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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Not at my desk

    Some reminders on board rules (and other topics)

    A few of the mods have been noticing (and correcting) a lot of this stuff lately, so I think a reminder for everyone to read the rules of the board may be in order. This is especially for the new folks, but it may be a good idea to re-read them even if you've been around for a while, since they were recently revised. None of this is aimed at a particular person.

    Some of the stuff we're seeing a lot of:

    - The "crystal ball" questions - i.e. "here are my qualifications/background - evaluate me and tell me if I have a chance to get hired by X....". These are notoriously tough to answer because it all depends on you, the agency, the prevailing budgetary conditions, who's hiring and who isn't, and a host of other conditions.

    - Posting the same question in separate forums - no, you won't get a faster answer that way. It's also confusing and rude, because you could be causing someone who is trying to help you to double his or her efforts and post twice.

    - Resurrecting old threads - if it's over a couple of weeks old, let it die and start another one, even if it's the exact same topic. You can even provide a link to the old topic, if you like. The reason for this rule is that it gets very confusing when you dig up old stuff because most people are not looking at the dates at the bottom and end up thinking the wrong thing about the topic at hand. There is no premium on space in that regard, so feel free to start new topics whenever you wish.

    - Post in the correct forum - if it's a "news" article, please post it in "news", regardless of what the SUBJECT of the news article may be. Just because it's about a DEA agent doesn't necessarily mean it's a "Fed" hiring question.

    - If you get a job or otherwise "get the call", please post it in the forum that is designed for that purpose - "Success Stories." Don't post it in whatever forum the agency that hired you falls under, then wait for a mod to move it. People have done that in the past, but that's not the way the board was set up.

    - PM reminder - I know it's confusing (everyone has thought so at one time or another!), but you need to delete ALL messages from your PM box, which includes "sent" messages and "tracked" messages - in order to empty it. It's annoying when you type a long response to someone, hit 'send', and then get a message that their PM box is full (and YOUR message, subsequently, is now gone, history, unretrievable - and you have to type it again).

    - Spelling and punctuation – nobody’s perfect (least of all me) and this is not a grammar class, but it’s not a chatroom for 14-year-old snowboarders whose major pastimes include daydreaming about Britney Spears and playing X-box, either. There’s nothing more annoying than trying to sort through a post that reads like “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (if you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about): “what do u-all think i should do about my major I really want 2 work 4 the fbi but I herd that they don’t like cj degrees….” . We don’t all use spell check, we all make mistakes in the heat of the typing (especially when we’re arguing!), and like I said, this isn’t grammar class. But if you NEED a grammar class, then by all means USE spell/grammar check (and any other help you can get) so we can at least READ what you’re posting. It’s unnerving to get a post like that from someone who has prefaced it with “I’m about to graduate from college…”(!) If that’s true, you need learn to write if you want to work for any law enforcement agency, especially the FBI, and what better way to practice your writing skills than to do so here?

    - Questions and the use of the "search" function - PLEASE do a search before asking a common question. I've been here for almost 4 years, and while every so often, someone DOES come up with a question we haven't seen before, most questions HAVE been covered. Before you make everyone rehash information that they've already posted, do a quick search. I know, I know: the "do a search" reply is redundant, but truly, if more people used it, we wouldn't have to say it. The answers you seek are, probably 70% of the time, easily found with either a search of the board OR a week or so of lurking and looking at both old/new posts (i.e. if you’re looking for info on an agency that is currently hiring, chances are that someone else is already discussing it). Some things are hard to search for, and that's OK - I'm talking about questions like "what does an FBI agent do?" or "what kinds of cases does X agency work?" Most of that has been covered. Also, use a little common sense when asking questions. If you want to be a "criminal investigator" and need to ask how to get to the U.S. Marshal's Service website, well... we won't go there .

    - Agency-bashing (I thought we had a handle on this, but it has reared it's ugly head lately) - if you have nothing good to say about your former/current employer, don't say anything at all. If you cannot understand that your particular opinion does NOT make something "the truth" or "a fact," (i.e. you have no idea what a "fact" is...) you have no business in law enforcement to begin with. Not to mention that fact that most of the seasoned agents/officers here (mods and members, both) have worked for more than one LE agency, know that each one has its good and its bad, and really don't want to hear about how screwed up you think X-OIG is because YOU didn't happen to like it, for whatever reason. Most importantly, it gives an applicant or info-seeker a very skewed picture and it cheats them by not allowing them to hear unbiased opinions. Any "cheating of" or otherwise "taking from" the prosecptive job applicant won't be tolerated. Remember that the purpose of the board it to help THEM, not to give you a forum to vent your frustrations, hence the reason why agency-bashing is treated very seriously here and is continuously being harped on.

    - Professional conduct - unfortunately, some people continue to log on/sign up, then make a first post that is so riddled with sarcasm or scorn for another member that they are instantly given their walking papers. Happened yesterday, to someone who, ironically, was trying to help another poster, but felt the need to take cheap shots at a moderator that they didn't happen to like at the same time, so despite how useful that info may have been, the post is gone and HE is gone (and he obviously didn't read the rules before posting, either, because not only was the post offensive, but it was in response to a thread that was over a year old, as well). I realize that a lot of ya'll may not like certain board members or certain mods, but for the good of the board, keep that dislike to yourselves. This forum has been up and operating for a long time simply BECAUSE it is moderated and has not been allowed to turn into a flame war. Let's keep it that way. We also end up not only deleting a lot of these unprofessional posts, but we also end up deleting the replies to them by otherwise upstanding board members: if you see something offensive, don't bait that person into replying with a zinger aimed at them (no matter how much they might deserve it) - report it to a mod. Don't sink to their level.

    99.9% of these problems occur innocently enough, because a lot of folks are new, they find this board for the first time, then just jump in and ask questions in the heat of the moment because they are energetic, excited about their future career, and are looking for some answers - understandable. However, the "rules" section is nothing to be afraid of; it doesn't read like a typical Microsoft user agreement or a "readme" file, with us asking for you to sign in blood at the end or give up your firstborn child. It's pretty cut and dried, easy to read, and SHORT, so a lot of these problems would disappear if we would all take a second to peruse them once more.

    I'll leave this for other mods to add to as appropriate.


    Last edited by ATF SAC; 10-27-2006 at 07:45.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Atlanta, GA


    Well said, my friend.

    Would only add that opinions are not facts. Ok to state an opinion as such but to defend an opinion as "I am only telling the facts as they are," is to confuse what I think or feel with what I know.

    I get weary posting this, but this is a public forum.
    When you post here, your chief, sergeant, RAC or SAC is reading it and knows exactly who you are. "My Chief/Director is an idiot" posts only establish that there are at least two in your agency.

    Be respectful of one another. All of us lose it from time to time. good to take it back and apologize.

    Agency bashing is for second raters. Agency Yahooism is for rookies. The second is only slightly less ridiculous than the first, probably because puppies are cuter than curs.

    Don't pose. OK to be young and curious but let folks know. Get a nice answer rather than a slap down for posing beyond your experience.

    When you sign on, reflect that the purpose of this board is to help people who are seeking information. It is not to mock them for what they do not know or to push attitude on them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    I'm going to chime in here as well.

    K: Excellent post, and well worth the read.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we strive very hard to keep this board professional, and it shows. For all the fuss and worry, it's worth it to see a regular poster make it all the way to posting in the success forums; even more so when they keep hanging around to extend that helping hand to others along the way.

    Don't be fooled. It's easy to come here and post and say whatever you want, with the only consequence of not being asked to contribute again. Lots of folks here that aren't neccessarily looking for work, but still keeping their finger on the pulse, and sharing what they know. Lots of friendships, beyond cyber pen pals have been made here. Good place to network. I especially encourage those of you with the credentials to apply and contribute in the Restricted Forum.

    The agency bashing is a pet peeve of mine. I could go on here about one of the many lessons in life I learned the hard way, but suffice it to say, I try to live by the creed, "Don't ever take anything away from anybody.." Doesn't take much effort to take the wind out of someone's sails; to deflate their ego while boosting yours. The irony is, it's pretty classic sign of low self esteem. Know the joy of feeling proud for someone that has accomplished something, no matter how slight. It'll make you feel good, and it'll make you look like a giant in others' eyes.

    Review the rules. Have some fun here. Make some friends. Even though you may never want to work for a particular agency for whatever personal reason, keep that reason to yourself if you can't articulate it without sounding petty or unprofessional.

    Oh, and did I say, make some friends here? Well, I mean it.

    28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Far side - Southeast NE.


    Ok, it's my turn.

    This message board is intended for a free exchange of information and ideas pertaining to the law enforcement hiring processes and other criminal justice issues. However, since disagreement often leads to informative, lively, and meaningful discussion of the issues, keep this in mind; “This is not a Debate Board”. If your position is to blindly take a stand on an issue and refuse to accept another person’s view, then you will be asked to leave this board for greener pastures.

    Also, Please UNDERSTAND THIS!!

    These is a "PUBLIC" Board. Don't ask for a private e-mail because you are too lazy to come back and look for the responses! You made the time to find these groups, so that you could post a question. Now, make the time to come back and search for the answers!

    Anyone who does respond to you privately is depriving "the public" (users of this board) of the benefit of their knowledge and experience. Maybe there are others who have the exact same problem, who would also benefit from the answers, but were afraid to ask. Maybe they just couldn't determine the appropriate/correct way to phrase the question!

    In any case, "I-You-We-All" have a right to see the responses. To expect otherwise is just being selfish!

    And, let me say, if you can’t abide by the simple rules of this board, then there is no way you will ever make it in law enforcement, as the rules of every LE Agency are much more strict than the ones of this board.
    “You never know if quotes on the internet are genuine or not" . . . Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Not at my desk
    Just another reminder...mainly because I haven't been on a soapbox for a while...

    The rules exist for a reason. You don't get to circumvent them just because you think that the information you want is more important than that being sought by everyone else. You also don't get to insult the moderators who enforce those rules. The vast majority of people seem to understand that, and it is much appreciated. Seriously. Because many of us remember when the board was NOT as "peaceful" and easy to use as it is nowadays.

    Also, not only do agencies monitor this board for OPSEC reasons or to make sure their employees who participate here behave and/or represent their agencies in a professional manner, but there have been more than a couple of instances where an applicant made such a tool of him (or her) self by their juvenile behavior here that they mysteriously got booted from their respective hiring process. No one can say if it was for how they acted here, but I can't imagine it helped them any. Were I an agency hiring official, I'd probably assume that if a person couldn't behave themselves on a faceless internet message board, should I really be arming them and letting them loose on the American populace? I think not.

    Moreover, given the contacts that many board members (some of whom are senior agency officials, themselves) have with those agencies, the actual hiring decision-maker doesn't necessarily have to SEE how you interact here to find out about it. It's happened before.

    Now, it makes it easier for them to find out who you are in the physical world when you say things in cyberspace like "my name is Joe and I'm applying to the FBI out of the Newark, NJ office and I just took my Spanish language tests/talked to my AC/had my PFT today and I scored a X...", or when you post incessant timelines of what you did and who you spoke with, what e-mail you received, what your background is, how old you are or how you just graduated with a degree in Y, etc. Probably pretty anal to worry about that for most applicants, though, since most seem to be able to behave and simply use the board as the resource that it is.

    Which brings me to my point: doing all of that, then not following the rules in the manner I mentioned above is arguably a step down the "not-so-smart" path. When you add insulting a moderator and acting like a 5-year-old because he (or she) had to enforce those rules, you're crossing the line into "stupid". But as icing on the cake, when you're actually using your name as the e-mail address you registered under (twice), that indicates a pretty serious lack of thought, so you may wish to consider a career besides law enforcement.

    So play nice. End of rant.

    Last edited by krellum; 02-29-2008 at 02:02.
    "I don't share your greed...the only card I need...is the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Spades..."



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