The LuLac Edition #1047, Dec. 22nd, 2009
PHOTO INDEX: CANDIDATES UNDER THE MAGNIFYING GLASS.
There are 68 people vying to be the next Luzerne County Commissioner. Sixty Eight. And the Luzerne County Court led by the intrepid Chester Muroski intends to interview all 68 nof them in favor of transparency in government. Whatever Muroski’s future endeavors you know that he has earned an “Easy Pass” into the Pearly Gates just based on what he had to go through this year. Now interviewing 68 people is going to be one heck of a task. My thoughts would be this: 68 people could apply for a job but that doesn’t necessarily mean 68 people get interviewed. From a logistics standpoint there has to be a thinning of the herd somewhere. I remember going for a job interview for a certain Casino Racetrack a few years back. They sat you in a room seated in a semi circle and in one minute you had to tell the Human Resource flunky what it meant for you to work for the Casino. I heard answers like “I like to help people,” “I wanna be near where the action is”, and “I need the money”. I came off with a smart ass answer about not wanting to be told how much I’m appreciated but rather just shut up, let me do my job and pay me”. Needless to say I never broke out of that first semi circle. But at least there was a process of elimination. It was apparent that the new casino had no opening for a Head Curmudgeon. And that was fine by me. But imagine having to listen to 68 well meaning people ask for a job.
Thanks to the fine people at Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, since Feb. 2nd I (and 90 others) have had the opportunity to hone our interviewing skills in search of new jobs. As a public service I advance these job interview tips to the numerous (did I mention there were 68 candidates) for the job.
GET NOTICED: There are going to be 68. Wear a flashy tie or come shirtless.
BE FUNNY: Tell a little joke but stay away from “A rabbi, a priest and 23 Government officials all were on a sailboat…….”. Lead balloon.
MAKE EYE CONTACT: The last thing you want to do is look guilty. On the other hand maybe that might help.
DO NOT DRINK BEFORE, OR DURING THE INTERVIEW: But if you must, keep your trousers anywhere but around your ankles.
TRAVEL LIGHT: Keep all large bills at home. It might be misconstrued.
BE AGGRESSIVE: If you see a Judge losing interest, do what I did to one Health Care Manager when she was interviewing me on Montage Mountain. Obviously she was more interested in what was going on in the large room behind me and she was not giving me the respect or attention I wanted. So if that happens with one of the panel, clap your hands together in front of their face and say “Hey, over here!” It might not get you the job but you’ll leave with your dignity intact.
EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS: If you have a degree from any university or college, downplay it. These guys don’t want the smartest person in the room, they just want the guy who won’t rock the boat. As with private industry around here, government officials eyes will light up when you whisper those three magical letters. MBA? Nope, GED.
THE HAIL MARY: If you see the fix is in, just promise them anything. Say that they need to trust you to keep the Commissioner form of government up to a level of competence. It did work in 2003, it might Wednesday.
TAKE THIS JOB AND…..Tell them you wouldn’t want this job for all the tea in China, that the only reason you put your name in was to see it in the paper. Feign disinterest and maybe they’ll pick you because you weren’t the eager puppy others appear to be.
So there you have it my friends some job interview tips you might want to use at the Courthouse.
Seriously though, 68 people applying shows the level of concern citizens have for the well being of the county. And while I can’t read the Judge’s mind, I’m thinking it’ll come down to three people. Former Commissioner Frank Trinisewski, Junior. Precedent has been set with former Commissioner Rose Tucker replacing Todd Vonderheid. Plus Trini spans both the Democratic and Republican parties having first been elected to Wilkes Barre City Council as a Republican. He can bring considerable experience to the position. Two other candidates most likely to be considered will be defeated Controller candidates Bob Morgan and Wil Toole. Morgan because of his Democratic party affiliations and good showing the election. Plus Mary Anne Petrilla seems to be comfortable with Morgan as evidenced on the campaign trail this year. Toole displayed a great amount of knowledge on the campaign trail and has not burned any bridges with long standing friends in the party. Plus he has handled himself well against attacks during his recent campaign run. Long time Wilkes Barre City Democratic Committee person Eileen Sorokas is a long shot given the fact that Petrilla is already serving. Two women in charge of anything in the county government might be too much hope instead of change.
My prediction: One of those four.