From Philadelphia, PA — 08/05/2010
The premise of Job Corps is great: address the need for academic/vocational training in the 16-24 year old population that is under-served, under-employed, and under-educated. When the implementation works, its a heart warming experience. Too often it fails, and not because of our students, who can be some really hard cases to crack. No, the Philly Job Corps main problem is with its managers, just like most companies. This place is one of the most mismanaged and dysfunctional work environments I have ever been in. Why do I stay? Because I love the students and I love my particular job. However, the management team is like a circle of petty, unintelligent, back-stabbing high school bullies with giant egos, small brains, and no guts when it comes to really sticking up for what we are all supposed to believe in: the success of our students. I mean, I get the whole psychological reason behind the back-stabbing, the power-mongering, the drama, the gossiping, the sabotage, the ego pushing (all by managers, NOT students). Yes, I get it: oppressed people become oppressors, they adopt the behaviors and attitudes of the dominant culture because, by emulating it, they believe that they become it. Wrong! You're all just ignorant, poor, uneducated people who are, unfortunately, teaching our students that its OK to act like big children who fight, squabble, gossip, backstab, throw fits, abuse your power, and hide from responsibility. And, unfortunately for the rest of the staff and students, we don't have leadership that will sit the managers down and just tell them to start acting like adults or resign. Instead, our managers spend most of their days struggling to look important, show how much control they have over their staff (and mucking up the real work being done in the process), having meetings, going to lunch, and walking around trying to impress people with their self-importance. I suppose all managers are the same, pretty much. But, wow, I had hoped for a better quality of management at the Job Corps. Silly me. I guess this is the American Dream.