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  • Fws 1811

    Anyone know much about the FWS? I understand they are interviewing and would like to know if anyone has the skinny on them good or bad.

  • #2
    What do you want to know?

    FYI - those interviews are for an announcement that already closed, so if you're looking at appling, the next one will probably be out some time next fall (but with all this talk of budget freezes, it could be longer).
    "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

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    • #3
      Morale is rock bottom among rank and file. Once the best of gigs in the G, but not anymore.

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      • #4
        Morale is rock bottom among rank and file.
        Hardly. Not sure where you're getting your information. It's better in some regions than in others, but for the most part, people who find the mission fulfilling - and most still do - seek the job out. Despite the problems. If morale was "rock bottom", I doubt we'd there'd be as many applicants per slot as there are, which has been a steadily-high number for the past 20 years.

        There isn't an agency in existence without its share of problems, or its share of people who like to complain about them. Having worked with some agencies with far BIGGER issues, I think any problems with FWS are miniscule by comparison.
        "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

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        • #5
          I should have specified that I was invited to participate in the interview process. Just wanted some additional background and insight to the agency. I have heard its a great gig.

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          • #6
            I should have specified that I was invited to participate in the interview proces
            Congratulations on getting that far. Most people don't.

            My overall opinion is basically what I posted above. As you can see from the other poster, opinions vary. I think every agency is like that, however.

            The downsides which you’ll hear a lot of people talk about are essentially some upper management issues - again, which vary by region. My boss and his boss are both awesome and very supportive of the troops, so I have no complaints in that department. But agents DO like to complain wherever you go, to some extent, so you need to take that stuff with a big grain of salt. There's also the journeyman 12's: lots of P.O.'d agents on that issue, too, which is understandable since we're doing the same work as colleagues at the FBI an DEA, then watching other job series’ getting bumped up to the same GS-12. Then there's a lack of funding, but it's so constant that it’s kind of easy to deal with and you learn to make do with what you have (kind of like that line from the Blues Brothers: How often does the train go by? So often you don't even notice it..." )

            The biggest upside - for me, anyway - is the nature of the work and the satisfaction you get from doing it. I would rather do this as an 11, let alone a 12, instead of working for any of the journeyman-13 agencies. A lot of agents still feel that way, despite the comments above, and in every SABS class, there are several people who have busted back one or more grades to take the job. That may be a thing of the past, though, since I think they are now bringing new agents on as 12's instead of making every higher-graded person go back to GS-11.

            There's also the freedom of being in a small office (they're ALL small), the massive amount of case discretion and autonomy, and the ability to work with some outstanding state counterparts who also care more about the mission than anything else. Then there's working outdoors and getting muddy on the government dime, which is a huge plus for anyone who has yet to grow up.

            Where are you coming from and what duty stations are you considering? With that info, I can tell you what kind of casework you might be looking at.

            That's a general, overall snapshot. Any specific questions I can answer, I’ll be happy to oblige.
            "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

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            • #7
              Same work as DEA and FBI? Get real.

              Cake eaters often toot their own horn just to hear to themselves warble.
              Uh, OK. Not sure who work for, but it's apparent you know nada about criminal investigations in general across Fed LE, let alone in the the Fish & Wildlife Service. Please tell me how conducting a criminal investigation in one agency isn't the same as in another as far as rating the same GS-grade? The violations are different, the mechanics are the same: interviews, report-writing, gathering evidence, putting facts together, presenting cases, executing warrants, making arrests, yadda, yadda, yadda. If we get fewer cases prosecuted it's almost always because not every AUSA is all that excited about wildlife crimes. So what makes FWS 1811's deserving of only a 12 with 90% of other agencies are journeyman 13's? And where is the rationale for your comment reflected in that link?

              We do the same job, but we do it for less money AND get to do it alone, with less resources and no backup. I've been an 1811 in multiple agencies so I can make that comparison from direct experience - not from digging up a FWS peer survey from 12 years ago. Get a clue before you rush in here with your one whole post and try to tell me how one fed investigative agency - which you don't even work for - compares to another.

              "Cake eater?" Whatever. You don't know squat about me or what I've done. My post was not horn-tooting at all, but an attempt to give a guy some unbiased information. Intelligent comment.
              Last edited by GreenLine; 02-03-2010, 08:25 PM.
              "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by GreenLine View Post
                Uh, OK. Not sure who work for, but it's apparent you know nada about criminal investigations in general across Fed LE, let alone in the the Fish & Wildlife Service. Please tell me how conducting a criminal investigation in one agency isn't the same as in another as far as rating the same GS-grade? The violations are different, the mechanics are the same: interviews, report-writing, gathering evidence, putting facts together, presenting cases, executing warrants, making arrests, yadda, yadda, yadda. If we get fewer cases prosecuted it's almost always because not every AUSA is all that excited about wildlife crimes. So what makes FWS 1811's deserving of only a 12 with 90% of other agencies are journeyman 13's? And where is the rationale for your comment reflected in that link?

                We do the same job, but we do it for less money AND get to do it alone, with less resources and no backup. I've been an 1811 in multiple agencies so I can make that comparison from direct experience - not from digging up a FWS peer survey from 12 years ago. Get a clue before you rush in here with your one whole post and try to tell me how one fed investigative agency - which you don't even work for - compares to another.

                "Cake eater?" Whatever. You don't know squat about me or what I've done. My post was not horn-tooting at all, but an attempt to give a guy some unbiased information. Intelligent comment.
                I agree

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                • #9
                  This is an internet forum. People other than you are entitled to an opinion, ya know
                  They certainly are. But anyone who tries to make their point by calling me a "cake eater" and saying my work isn't worth as much as someone with another agency that just happens to be more well-known can go F themselves. You included.

                  If you want to debate this further, you know where I am.
                  "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GreenLine View Post
                    So what makes FWS 1811's deserving of only a 12 with 90% of other agencies are journeyman 13's?
                    I'm not an expert on the whole process on how journeyman grades are set, but I did read somewhere that the GS-13 for 1811 has something to do with the fact that we deal with foreign governments on a regular basis.

                    Not arguing with your overall point about criminal investigations being pretty much the same across the board, I am sure FWS agents can do multijurisdictional conspiracy cases with multiple counts and all of that j***, T3's, etc.
                    Before science, it was believed that autumn was caused by Chuck Norris simultaneously roundhouse kicking every tree on the planet.

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                    • #11
                      I'm not an expert on the whole process on how journeyman grades are set, but I did read somewhere that the GS-13 for 1811 has something to do with the fact that we deal with foreign governments on a regular basis.
                      I had never heard that one, but even if that were the case, there are many journeyman-13 agencies who don't deal with foreign governments at all.

                      The rationale I had always heard was the complexity of casework, but we all know that there are very few agencies who deal with complex cases all day, every day, or at least often enough to make that argument a valid one. Most agents have 'easy' stuff to deal with as well as more significant, time-consuming work; I once worked for an IG where journeyman 13's were doing cases that took about 10 minutes of shuffling paperwork from one side of the desk to another. But down the hall, another IG did work that was beefy enough that one agent could be working one or two cases for years at a time, with roomfulls of documents and enough twists and turns to the violations to make your head spin.

                      I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that agencies have always been dealt with piecemeal and not on a GS-series-wide plane. That and being in the right place at the right time. Eventually everyone will be on the same footing, IMO, but I was just trying to point out above that there's a good deal of heartache about the inequities that exist right now.
                      "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GreenLine View Post
                        I once worked for an IG where journeyman 13's were doing cases that took about 10 minutes of shuffling paperwork from one side of the desk to another.
                        ..and I'm loving every minute of it, all the way to the bank! Thanks again for the input, this is a great gig.
                        "Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most. " --Dwight K Schrute (The Office)

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