Would you rehire people like this?
What if everyone had to reapply for his or her jobs every two years?
I am sure your boss would have quite a few questions for you. My guess would be that you would go into that meeting well-prepared by having documentation of how you contributed to the company’s success.
I am not aware of any companies that do that, but there is one major organization that does: the U.S. House of Representatives. All 435 House seats are up for election on Nov. 3, 2020. The number of those not seeking reelection, based on the last four House elections, is only 47, so about 388 of our representatives will be asking us to rehire them for another two years.
I wish they would change the name of that biennial circus from “campaigning” to “reapplying,” because that is what they are really doing, reapplying for their jobs. And, since we are their bosses, we should have plenty of questions ready when they come by to ask us to rehire them.
As one of their bosses, my interview, which may be different than yours, would go something like this:
Do you like your job?
I wonder what their answer would be. It is important that people really like the work they do if we, as bosses, expect the most out of our employees. I would follow it up with, what do you like most about your job?, followed again by, what do you like the least about your job?, followed by, what have you done to change what you don’t like?
I would have their campaign promises from two years ago lying in front of me. I would go through them one by one to see if they actually did what they told me they were going to do. I think that would be quite entertaining, and I can almost hear the excuses pouring from their lips. One thing politicians are very good at is placing blame by pointing fingers at the “other side.”
I would ask them why they didn’t pass a major infrastructure bill to address the crumbling roads, bridges, antiquated sewer and water systems, deteriorating airports, and dangerously old pipelines across the nation. Or why they didn’t address our outdated immigration laws. Or why they spend nearly $1 trillion more than we send them in taxes. I would ask them what they did to lower the costs of health care and prescription drugs. And how long we plan to continue fighting in Afghanistan?
Next would be a question about how they get along with their coworkers. Wow, this one would be outrageous. Congress is so divided with severe partisanship, I am not sure they could agree on what day it is, let alone work together to solve the issues of our time. I then would ask them what they think of our leader, the president, and if they respect him, because he, too, was hired by the people.
You can already guess what their answer would be based on what party they belong to.
Before I move on to what they would do if we rehired them, I would ask, “What is wrong with Congress and why they can’t get along?”
Finally, I would ask what they would accomplish if we rehired them. They will have that answer down-pat. They are very good at making promises. I would follow that question up by asking them how they are going to do it, and when we can we expect them to introduce legislation to make it happen.
I would end by asking them their plan to shepherd it through Congress to make sure it passes with votes from both sides.
They won’t have an answer to those last few questions.
For most of the 388 who will be interviewing to be rehired, I am sure of a couple of things. Their answers will be partisan. They will place blame on the inefficiency of the House on the other side of the aisle, or the president.
I am sure of a couple other things, as well. I won’t rehire anyone who has a record like the House has had for the past two years. I won’t rehire anyone who can’t get along with his or her coworkers. I definitely won’t rehire anyone who can’t get done what they tell us they can, or enhance our opportunities and place the will of the people above the business of their party.
Yet, if history repeats itself, and I imagine it will, we will rehire 90% of those 388 employees while, nationally, Congress’ approval rating is at 17% right now.
That’s right, only 17% of us approve of the job Congress is doing, yet we will reelect 90% of them!
So, a better question than, “What is wrong with Congress?” may be, “What is wrong with us?”
Do you plan on rehiring your representative to the U.S. House of Representatives? Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Awtry is the former publisher of the Scottsbluff (Neb.) Star-Herald and Nebraska’s York News-Times. He is now retired and living in Hubbard Lake. Greg can be contacted at email@example.com.