Scene begins with an external view of the White House, and then zooms to the President signing a memo in the Oval Office. The march "Hail to the Chief" plays in the background. A thought bubble appears over the President's head, saying "That should do it."
The President folds the newly signed memo into a paper airplane, and throws it out the window. The memo sails past trees, though the Washington DC mall, past the Washington Monument, and finally goes through the window of the OPM building in downtown DC, landing on the OPM Director's desk.
The memo unfolds itself, and transforms into a scroll. In this scroll state, a smiling face appears on the memo, he has arms and legs, and even sports a striped tie.
Memo says "Happy Birthday!" To the Director, waving. The Director holds up his hand. "It isn't my birthday, but it is a new day for the Civil Service."
Memo looks perplexed, and asks "What do you mean, boss?"
The Director pulls down a movie screen, and turn on an old-fashioned reel to reel movie projector on his desk. A title screen appears on the screen "Hiring Reform made Simple". The title disappears and on the screen, a picture of the capitol building, the numerals 1883, and a portrait of George H. Pendleton, a prominent Ohio politician and backer of Federal Civil Service reform. The Director says "Back in 1883, Congress passed the Pendleton Act."
The image of the capitol building disappears, and is replaced by the words "Spoils System".
"Right," the Memo replies, "that said you could only get a Civil Service job if you were actually qualified for it." On screen, the words "Spoils System" are marked out.
The Director continues: "Exactly. It set up a Civil Service Commission to administer a system based on merit." The seal of the first US Civil Service Commision appears, on the movie screen, displacing the "Spoils System".
A strange thing begins to happen to the Memo. He begins to sprout a moustache, and spectacles appear on his face. As this happens, the Director, unfazed by this transformation, says "One of the first commissioners was future President Theodore Rooseveldt."
By now, the Memo looks a lot like Rooseveldt. "The Rough Rider himself!" exclaims the Memo. "Walk softly," the Memo reaches behind his back and pulls out a huge club "but carry a big stick! Remember San Juan Hill!"
The Director laughs, "Yes... OK." The Memo discards his stick and brushes both the spectales and moustache away. The Director continues "But 2010 is a long way from 1883."
A timeline now appears on the projector screen, showing a farmer and a sailing ship in 1883, then a box camera from 1895. As these scroll by, the music "The Can-Can" is playing, and the Memo dances the Can-Can.
A toaster appears on the projector screen representing the year 1919, and the music changes to the Charleston. Memo switches his dance. A photocopier moves on the screen, invented in 1937, and the television in 1940. By the time 1950, and the invention of the credit card rolls by, Memo is now dancing to 50's music.
The casette tape comes next, in 1962, the cell phone in 1979, the Pentium proccesor in 1993. Memo accompinies all of these dancing to house music.
An image of a laptop computer and a jetliner with wing tip winglets is shown by the projector with the date 2010.
Memo stops dancing, clears his throat, straightens his tie, and says to the Director "You were saying?"
The Director proceeds. "The America public, hiring managers and even Congress have asked us to take a look at what's working and what's not with our Federal hiring process." Representative images of these three groups appear on the projection screen. The Director continues. "You're the first phase in President Obama's initiative to address some of the issues head-on." A target appears on the projection screen and Memo pulls a bow and arrow from behind his back, shooting a bullseye in the target. "Your job is to help agencies address these concerns by ensuring managers are fully involved in the recruiting and hiring process;" The image on screen shifts to a hiring manager, and four elements, Job Posting, Resume, Interview Notes and Offer letter. "to tackle some of the challenges, such as the lengthy written essay-style questions known as the KSAs; and to sreamline the hiring process."
An image shows on the screen indicating that the Spoils System is not acceptable.
The Director pauses, then continues his monologue. "As always, a key element of our successful implementation is to ensure we adhere to our core merit-based principles and preserve the legal rights afforder to our veterans for their sacrifice and commitment." Two figures of veterans, one wearing a Purple Heart medal for wounds sustained in combat, appear on the screen.
Memo does a little dance of excitement. "So that's my job!"
"Do you think you're up for it?" asks the Director.
"I'm ready for anything!" says the Memo.
"Then get out there and do your stuff!" orders the Director.
"Got it!" The Memo hops off the Director's desk, and walks off screen. The Director waves as he departs.
The entire scene fades and is replaced by the front of the OPM building, where Memo is walking confidently out the front door. The sounds of a protest are audible. Camera moves, showing Memo waling away from the building, greeting Thea, the hiring manager. An angry mob of protest signs has gathered ahead of Memo. Behind them, a bus with a USAJobs website poster drives away as Memo approaches the protesters.
The camera zooms in on the mob, showing the writing on the protest signs. One group has "Say Y-E-S to KSA", "I love KSAs", "KSAs are here to stay" and similar sentiments written on them. The opposite group has "No more KSAs", "KSAs go home" and other expressions of the same opinion. One group is demonstrating in favor of KSAs and the other against them, heated words are being exchanged, and fists raised. The protest signs are chanting "2 4 6 8 KSAs they are great" or "No way KSAs" depending on their opinion. Suddenly another kind of sign, a "No Parking" sign runs into the fray, screaming "No Parking!" The camera zooms in on that sign. For a moment the pro and anti KSA factions stop chanting. The parking sign looks from one group to the other, realizes the error, and runs off. The pro and anti KSA factions then begin their chants again.
Camera turns back to Memo, "Looks like a job for me." he says, straightening his tie. He walks directly between the two groups. "Alright, alright..." Memo says, but no one listens. Memo then unfurls himself out of his scroll shape into a flat piece of paper, inserts his thumb into his mouth, and inflates himself, growing larger with each breath. He floats up above the protesters, and produces a bullhorn.
One sign says to another "Watch it buddy." His opposite rejoins "Don't buddy me, buddy."
"Alright, alright - what is going on here?" Memo demands, using the bullhorn. His flat body now has writing on it, saying "1. No KSAs, 2. Resume, 3. Category Rating". He floats above the crowd. "What is all this kerfuffle about?"
A pro-KSA protester says "They want to get rid of us? After all our years of service?"
"That's right!" an anti-KSA says. "There's no room for you in the new world!"
The protest erupts again. Memo looks from one side to another.
"Hold it all of you!" Memo says. "There's room for both sides. Here, let me show you. All of you pro-KSAs to the right. All of you anti-KSAs to the left." Most of the signs move but two remain, staring each other down. "Come on, guys, break it up. Come on."
"This is how it is going to go..." camera zooms in on Memo. "First, all I'm saying is that when folks apply for a job, much like in the private sector, they should be able to submit a resume and cover letter." These two items appear on Memo. "There is no reason to ask the hundreds and sometimes the thousands of people who apply for a job to fill out multiple essay-style questions" a myriad of questions appear on Memo, replacing the resume and cover letter, "at the first step in the application process."
Pro-KSA breaks in "That's how we have always done it!"
Memo replies "There are multiple ways for agencies to assess candidates when they first apply." A resume and other documents appear on Memo. "For example, an agency could review the resumes and make sure people are US citizens, and meet the educational requirements if there are any," A man talking to a group of people gathered around a round table appears on Memo, "and then you could have a panel of subject matter experts interview the applicants using structured, standardized questions and score the applicants." A man holding a clipboad appears on Memo. "You'd be surprised at what you find out when interviewing someone, rather than just relying on written responses to a bunch of questions."
Anti-KSA blurts out "See! I told you!"
"Hold your horses there, Mr. Anti-KSA. There is still room for written essay-style questions. I could see an agency asking someone who is seeking a leadership position to outline his accomplishments in writing. All I'm saying is that this doesn't need done at the first step in the application process. I could instead see this being done after reviewing the resume and maybe even after the structured interview."
A pro-KSA protester interjects "Aren't you worried about the time it takes to hire? This multiple assessment process may actually make it longer for someone to get hired."
"I'm very worried about the time it takes to hire," Memo relplies and a scale appears, "but I do believe we need an appropriate balance between quickly hiring and making sure se get highly qualified people into the right jobs."
The pro and anti KSA protest signs begin to mumble, saying things like "Well, yeah. OK. You've got a point."
One of the signs says "Boy, now what am I supposed to to with the rest of the afternoon. My whole day is wasted."
Another says "Well, we can catch a bus downtown to the Capitol. I hear that there's another protest."
"I love this town!" says the first.
All signs but one exit to the right. The final sign asks "Who wants to grab lunch?" before chasing off after the rest.
Memo, still floating, says "Better get uptown and see what else I can do!" He rolls back up into a scroll, and walks onto the USAJobs bus. The bus drives away, carrying Memo and the protesters.
Scene changes, and Memo gets off the bus, walking down the street towards the camera. "Now what?" he asks.
Three characters, representing the Rule of Three; the numerals one, two and three with arms and legs, stand at the base of a tree, looking up at one of its branches. Memo can see legs dangling from the branch. The Rule of Three gang appear to be talking to whoever is in the tree.
Rule of Three, Number Three- "We have been doing this for all these years now. All of a sudden 'I come in and I can do even better than you!'"
Memo sighs. "Not again! What is it with this town and protesters? Oh well. Wetter get over there and see what's going on."
Number Two says "Why don't you come down out of that tree and say that to my face?"
Memo, facing down the Rule of Three gang. "What's going on here?
Number Three faces Memo. "I represent the Rule of Three - check it out!" Number Three produces a business card that reads Rule of Three for All Your Hiring Needs, a phone number 1-333-123-333, and the motto "You'll never need to call anyone else! (Especially not the Cat)" Number Three continues "And these are my associates. We've been around a long time and done a lot of good in this town. But now we're being phased out by Category Rating. It's an outrage!"
The camera shifts focus to a cat relaxing in the tree who represents Category Rating. The cat has a beret and a goatee. He says "I've been around too, man" in a beatnik voice, "since 2003 to be exact, even though a lot of people don't even know I'm here to help them." As he says this, the cat fades out, leaving only his eyes and his tail visible. "Can you dig it?" asks the Cat.
Number One says "Would you make him stop doing that? It really creeps me out."
Number Three interjects "Excuse me? That's what we're for - to help the hiring managers."
"But I can help the hiring managers as well, Daddy-O." rejoins the Cat. "Some might even argue, better."
Number Two grumbles incoherently. "How so?" asks Number Three.
"For starters," says the Cat, "I can offer hiring managers more than just three people to interview and select. That's a real gas, man."
Number Three asks "So what's new? We offer choices, too - three to be exact."
"Only three?" the Cat responds. "That's line L 7, man, real Squaresville. Can you do this?"
A group of people appear as the Cat continues speaking. "The purpose of Category Rating is to increase the number of names for managers to consider for the jobs they're filling. And it preserves Veterans Preference. Man, it's the coolest!"
Camera cuts back to the Rule of Three gang. Number Three gestures wildly. "Tell me something new. We preserve Veterans Preference too." Number Two kicks in "Yeah! Right on!" Number One says "Go vets!"
Memo steps in to mediate. "You both make good points, but Category Rating does what the Rule of Three does, and then some."
Number Three, in frustration, says "Whatever."
"Don't take my word for it." Memo says, "Let's ask a hiring manager." He looks around, and spots someone off camera. "Thea? Is that you?" The camera turns to show Thea, a hiring manager, waving back at Memo. "Could you please come over here for a minute?" Memo asks.
Thea approaches and asks "What can I do for you?"
"You're a hiring manager." Memo states. "I need you to settle a debate we're having. Do you prefer this?" The camera swivels to show the Rule of Three gang. "Or this?" The camera moves again, showing a large and diverse group of people.
"They both look like good groups of people, but as a hiring manager manager, I've got to go with the option that allows me to consider more people, making Category Rating the option for me. " The Cat waves at Thea from his perch in the tree. Thea moves to the Rule of Three gang, comforting them. "Look, you've had a good run, but Category Rating gives me more choices to choose from, including more veterans. Don't feel bad, your three people will still be in the running. They'll certainly be included with the group of highly qualified people. With Category Rating, all the highly qualified people are in one group, not just the top three highly qualified people."
"Thanks Thea." Memo says. "Hey! There goes your bus."
The bus pulls up in front of Thea. The side of the bus has an advertisment for www.FedsHireVets.gov on it. "Gotta run!" says Thea as she hops on the bus, and rides away, waving.
Camera focuses back on Memo. "Yep," he says, waving his arms "it's a new day for the Civil Service!"