhibits, PROVE that you no longer want to be a "road cop", but would be happier as an "Office Drone" .
In not too long a time, you are a new Sergeant, on your way up the career ladder, with maybe 2 months on the road.
People now--especially ones who work the road, and are competent--can retire at 3% pay after 20 years. Most reach 90% at about 26 or 27 years, and they are gone.
In my time, most officers were like me. You retired only when you reached 60, because the CHP makes you retire at age 60.
SO, you made it to the Field. You were given the least desirable car, days off , beat, and shift. If you questioned or complained, you were told., get some seniority, and you can choose your shift, beat and days off.
So, I get to 25 years. Do I get those things? No.
Why? Women come on, half of them have kids and declare they need to work afternoons/nights to take care of kids.
I gave up taking vacations in summertime, and took the last two weeks of December, because, one, it was Christmas coming up--lots of decorating top do and parties invited to, and two, nasty violators that asked "Where's your Christmas Spirit?" .
Younger, newer guys and gals then started demanded taking days off around that time--even though they had taken two weeks vacation in summer-- "To be with their kids at Christmas".
My conclusions are that many jobs in government--and in some private enterprises, because the government FORCES you to--are given not by proven knowledge, skills, and abilities
They are given to people because of skin color, sexual preference or urinary plumbing to "Give them a chance". Take a look at almost ALL of our higher government offices.
Secondly, evaluate how our governments are being run by these same people