We had five City Manager Listening Sessions and all we got was this lousy job posting

I’d like to formally apologize to the city for requesting an executive search firm in our quest for a new city manager.

If I’d known that the search would consist of some “help wanted” ads, a sloppily crafted Microsoft Publisher PDF document (7 typefaces!) and a Bill-Feegbeh-baiting link (“Invitation to Apply for City Manager“), I would have offered to pay Keytar Bear for the months it would have taken to distract the populace from the embarrassment.

As it is, I appreciate the sense of humor of whoever noted in Worcester’s demographic data that the MBTA commuter rail to Boston is 65 minutes.  I’ve found that’s extremely accurate as long as you forget to wind your watch in the morning.

And the Characteristics of an Ideal Candidate gave Worcester a new entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for “most times the word ‘vision’ used in a single bullet-pointed line”:

Visionary Leader who embraces bold vision and moves the vision forward

I’m super glad no one found the following personal characteristics to be in conflict:

  • Person of conviction with a strong backbone and self confidence
  • Checks ego at the door — gives credit to Council — promotes Council policy

Because if there was one thing we heard over and over again at the City Manager Listening Sessions, was that we really need to find a city manager who gives credit to the City Council.

Honestly, I hope the winning candidate is the one who, in addition to his C.V. and cover letter, includes a printed copy of this job description to the recruiter with all the typos marked in red.  At this point, I’d settle for a Chief Proofreading Officer.

To wit:

  • The City is forty miles west of Boston has excellent interstate highway connections as well as bus, train and airport services. (run-on sentence, first page)
  • Worcester has transformed itself into a leader in biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, … and an academia (first page)
  • The Worcester region is home to thirteen colleges including the UMass Medical School, … Worcester State College, Community College [sic] (first page)
  • Its principal Dr. Sheila Harrity was selected by Metlife/NASSP as 2014’s national Principal of [sic] (first page)
  • Understands the diversity of Worcester and it’s various neighborhoods (fourth page)
  • Pictures courtesy of the City of Worces[sic] (first page)

(And that wasn’t even trying!  Yes, I’m hoping someone else finds the missing possessive apostrophe on page 2!)

The council spent months not being very serious about finding a city manager because it was only intent on trying to entice Ed Augustus to go back on his word and take the job.  Now that time is of the essence, the best we seem capable of is a document full of errors and a job description that, when it is not vague, is full of contradictions.  A serious candidate would take one look at this stuff and run in the opposite direction.

Before we embarrass ourselves further, let’s get some of City Hall’s brighter minds together and clean up this document.  Thoroughly spell-check and edit for grammar, clarity, and repetitious word usage.  Adjust the job description so that one requirement doesn’t cancel out another.  Two or three typefaces should be plenty.  Ask a graphic designer to lay out the document properly so that it actually looks appealing.

When someone applies for a job, they do their best to put some polish on their documents to make a good first impression.  To attract the best applicants, Worcester should also put its best foot forward.

8 thoughts on “We had five City Manager Listening Sessions and all we got was this lousy job posting

  1. Bob says:

    You crack me up. This is a great post –very smart and funny and spot-on.

  2. Local Guy says:

    Aren’t we paying someone to do the search for us? Or is it some high school kid’s summer job? Maybe the son or daughter of one of the city councilors?

    Wait. That’s not fair to high school kids everywhere.

  3. Kent J. Bailey says:

    I could use a summer gig – just for haircut money.Tell Kate to get back to me. Who wrote this shit, and where can I get a full transcript?

  4. CW says:

    After being absent for a day, a new, revised job posting is linked on the City of Worcester webpage. At least COLLABORATIVE is spelled correctly!

  5. Paul collyer says:

    How about the city council following it’s own directive and spend some time in the urban hoods that are mostly crumbling….Rick Rushton couldn’t find Hollywood street with a gps and a trail of budweiser leading him to it….

  6. dianne williamson says:

    Great job, Nicole. Could you give me a call at 508-793-9291? Thanks. Dianne W.

  7. […] took over six months to hire an executive search firm.  When a firm was hired, it was responsible for the most embarrassing, unprofessional job posting imaginable, and it took the attention of yours truly and Dianne Williamson for the job posting to be […]

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